In the Introducing programmers.stackexchange.com blog post, Jeff announces our site with great fanfare. And while I'm all for promoting our site, there are a few problems with that post that I think are creating recurring issues for us.

First off, there's a link to the FAQ which now redirects to our /tour page. It would be a lot more helpful if that redirected to our /help/on-topic page instead. The tour is a nice intro, but doesn't as clearly explain to a new visitor what's on-topic or not.

The other major challenge in that blog post is this:

Although I fully supported this site when it was just a baby Area 51 site proposal, we’ve endured a lot of angst over it — mainly because it veered so heavily into the realm of the subjective. It forced us to think deeply about what makes a useful subjective question, which we formalized into a set of 6 guidelines in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. Constructive subjective questions …
... [edited for clarity]
Ultimately, with a little extra discipline and moderation, I think the site turned out great. So, go forth and ask your subjective whiteboard questions on programmers.stackexchange.com! Just make sure they’re professional and constructive, please.

And that's where I cried a little bit when I recently re-read that post.

Given the site's dramatic shift in focus from when it originally started, I don't feel that the blog post announces our site in a constructive way. In fact, there's anecdotal evidence that it's actively misleading new users.

Can one of these two things be done, please?

  • Update the blog post to redirect to /help/on-topic and provide a notice indicating that the site scope has changed since that blog post was made.

  • Just make that blog post go away forever.

After digging through the comments on that post, I think we should just make that particular post go away forever.

In particular, this comment is what should be the final nail in the coffin:

The last thing either site needs is people asking perfectly good programming questions on a site explicitly created for non-programming questions.
But if you do get the urge to ask (or answer…) a question that ISN’T strictly programming-related, now you have a place to do so.

Granted, no one reads comment threads on old blog posts but that comment is horrifically misleading at this point in time.


I've updated the article to either call out or paper over the areas that had become somewhat dated.

That said, I stand by that comment. Folks really shouldn't be asking programming questions here.

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