I asked a question about whether an oft-quoted piece of programmer wisdom has empirical evidence to back it up.
My question was closed within seconds using the close reason normally used for lazy questions asking for laundry lists of libraries and other resources.
From the comments, it's not clear what the reasoning is - a comment says "It looks like you're asking for a paper or book", but I'm not, I'm asking about the currently available evidence on a topic, the results of research testing a claim.
- Are questions about empirical evidence off topic here? I see a lot of answers that are just one line, "Someone said '[some witticism]'" which get a surprising number of upvotes. Does this site favour anecdotes over evidence?
- If not, how do I need to rephrase my question to allow someone to post an objective, factual answer like "This has been investigated by researchers in [discipline], the evidence points towards [X] with [Y] caveat, the most recent peer-reviewed literature review / the largest study to date is [citation]"?
This meta thread appears to suggest that questions about empirical evidence are on topic so long as they are about the state of the evidence, not "What's the best book on X". That is absolutely 100% the intention of my question. Is this still the policy?
If so, how do I need to re-phrase my question to stop people misreading it as "pleez can I has teh books"?
Incidentally, this is the first time in 4+ years on stack exchange that I've run into problems for a question being too evidence based.
From the discussion I've seen so far, I'm starting to get the impression that:
- What does real empirical research say regarding Brook's law? would be of topic because when evidence is peer reviewed, it becomes an "off site resource" rather than a user's opinion
- Do you guys think Brook's law is true? would somehow be more on topic because it relies on experience of users of the site?
Experienced programmers use research relevant to their field and are in a better position than anyone to see through methodological problems and see what is practical research and what is flawed.