I am currently reading the codeless code, and have trouble understanding a particular case. In particular which bad practice is pointed out in the last paragraph.

Since the fables and koans are all about good practice, corporate software dev culture, and other topics directly tied to software devellopment, I was tempted to ask help understanding what bad practice is pointed at in that fable.
But at the same time, if that particular question was asked in such a manner to be answerable and on topic, it could make a really bad precedent and bring up a lot of people asking help understanding a blog post (or worse - twitter) post.

As for the help about on topic question, it would be (arguably) in one or more of the "do ask", and not in any "don't ask".

If you have a question about...
[ ]    software requirements  
[x]    software architecture and design  
[x]    algorithm and data structure concepts  
[ ]    quality assurance and testing  
[x]    development methodologies and processes  
[ ]    software configuration management  
[ ]    software engineering management  
[ ]    software licensing  

and it is not about...

[ ]    general workplace issues, office politics, and job hunting (ask on The Workplace instead)
[ ]    understanding, writing, or debugging code (check out Stack Overflow instead)
[ ]    how to use specific tools
[ ]    what language/technology you should learn next, including which technology is better
[ ]    what project you should do next
[ ]    where to find a software library, tool, book, research paper, blog, forum, or other resources
[ ]    product or service recommendations
[ ]    career or education advice, salary, or compensation
[ ]    personal lifestyle, including relationships and non-programming activities
[ ]    legal advice or aid

As a side note, if the answer is "it is off topic", which I think it will be, I ll just ask for help in the chat


Let's start with Common Mistakes Stack Exchange Users Make, Invalid Assumption #256:

If a question can somehow be made to relate to one of the subject matter bullets in the Help Center/On-Topic article, even if that relation is of the most tenuous nature, then it is automatically on-topic.

And the more accurate assumption that replaces it:

Topic areas are more about excluding categories of questions than they are about including them.

By way of illustration:

  1. What data structure should I use for this programming problem?

Is on-topic, because it relates directly to software design,

  1. What keyboard should I use for this programming problem?

Is off-topic because, even though programmers do use keyboards to program, it is a peripheral concern with respect to software design (unless you're using APL), and

  1. What pickles should I eat/music should I listen to while solving this programming problem?

Is off-topic because it doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with Software Design.

I would say that questions of the "What does this Codeless Code case mean" variety fall into the second category above, of programming concerns that might have something vaguely to do with design, but not really.

The specific Codeless Code that you cited has less to do with software design than it does with demonstrating absurdity by being absurd (along the lines of "I see what you did there"), with software design as the absurdity vehicle, rather than the principal topic.

To put it another way, if you have to explain a joke, it's not really funny anymore.

Verdict: Off-Topic on Programmers.

  • 4
    And thus the monk was enlightened.
    – DrakaSAN
    Aug 16 '16 at 22:23

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .