Yesterday I asked this Qn:

But some fellow members felt that, it belongs to below category:
Why we're not customer support for [your favorite company]

However I am unable to understand that how is it a customer support request? Or how can it be an opinion based Qn?
On the contrary, I assumed that it will give way to many interesting analysis such as,

  • If an organization like Android has decided to follow the footsteps of Apple, by favouring Clang, then there has to be legitimate reasons for it.
  • Is there something really wrong with GCC as such?
  • Android, Clang & GCC all are free & possibly open source softwares. How do they make choices?

The sense of my Qn is well crafted by a fellow member @JonathanEunice in below comment:

Why a major software project would make such a historic shift of toolsets is a legitimate and pertinent question for a software engineering Q&A site. Shifts of this magnitude are rarely driven merely by fickle preference or opinions. There are undoubtedly technical and ecosystem justifications for the shift that would benefit many to understand.

Why this Qn has generated so much heat that it has been downvoted, closed & now being attempted for deletion?

  • 4
    Thanks for asking about this on meta and being constructive about the situation.
    – user22815
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


You are asking the SE community why a specific vendor (in this case Google) made a decision to favor tool X over tool Y. Honestly, the community here is the wrong audience for such a question. If the Android NDK team at Goole wrote something like

GCC in the NDK is now deprecated in favor of Clang.

and you want to know their reasoning behind that, you need to ask them, not us. A vendor like Google has typically a support channel or forum for such questions, and the SE sites are no replacement for these channels. The community here could only make wild guesses about the NDK team's motivation.

Moreover, a quick google search reveals there are dozens of opinions around about "GCC vs Clang - which one is better". You will find every kind of people saying something like "GCC is better because its more mature", or "Clang is better because it does not carry so much legacy code in it". So the whole topic is 100% opinionated. Obviously the Android NDK team seems to favor Clang for their environment. If they made extensive tests before they made this decision, or if they just threw a dice - we cannot tell you, if you want to know this, ask them, not us.

  • Isn't it possible that Android has mentioned a legitimate reason somewhere or someone has a valid access to it, but we are unable to find it. Or, isn't it possible that gcc might have faced certain serious implications, which became deciding factor to discontinue it. For example, auto_ptr are deprecated in favour of others like unique_ptr, shared_ptr. Now this has been decided by C++ ISO community. But still it can be answerable by certain experts, who don't really belong to ISO. I feel downvoting & deleting is too strong a reaction for such a simple Qn.
    – iammilind
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 6:57
  • 1
    @iammilind: off-topic questions which cannot be easily made on-topic get closed and deleted here. And they typically get downvotes to remove them quickly from the from the front page (not for any personal reasons). That is how this site works - like it or not.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:15
  • 1
    @iammilind: see also meta.softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/3236/… why deletion is the preferred way on this site to handle such questions - there is nothing personal in this involved.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:30
  • @iammilind your C++ smart pointer example is not quite the same: that refers to an industry standard which goes through a committee process that is well-documented and not specific to one company. The differences between smart pointers are measurable, objective, and documented: most of all, the decision to use one or another is up to individuals. Google deciding to use one compiler or the other is specific to Google, and likely to be subjective. This is all on top of Doc's point that we are the wrong audience for that question.
    – user22815
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:32
  • A more accurate comparison would be to a question about "which compiler should I use: clang or gcc?" Even that would be closed as "primarily opinion-based" because there is no clear criteria and it is up to each individual to make that decision for their own project and development environment (if necessary, a lot of code can compile fine with either compiler).
    – user22815
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:35

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