Is there any obvious way to create a poll in stackexchange? Seems like a cool feature to have particularly in programmers.stackexchange.
You can't create polls: that isn't what this site and the other sites in the Stack Exchange system are about.
Stack Exchange is for questions that can be answered. Specifically on Programmers.SE, questions must have the following qualities:
- inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.
- tend to have long, not short, answers.
- have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.
- invite sharing experiences over opinions.
- insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.
- are more than just mindless social fun.
However, the system allows for some measure of voting on answers and questions: you can gauge popularity and usefulness of an answer by its current score.
Apart from saying "no, Stack Exchange does not provide a polling option." there are long-standing ideals behind "why?".
While it is possible to come up with an occasional poll-style questions that avoids social pitfalls of “Getting To Know You” (GTKY) questions and mindless entertainment, it is pretty rare. It is better just to ask your question with the tools we have now, rather than explicitly encouraging (an even soliciting) "polling"-type questions as a [feature] of this system.
Simply stated, we don't want to encourage polls on this site. Stack Exchange is supposed to be about building a canonical archive; a source for authoritative answers to decisive questions.
Polls are typically very basic "what do you think about…" questions that have been asked hundreds of times on every other forum on the internet. Asking interesting and challenging questions is hard. But when you compare that to asking questions out of mere curiosity (one that gives everyone the opportunity to sound off with random opinion), it becomes the low-hanging fruit of the system. More often than not, polls are a quick and dirty way to seed discussion without regard to the quality of the question or the answers.
That is not what we do here. It is the high quality questions and answers (and the high expectations) that separates these systems from the random phpBB noise and junk food found in most discussion forums. So let's not encourage polls… save the few that can get by the strict vetting of the community.