Questions tagged [on-topic-definition]

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132 votes
10 answers
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New Site Name and Scope Proposals

From Ana, a Stack Exchange Community Manager in the previous question about changing the site name: It took us a good while, but the Community Team has circled up and here's where we stand on your ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.3k
125 votes
3 answers
11k views

What goes on Software Engineering (previously known as Programmers)? A guide for Stack Overflow

Moderator Note: Programmers changed its name recently to Software Engineering. This post has been updated to reflect the new scope, but it still refers to Programmers for historical reasons. Wherever ...
user avatar
83 votes
16 answers
4k views

Are you still confused about what Programmers (now called Software Engineering) is for?

I'm going to try and keep this short, because a lot of it has already been discussed. If you are interested in the history, you can find it here on Programmers Meta, but here's a very brief recap: ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
56 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this "Software Engineering" site you speak of, and what kinds of questions can I ask there?

Programmers has changed its name. Why has this name change occurred? Has anything else changed? What kinds of questions will I be able to ask, now that the name has changed?
Robert Harvey's user avatar
45 votes
4 answers
1k views

I'm not a software engineer, right?

So programmers.se is going to become software-engineering.se? This means I still can't ask the burning questions about proper potted plants for programmers.... AND THAT IS OK BY ME But, I do have ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
  • 6,897
42 votes
3 answers
1k views

Where can I have subjective discussions about programming?

I entered Softwareengineering Stack Exchange and unfortunately, it wasn't what I was looking for. I expected you would be able to talk about all kinds of programming, but the rules are much stricter ...
user avatar
33 votes
5 answers
4k views

Are Career Advice questions useful to anyone except the poster? [duplicate]

https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/career-advice https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/career-guidance There seem to be a fair number of "should ...
AShelly's user avatar
  • 5,793
32 votes
5 answers
527 views

Follow-Up: New Site Name and Scope Proposals

I've been pondering these proposed changes to the site's name and scope for the past few weeks. This was, you'll recall, instigated by Ana's response to Rachel's proposal for a new name for this site.....
Shog9's user avatar
  • 8,131
31 votes
7 answers
934 views

Are questions not directly related to programming (but might concern programmers) on-topic?

Questions like "Can you recommend some good pottery for programmers?" are an issue we need to figure out- to what extent are they allowed? I see a few variants on this: Questions that are clearly ...
Fishtoaster's user avatar
  • 25.9k
28 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are Design Review questions on-topic?

There is a gray area between Software Engineering & Code Review regarding design reviews. Code Review's on-topic page explicitly calls out design reviews as off-topic. However, if your question ...
user avatar
26 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why questions about "the correct way" are too broad

Questions of the following form are often closed as too broad: "Review My Design" "What is the Best Practice?" "Will my approach work? Is it viable?" "Is this the correct / preferred / accepted / ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
24 votes
7 answers
972 views

Great Expectations... or, at least, user expectations

Well I just saw a second Meta question expressing strong ill-will for this site after first witnessing this, seemingly well-trodden, battlefield. Given that I am already weary of it, I can only assume ...
user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
655 views

Should we continue to accept software licensing questions?

Our current guidance regarding software licensing can be found here. The current guidance says that a general rule of thumb is that questions answerable by experts in software development are on-topic,...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.3k
22 votes
1 answer
1k views

When is a software licensing question on topic?

I would like to ask a question about software licensing. The help center says: If you have a question about... ... software licensing and it is not about... ... legal advice or aid It seems like ...
durron597's user avatar
  • 7,600
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where does my tool question go?

I have a question about tools. According to the on-topic page, tool questions are off-topic on Software Engineering Stack Exchange. Is there a site for me to go to ask specific tool questions?
19 votes
13 answers
944 views

What questions are on-topic, and what are off-topic?

Joel Spolsky created a post on the Stack Overflow blog this afternoon on merging Area51 proposals. In it, he talks about how some proposals are just too specific or are subsets of larger sites and ...
19 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does "objective" vs. "subjective" confuse the purpose of this site?

I've followed the evolution of this site for a little while now and I must say I am a little confused. I'm looking for a single place where I can join a community of, what might commonly be called, ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 2,112
18 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why are implementation and debugging questions off-topic on Software Engineering?

Questions that are asking for debugging ("help me find this error") or implementation ("how do I write...") have tended to be closed and down voted. Why is this? And where should I ask these ...
user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
807 views

What types of subjective questions are not acceptable?

There are now a lot of questions that are of the same caliber: What's your favourite programming quote? What is your favorite “programmer” cartoon? What is your favorite editor/IDE? What's your ...
user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
455 views

Why did we start closing and migrating algorithm questions?

This site used to be a good, safe place to get help on algorithms. Indeed, I would consider it one of the primary purposes of the site. It is prominently listed in our help center and tour. It's ...
Karl Bielefeldt's user avatar
17 votes
0 answers
879 views

Call for volunteers: close voters

Programmers could benefit from a few more regular visitors who close questions on the front page and the Unanswered page that are clearly off-topic. "Clearly off-topic" means: We don't do ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are book recommendations on-topic?

We get a lot of book recommendation questions, so much so that it's hard to keep up with them. We've been closing them as off-topic, not a real question, and not constructive based on a few different ...
user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
509 views

Revisiting what is on topic, with respect to new sites: Open Source, Law, and Software Recommendations

In the past 2 months, two new sites in the Stack Exchange network opened up and are now in Public Beta: Open Source and Law. A third, Software Recommendations, has been around for about 1.5 years. ...
15 votes
3 answers
974 views

Ok, I'm confused about what people think Programmers *should be*

With this recent spurt of activity on meta, a number of opinions have come out. A number of these describe some rather radical changes. (please pardon me if I ascribe rather extreme positions) On ...
user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
320 views

Where do Code Golf/Code Challenge questions belong?

Code golf questions are a perennial favorite on Stack Overflow, but are under constant threat of being closed for being off topic or not a real question. Now that Programmers is live, do Code Golf and ...
user avatar
15 votes
0 answers
226 views

Looking for algorithms

I have a problem I'm trying to solve and I'm looking for an algorithm to solve it. I'm sure a solution exists I just don't know what it's called to search for it. If I describe the nature of the ...
Jason C's user avatar
  • 463
14 votes
5 answers
838 views

Should questions on Big-Oh be on-topic here?

Currently, questions on Big-Oh are on-topic on the Programmers main site because they fall under "algorithm and data structure concepts." Does the community feel that these questions should continue ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
461 views

There seems to be some contradictory guidance with respect to asking career development questions

The Help Center says this: and it is not about... career advice, salary or compensation, ... but it links to an answer that cites this question as being an acceptable career-development ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
523 views

Cutting down on off topic posts

We are getting pummeled with the same off topic questions over and over again. So we clearly need to be doing a better job up front of educating first time posters. In the 'How to Ask' box that's ...
GrandmasterB's user avatar
  • 39.2k
14 votes
2 answers
549 views

What are "algorithm concepts"?

Our FAQ says that "algorithm and data structure concepts" questions are on-topic on Programmers. However, we receive "migrate to Stack Overflow" flags on a lot of algorithm-related question. This ...
Adam Lear's user avatar
  • 32k
13 votes
4 answers
645 views

Why is "what language should I learn" considered off-topic?

Don't get me wrong: I understand the argument that the answer in almost all cases is "it depends". Nevertheless, many people do want some advice on the applicability of various languages in the real ...
Cameron Skinner's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
815 views

Summer of Love and questions that the FAQ says should not be asked

Recently Does C# give you “less rope to hang yourself” than C++? was asked - I thought the question was too wide in scope, voted to close and commented as such: From the FAQ: Your questions should ...
Oded's user avatar
  • 53.5k
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

What types of legal questions are on-topic here?

I know legal issues are in the faq as on-topic but I could not find an existing discussion of it. Do legal questions such as the iPhone issue or non-paying customer question really have a place here? ...
13 votes
3 answers
479 views

How do I ask a "Best Practices" question?

Questions containing the words: What is the "best practice," or What is the "right way," or Which technique is "most popular," "most sensible," "most reasonable," "okay," "wise," "acceptable," "most ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
474 views

Is curiosity allowed on programmers.stackexchange.com? [duplicate]

Is curiosity allowed on the various stackexchange sites or does every single question need to be a question about a precise problem to solve? For example, are the two following questions valid ...
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
391 views

Questions barely or not related directly to programming. We need handling them.

Next week we will receive an avalanche of questions migrated from SO. We have a lot of questions not related to programming jobs if we drop the "programming" word. Nothing new so far. But we need a ...
Maniero's user avatar
  • 10.8k
12 votes
9 answers
515 views

What should our predefined off-topic reasons be?

There are some fairly major changes coming soon to how posts are closed, you may want to read up on the details: Closing changes: [on hold], unclear, too broad, opinion-based, off-topic reasons, bye-...
yannis's user avatar
  • 39.6k
12 votes
3 answers
556 views

I think it's time we just make all licensing questions off-topic

Why? Because all the remaining questions are either crap, or they get closed anyway. Crap questions Most recent questions it seems are either some sort of: Tell me how to follow this license ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 27.7k
12 votes
2 answers
383 views

Why are some questions about the workplace allowed, and some not?

Here is an example of a question that is strictly related to the workplace -- the topic is essentially meta-programming. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/154565/where-does-a-...
David Cowden's user avatar
  • 2,903
12 votes
1 answer
548 views

Are Career-Advice Questions On-Topic Here?

I have a question about Education, Finding a job, Hiring, Interviews, Job Titles Training Materials, Classes, Certifications, Skill sets, Marketing, Job Stress, Workplace Interaction, ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
577 views

Is programming history on topic?

History questions are on topic on Software Engineering, but have proven to be particularly troublesome: It's not uncommon for history questions to get closed (and re-opened, and closed, ...) It's not ...
12 votes
1 answer
231 views

Should I ask my question about which data structure to use here?

My understanding of Programmers.SE (as opposed to SO) is that SO is for implementation problems - "I'm trying to do foo by baring my baz but it isn't working", while Programmers is for whiteboard ...
Dan Oberlam's user avatar
  • 1,281
12 votes
2 answers
543 views

If the scope is wrong, which of these questions belong here?

Over in Is this site failing? And should it go away? I posted this list and haven't gotten a satisfactory response yet. If the site's scope is at issue, then some percentage of these questions should ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why was "Why aren't young programmers interested in mainframes?" re-opened?

Every day we get opinionated questions asked here. People seem to think that this is the place to ask them. New users point to the old open questions that have fallen through the cracks of time as ...
user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

Are "name that thing" questions on-topic? [duplicate]

Occasionally, we'll get a question asking for help about naming a concept or symbol, and we've been closing them as "off-topic" and "not constructive" on the basis that naming questions rarely amount ...
user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
537 views

Is our current process of handling resource request questions sufficient?

Right now, we're operating on some community discussions from several years ago: Are book recommendations on-topic? (July 2011) What's up with all the book recommendation flags? (December 2011) The ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.3k
11 votes
1 answer
221 views

Can we remove "programming puzzles" from appropriate questions to ask on Programmers?

There is this question from December 2010, with 10 upvotes for removing code golf from being on-topic here. There are also a total of 17 upvotes on posts advocating a separate puzzles/golf sits in ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.3k
10 votes
6 answers
816 views

Are word origin questions on-topic?

The latest example is here: Why are actual parameters called "arguments"? Note that the OP is not asking for the difference between "parameters" and "arguments," or even what the word ...
Robert Harvey's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
664 views

Are "what did <person> mean" questions on topic?

I've noticed several questions along the lines of What did <Person> mean when he said X. The questions are asking for some explanation of the quote. They seem a bit trivial (and in the case of ...
user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
317 views

How can we help people who ask "What language should I learn next" ask a better question?

After reading the FAQ and the answers in Why is "what language should I learn" considered off-topic?, I feel that there is still a hole in the discussion, namely how can we help all those ...
Cameron Skinner's user avatar

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