Questions tagged [on-topic-definition]

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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
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
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
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
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
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? ...
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
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
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 ...
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
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
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 ...
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
132 votes
10 answers
4k views

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
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?
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
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
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
4 votes
2 answers
714 views

Are "I'm looking for X" questions on topic?

The question Is there something else like SquareSpace out there? (10k link) reminded me that there is nothing explicit in our FAQ about shopping recommendation questions. The question starts out with: ...
Adam Lear's user avatar
  • 32k
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
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
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
10 votes
1 answer
372 views

'Problem' and 'help' titles in off-topic questions of new users coming from Stack Overflow [duplicate]

I recently learned that some off-topic questions seem to be posted at Programmers with sole purpose to circumvent 'problem' and 'help' title block at Stack Overflow. Can we do something to save these ...
gnat's user avatar
  • 21.2k
2 votes
3 answers
601 views

Update our FAQ to improve the on-topic definition [closed]

There are two proposals here: The original proposal was to change the FAQ and site scope to more accurately reflect the site's name. It was created because of the votes and responses received on this ...
Rachel's user avatar
  • 24k
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

Why are "reference request" questions off topic?

My question was closed. Robert Harvey says: Questions asking for links to external resources are more or less off-topic throughout the Stack Exchange network. That's what search engines are for. "...
Xodarap's user avatar
  • 227
0 votes
3 answers
482 views

Is this site failing? And should it go away? [duplicate]

Fact 1 At the time I write this, 12 of the 15 questions on the questions front page have net downvotes. That is an extreme statistical outlier on stackexchange. Other sites tend to have between 1 and ...
Mowzer's user avatar
  • 189
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. ...
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
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
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
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
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
10 votes
1 answer
426 views

Using Programmers as "learning and training area" for Stack Overflow kind questions [duplicate]

Related: Create a New Stack Overflow Instance for Beginner Users and Content (MSO). We are getting many off-topic / implementation and coding kind questions where askers appear to be aware of Stack ...
gnat's user avatar
  • 21.2k
9 votes
1 answer
463 views

When do these questions belong on Programmers instead of Stack Overflow?

Let me know if my question is too close of a duplicate with What's the difference between Programmers and Stack Overflow? but I really don't think it is. I am asking about a very particular ...
Jimmy Hoffa's user avatar
  • 16.1k
7 votes
1 answer
261 views

Are career questions acceptable or not? [duplicate]

faq says it is not about career advice, salary or compensation, I see lots of career questions asked on programmers.stackexchange, some closed, many not. For example, https://softwareengineering....
T. Webster's user avatar
  • 1,246
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Addendum to off topic themes in the FAQ

As an extension to this previous question - Should our FAQ contain a list of what's off topic and if so what should that list contain?, can we add two categories of questions that are often asked by ...
Matthieu's user avatar
  • 4,579
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
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
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
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
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
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
8 votes
2 answers
270 views

Reconciling "no legal advice" and "yes software licensing" [duplicate]

In this question, I had a disagreement with the original asker about whether a legal advice / software licensing question is on topic. I now think that I was wrong when I voted to close originally, ...
durron597's user avatar
  • 7,600
8 votes
2 answers
148 views

When are career questions too localized? Should this be more strict?

From the FAQ: Can I ask career advice questions? Yes, within reason. Most career advice questions are specific to the poster's situation and run the risk of being closed. Try to generalize ...
Deckard's user avatar
  • 3,427
7 votes
1 answer
288 views

What topics are not "part of the SDLC" but are nevertheless still on topic?

It would be beneficial to aggregate in one location everything that is actually on topic here, particularly when topics are exceptions to "is it part of the SDLC?" as a rule of thumb. I had thought ...
enderland's user avatar
  • 12.1k
7 votes
2 answers
425 views

Lots of subjective questions here [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between Programmers and Stack Overflow? It seems like half of this site should be community wiki. Also, what kind of questions are supposed to go ...
John Conde's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
181 views

Is asking "what is the technical term for this" on-topic?

I am writing a Python script for downloading a website for offline viewing and changing the links in the downloaded webpages for proper links between the downloaded webpages. I don't know the ...
Aseem Bansal's user avatar
  • 2,974
3 votes
4 answers
246 views

How can historical questions be on topic? [duplicate]

If I wanted to ask something regarding the history of the name SQL as it relates to computer programmers is that applicable? The first answer would undoubtedly be a link to wikipedia so I'm not sure ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
  • 6,897
1 vote
3 answers
226 views

Should algorithm and data structure concepts still be on-topic for Programmers now that Computer Science has launched?

The Computer Science Stack Exchange site has launched and is now in public beta (note that this is a different site than TCS). I'm an active user there, and we were wondering about the following: ...
Alex ten Brink's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
251 views

Are "Why is X code snippet done this way?" questions on-topic?

There was a bit of a tussle earlier about a specific question related to why a specific line of JavaScript code was crafted the way that it was: What's the point of initializing a variable with ...
user avatar