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I would like to ask the following question:

What application areas is Haskell not suitable for?

This question doesn't fit the "ideal Stack Overflow question", since it does not have a clear answer. Is there some other StackExchange forum where this question would be appropriate? And assuming there is, what tag(s) should I give it?

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StackExchange does not host forums. –  Mat Aug 14 '11 at 17:06

2 Answers 2

No, there is no Stack Exchange site that is suitable for that question as it is currently written.

A couple of problems jump out:

  1. You appear to think of Stack Exchange sites as "forums", which is completely off-base. In fact, they're a network of Q&A sites. This might help to explain some of your confusion about what types of questions are and are not off-topic. Nowhere do we allow questions that do not have a clear answer. Those belong on forums, not Q&A sites.

  2. That particular question is asking for a list of things, and we're not in the business of making lists. "Big list"-style questions tend to invoke personal opinions, lead to extended discussion and debate, and more closely resemble a "poll" than an actual question.

    It's no accident that the above closely resembles the explanation provided for the "not constructive" close reason. Those types of questions often get closed as "not constructive" throughout the network:

    This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

    The network-wide FAQ also covers this specifically in the list of questions that you should not ask:

    • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite __?”
  3. That particular question is also nowhere near detailed enough. It's completely nonsensical to try and generate a list of all the things that something is not good for, because that's basically an infinite list, minus the small subset of things that it is good for. Infinity minus some number is still infinity.

    Instead, you should consider asking a question where you propose your project and its associated requirements, then ask if Haskell is suitable to implement it. You might also want to define what "suitable" means. Lots of solutions will "work", but that doesn't mean they're "ideal". You need to tell us what "ideal" means to you—what features/techniques/styles/methodologies/etc. are important and need to be supported? What types of things do you not care about? And so on.

    Remember, the FAQ says that "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." That line reads the same across the entire Stack Exchange network, not just on Stack Overflow. Those types of questions are the ones that we're looking for.

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You can somewhat avoid the danger of generating lists by rewording it to:

For what type of application is Haskell not suitable?

But you have a bigger problem, no expert is going to like talking about the disadvantage of his area of knowledge. Those type of questions tend to get downvoted and closed for any conceivable reason. You need to reword it to invite a positive response:

For what type of application is Haskell particularly suitable?

The kind of question an expert will love to answer. With some luck, he'll expand on the topic and mention some types where Haskell isn't great. If not, you'll have to invert the answer yourself. You definitely need to look for a duplicate, this question has to have been asked by now.

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