I have noticed a trend to close some P2P questions as off topic, because they are often broad. Contrary to other topics such as Java, C++ etc... some P2P questions are intrinsically broad and we should accept this. They can't be reduced to more precise topics.
- p2p file sharing distribution?
- Are such networks like I2P, Gnutella, Freenet really decentralised? (need server for NAT Travel?)
By applying Stack Overflow rule to the letter with P2P, we break the spirit. We just reject people looking for support for wrong reasons. People who have closed these questions have visibly no experience with P2P (no badges, no questions or answers tagged with P2P).
They just apply the rules blindly without giving those with experience an opportunity to evaluate these questions and answer them when possible. This is getting pretty annoying and counter-productive.
From a guy who wrote a book on the subject.
For the records to all comments make to this question so far:
1) All set of rules/laws need exceptions to work, because no set of rules apply totally and fairly to all communities. There is always a set of small exceptions which are necessary to handle cases where applying the rules would actually be unfair. In order to understand this, you need to understand those specific cases.
2) About the need to have an implementation specific subject in the question: this is exactly where this does not apply well to P2P. P2P is not only about solving couple of technical issues such a NAT traversal or making this or that framework work, it is much more complex than it looks when you go into details. This is why people ask such global questions. It is the proof that they are getting deeper in the subject in order to implement something, when they have not already implemented a lot of code.
Asking those questions is absolutely unavoidable in the learning curve and during implementation. In fact, most people start to code because they don't have a global vision of the issues they will need to solve. It is only when they hit those real issues and start/need to ask global questions. That's life in the P2P city.
Those arguing that these questions are off-topic are actually demonstrating that they have no real understanding of the subject and they have never tried to implement a P2P system themselves. It works the other way around for P2P.
3) So far the community thinks that software developers can and should directly ask specific and technical questions: this is just not true for P2P. They can't relate their issue to something purely technical, because it is not. It would be completely artificial. This is the exception to the rule the community should learn to accept rather than applying pushing rules blindly and hiding behind them. It is counter-productive.
4) bemace's remark is demonstrating the point I am trying to make: his comment implies/assumes that people are not implementing anything when they ask those questions. I can tell you from my experience that in P2P, this is just plain not true. They ask those questions only after they have started to design and implement P2P systems.
5) I have received unsung hero, revival and necromancer badges because I answered many old P2P questions nobody was able to answer properly. I understand SO rules and that's precisely why I am requesting to stop closing apparently weird P2P questions.
Each time I have answered those questions, the answer was approved within a day or two and people were very happy with theses. Someone understands where they are coming from and why it is legitimate and justified to ask such questions on a technical forum when it comes to P2P.