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Recently I came across this message on official Google App Engine support website which says that GAE support moves from Groups to SO. I don't know whether or not it is a biggie or if any other companies moved their support to SO too, but how does this Google move change the character of question being asked on SO? Are questions not involving code directly allowed now? If not, which SO branch should I go to for GAE-related questions? I have hit a massive brick wall with GAE and I'm not sure where should it be posted.

Any thoughts?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Nothing changes on Stack Overfow when companies suggest asking questions on it.

If you have a coding question about Google App Engine, go ahead and ask it. If you have support questions, you should still go through the groups (apparently). Regardless of whether the groups are appropriate for support, Stack Overflow isn't.

Per Johan Euphrosine (Google)

For things that are not "development questions" or doesn't fit Stack Overflow, you are still free to use the groups, and if you find a bug, filling an issue on the public tracker will always be appreciated by the team and the community.

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Looks like a common sense answer with one exception though. It's not 'companies' - it's The Company. The company whose mission statement is to organize ALL information in the World and surely it doesn't seem like they are not having enough assets to do so. My first thought was actually that Google must have bought stackoverflow as it would be a perfect replacement for a massively spammed, stemmed from USENET discussion board. –  matcheek Feb 27 '12 at 2:45
    
Except, of course, there were no rule changes as part of FB.SO. 100% of what's on topic now was on topic before. –  Kevin Montrose Feb 27 '12 at 4:02
    
Yep, closed as off-topic; just like before. –  Kevin Montrose Feb 27 '12 at 4:19
    
And it quickly jumped to the lowest answer rate of any major tag on Stack Overflow. –  bkaid Feb 27 '12 at 4:39
    
Which is all totally unrelated to any rule change, especially as there wasn't one. Do you have a point beyond complaints that have been raised (and dealt with even) else where? –  Kevin Montrose Feb 27 '12 at 4:43
    
Android has been officially on SO for a looong time, as has Azure (more recently). Neither suffered from the transition, it's an effect unique to Facebook. –  Kevin Montrose Feb 27 '12 at 4:53
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To get a better idea of what kind of stuff should and shouldn't be asked, the faq is extremely helpful.

Stack Overflow will continue to be a site for specific programming questions—why a certain snippet doesn't work, how to accomplish very specific tasks, etc. There is a site on the network for questions that don't directly relate to programming and are a bit more subjective ("best way to..." and "how to properly..." questions), which is Programmers.

The beauty is that we are always helpful to newcomers, and we don't close or delete questions out of spite but out of the notion of maintaining the high quality the site has come to achieve over time. So if people who aren't familiar with the system show up, it is very likely they will get the proper guidance.

John Euphrosine also mentioned (thanks to @KevinMontrose for the link) that only language-specific groups will be removed (Java, Python, etc). So I don't think there's anything to worry about—if we're reading correctly, the questions they're suggesting be asked on SO instead should be fully appropriate.

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