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I have noticed a lot of discussion type 'questions' that are asked on SO that get closed have some really interesting replies. I understand why these types of questions get closed and completely agree with the reasoning behind doing so. Being someone that is interested by the discussion that is generated by these closed questions, where could I find websites that are targeted towards this?

I imagine that the best sites will be forums with an active and positive community but I find it hard to gauge how interesting a forum is without actively participating in it for some time and with the sheer volume of programming related forums out there, it could be a while before I come across one that is worthwhile.

Do any of you know of any such sites/forums that may interest me and/or other members of SO who enjoy this type of discussion?

I will update this question with a list of any good sites that are recommended to me or that I discover.

See also:

Good programming website like Stack Overflow? particularly CrazyJugglerDrummer's comments

For RSS Feeds: What are the best RSS feeds for programmers/developers?

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migrated from Aug 7 '09 at 22:14

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what definition of 'meta' does this fall under? – Jimmy Aug 7 '09 at 21:57
@Jimmy: it'd make a decent faq question (if merged with some / all of the existing versions of the same question) - much nicer to say, "try posting there" than "don't post here"! In the style of:… but for non-questions rather than non-programming questions. – Shog9 Aug 7 '09 at 22:02
this might be helpful:… – Gordon Gustafson Dec 27 '09 at 22:20
don't worry, you are in the correct place – Jeff Atwood Mar 23 '10 at 1:13
Check out... for All programming solutions – user262351 Jun 19 '14 at 9:01

23 Answers 23

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Stack Overflow is a Question and Answer site.

That's a little different than a discussion forum.

With a Question, you really want an answer. A concrete the answer to this will help me finish project X type question.

Your question essentially asked programmers to navel-gaze. At best, any answer you got would be opinion, and at worst it would devolve into a flame-fest.

We have Reddit and Slashdot for those.

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Your most recent addition is somewhat inaccurate. Programmers Stack Exchange discourages trivial questions like What should I decorate my cubicle with? and attempts to promote more stimulating topics like What is the good/bad decision you made in your mid 20's about your career? – Nathan Taylor Nov 15 '10 at 14:02
@Nathan Taylor I was being facetious. Whoosh. – George Stocker Nov 15 '10 at 14:07
Discussion aversion is wrong. If you very much want an exciting answer, than a discussion is oftentimes the way to get there. – mario Nov 15 '10 at 15:10
@mario I don't want an exciting answer, I want an answer that solves my problem. :-) – George Stocker Nov 15 '10 at 15:22
Damn pragmatism. I hope there is a special hell for pragmatists! ;] – mario Nov 15 '10 at 16:29
@Nathan Taylor Ironically, the question you mentioned has been deleted... – yms Aug 1 '12 at 19:59

For Perl, it's hard to beat The Perl Monastery, which has been around since 2000, and has a lot of heavy hitters posting regularly.

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I'll second that... If only every language had something similar the world would be a much better place. – Matthew Scharley Oct 5 '08 at 6:32
If every other language had that, I don't think we'd have Stackoverflow :) – brian d foy Oct 8 '08 at 17:41
For C++, isn't it comp.lang.c++.moderated ? – ChrisW Sep 24 '09 at 20:12

Not exactly a programming discussion medium per se, but for all sorts of programming and technical discussions, I always head to the IRC chat server

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I think LesssThanDot is great.

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For good quality answers (not just guesses, wrong answers from noobs or useless links) and a free open environment to qet qualitative answers (e.g. open discussions) as well as quantative then is a good place to go. Several Microsoft SQL MVP's are resident their aswell as ASP, C# and .NET experts, and there are brainstorming fora to help with getting to a more robust answer than a snippet of code and investigate ideas.. e.g. there are architecture and design fora, which require a lot more than code snippets. Strong and completed answers can be posted to the wiki for easy access as the answer to a problem (you can see the SQL Hacks and C# Hacks on there). You'll also find IT Professionals and Students discussion areas aswell as a 'let your hair down' area for a bit of fun. It's also a generic forum - so it can be your one-stop-shop for different aspect of an IT pro's life.

You definitely do not want to go to tek-tips - it is a nightmare community which shuns a lot of people, and blanket bans country IP ranges, aswell as having very poor answers - all the top MVP's left ages ago.

Sometimes you may want to go to a specific forum - e.g. the perl java fora mentioned in the above (or wherever they end up) posts, as these can have the highest concentration of experts in that subject.

IRC for me is noisy and mixed in quality of response - it can be a good last resort though if no-one else can answer the question.

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The programming forums at CodeProject have been a great help to me in the past.

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Check out... for All programming solutions – user262351 Jun 19 '14 at 9:04 used to be pretty good. Not so much anymore.

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Sitepoint's PHP Application Design forum isn't terrible, it at least gives you a level of discussion above the basics of PHP that other communities seem to be mired in.

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If you are willing to actually go out in the real world and meet actual real people then ALT.NET Open Spaces events provoke some very interesting discussions.

I was at the UK ALT.NET Open Space Conference last weekend and the discussions ranged across many topics and it didn't stay confined to things born of Microsoft technologies (although there was a natural bias to stuff that runs on .NET)

One of the guys who were involved in organising it is launching a thing called the Alternative Network (ALTNET without the dot) which is a similar idea but cross more technologies.

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But be sure and wear sunscreen and a good hat. The real world is full of harmful radiation... – Shog9 Aug 7 '09 at 22:22

I used to post a lot on the C# newsgroup - these days my time goes into SO instead, but the benefit of the newsgroup was that there really were good discussions.

It really depends on exactly what you're after: "general programming" or specific topics, but newsgroups may well be worth looking into.

Other than that, blogs, podcasts and user groups.

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For discussion, nothing beats Usenet. Even on its 30th birthday, nothing has been invented that comes even close. (Just one example: on the Usenet, I can use my own client to compose articles without some stupid JavaScript screwing up my keybindings.)

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Javaranch for Java beginners

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Some other ones:

CSScreator -

Some good (albeit a bit critical for beginners) veterans in css there

W3Schools -

Good in the diversity of different things they have on there.

Other than that, irc channels are great when available. is a programmers haven, some popular channels: php jquery (Don't forget the pound)

Depending the time of day, great. Remember to use pastebin/pastie in order for people to help you properly if you have sample code on irc channels though.

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Have you seen Programming Reddit?

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Thanks, I already use it and find that the 'Ask Progit' ( questions often generate interesting discussion. – Pheter Aug 7 '09 at 22:09
This used to be good, but it hasn't been for a year at least. – Paul Biggar Aug 8 '09 at 0:04

I like the programming talk board on the ubuntu forums a lot, but you won't find much support when it comes to IIS or win32 api issues. But there are a lot of competent people there (don't get me wrong, there are also here :D) and there is a large variety of subjects.

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The Ars Technica Open Forum has many experts from Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, and such. There is some incredible insider info posted occasionally. They can be rather nasty to newbies, though.

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The usenet newsgroup comp.lang.tcl has an extremely high signal to noise ratio. The people there are friendly and exceptionally helpful. All of the people who regularly contribute to the Tcl language participate. Best of all, there are no fanboys there -- everyone is very professional.

Alas, that last point is likely one of the reasons Tcl continues to lose mindshare, since we are happy to promote other languages from time to time in the spirit of using the best tool for the job.

share|improve this answer has some boards on various programming and university questions that I tend to post on every now and then.

AnandTech and Tom's Hardware have forums that if one wants to go outside of the SO group of sites that I've found useful at times.

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DZone is another great resource which acts as a central point for a large range of development sites/blogs/articles.

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msdn blogs and forums are good autohotkey forum:

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The wiki is a hugely interesting and odd site

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Seems like someone need to create stackoverflow / stackexhange for coding/tech. I abhor google groups for these types of discussions. I also think redit/hacker news is more for sharing articles and such.

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