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I use a program called DigiFlow which has its own programming language integral to it. I want to start posting questions and answers regarding the programming language and how to do things relating to the program itself. Should I post these in stackoverflow or some other forum? - DigiFlow is typically used by fluid dynamics experimentalists for image processing.

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Could you perhaps link to a DigiFlow website? I have have a hunch what you're talking about, but a Google search provides several options. Also, what is the typical application domain of DigiFlow? – Bart May 28 '12 at 17:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've never heard of this hardware/software before today, so if I were to see a question like that on SO, I'm not sure what I'd think.

Let's take on two separate cases:

  • If the question related to programming in such a manner that it was broad enough to be answered within the scope of SO's FAQ, then it would belong on SO. Bonus points if the language is something that programmers are familiar with (C, C++, Java, Python, Assembler, etc).
  • If the question was specifically about a niche function within DigiFlow, then it wouldn't belong on SO. I'm not entirely sure what site it would belong on within the Stack Exchange network, though.
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So I'm still not sure - DigiFlow is a program for processing fluid dynamics experimental data. It's mainly used by academic institutions - I believe 160 have asked for some sort of licence. However there is very little online presence or help, everyone starts from scratch. I wanted to find somewhere to post questions and answers about digiflow. A problem though - many of the problems I have had are related to how to do things using the program which would be fairly specific to the program. – tannoreth May 28 '12 at 17:26

You're talking about this question, right?

My supervisor wrote the program, I am not affiliated in the sense that I will not have any positive repercussion to me putting up questions and answers on SO, I just know the person who made it. I can ask him any questions I like but other people can't - I wanted to record when I found out how to do something and try and build some kind of online help community for people who use the program in other labs.

Personally, I feel that the "Answer own question" shouldn't be used to "build an online help community", or any other such advertising. It's a rather volatile feature, in my opinion.

IMO, this feature should only be used when you have a post which is in the interests of a major part of the community.

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I disagree with your last line - it may not be in the interest of the 'whole' community but I'd rather like seeing answers to niche questions out there, that can be found easily than having to go on a wild goose chase. This sentiment comes from me working on a niche platform where if you get stuck you're left with documentation which is scarce & there's no easy help around except for ridiculous experimentation. Having them easily searchable goes a long way in retaining a sane mind – Sathya Jun 8 '12 at 12:18
@Sathya: Hmm, yeah. I removed the last line, I wasn't too sure about it myself (not active on SU). Actually, I know that these views aren't exactly mainstream, that's why nearly every sentence has an "opinion alert!" word in it. – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 12:20
Does it always have to be the majority? What about the minority? There is no online help for this program (though there is some documentation that comes with it). It means everyone who uses it has to start from scratch. When I have a problem with Matlab I just google the question. I've looked into various options (including starting up my own forum) and SO and superuser looked perfect. I have a problem with a software issue or code and that is what the FAQ suggest this is for? – tannoreth Jun 8 '12 at 13:22
@tannoreth: It's actually OK, just that the way you asked the question irked me somewhat (see comments on that post). If you want to use the "answer own question", make it a good post, that's all. It's fine here, but IMO the "there's nowhere else, this is my best chance" argument has no worth ;-) . – Manishearth Jun 8 '12 at 13:26
@TimManishEarth Good point, I'll work on the question. – tannoreth Jun 8 '12 at 13:28
@TimManishEarth I was thinking more about this issue and "build an online help community" (what is SO for if not that?). I have asked another meta question on whether questions need to be of interest to the majority of users and thought I'd bring your attention to it in case you wished to comment. – tannoreth Jun 20 '12 at 13:31

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