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My question: Multidimensional function maximisation library for F# (.Net in general)

was just closed as off-topic because it asks for a recommendation. I can't see however how it is different from these questions:

Also I think that the rules prohibiting asking for recommendations are a bit extreme. What is wrong in asking about free/open source software, that in itself is "making Internet a better place", and certainly is not used for profit generation by any party. I understand that things will change in time, but this is true for most questions about actively developed technology.

So my questions are

  1. Why does SO employ multiple standards
  2. Why are recommendations not welcome here?
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One thing to note about all those posts...they're over a year old. I suspect some of them will be closed soon after people read this question –  Ben Brocka Jun 7 '12 at 11:21
Thanks for listing these, I've fixed the imbalance in our universe. –  The Anti-Santa Jun 7 '12 at 12:36
don’t ask us what you should choose — ask us what you need to learn to tell what you should choose... - as for the other questions you listed as examples, these are nothing but broken windows (closed now that you pointed at these) –  gnat Jun 7 '12 at 12:52
This is discussed at length on a recent podcast –  Some Helpful Commenter Aug 15 '13 at 14:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Word of advice: Do not use word recommendation in your posts as people will flag your post just based on that. Ask for specific things that (in your case) library should contain without soliciting recommendation. In my view the main reason for disallowing recommendations is to avoid getting spammed by marketing guys who try to promote their products. I hope this helps you.

And do not be discouraged most of people here have gotten their posts flagged for exactly the same reasons. I have personally gotten carried away a few times and asked for a "recommendation" for problem I was dealing with.

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So people use scripts to autoflag questions containing the text "recommendation"? –  Calmarius Aug 15 '13 at 15:14
I find it disappointing that Stack Overflow has opted for such a rigid policy over this. –  Adamski Oct 16 '13 at 8:45

The first thing to remember is that Stack Overflow is not a Recommendation Engine (now deleted, 10K only).

Questions like that may have been tolerated in the past (the samples you gave are all old), but it is fair to say that it is policed a lot tighter these days. Basically, asking for recommendations seldom leads to good concise answers (as people debate the merits of the answer), or it can lead to many answers (because there could be many equally good or correct options).

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I understand, but you haven't really explained WHY. –  Grzenio Jun 7 '12 at 11:33
@Grzenio It's because questions like that don't lend themselves to good definitive answers, and the questions/answers don't necessarily age well (the info can go out of date). Some recommendation questions can be good, but the majority of them are not. –  slugster Jun 7 '12 at 12:19
Why is the link to this question broken? Is this rule no longer operational? –  user140098 Jul 10 '12 at 19:35
@user140098 I don't think any link that leads to a picture of a keyboard waffle iron can ever be called 'broken'. Maybe 'irrelevant', but again, keyboard waffle iron is always relevant. How about we settle for 'unexpected'? –  root Aug 15 '13 at 13:25
@root You are right :) For users >10K the question is still there, below that you get the 404 / waffle iron. –  slugster Aug 15 '13 at 14:24
In the past I've found that I do get a good range of informative answers and haven't seen much spam from people marketing their own product. –  Adamski Oct 16 '13 at 8:41

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