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I'm a bit unsure about how SO works in regards to questions about learning/guides to using/whatever. For example, I'd really like to learn about mmap in Python, but I'm not really sure how to get started.

I don't think a question like:

Where could I learn more about Python mmap? I'm trying to handle a memory usage problem with a Python package I've been using and I think mmap could be the answer.

really fits the Q&A model for Stack Overflow. Yet the FAQ also seems to permit this sometimes (e.g. the FAQ says I would like someone to explain __ to me will probably be a valid question. If I were to ask it, I'd provide more details, but I wouldn't be able to say "well, I've already tried XYZ", because I'm just starting to dig into the problem.

So, would this be an okay question for Stack Overflow? Is there another Stack Exchange site where I could ask this question? (and then, I guess, come back to Stack Overflow when I have questions about trying to figure it out).

EDIT: I looked at the Programmers Stack Exchange site, but I'm not clear where this question fits between Programmers and SO.

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See my answer on another question. –  animuson Jun 9 '12 at 21:17
    
@animuson okay, that didn't come up when I first searched, so I didn't see it. Thanks for posting that. That said, it doesn't seem like exactly the same question--I'm not asking for a solution to all of my needs without trying anything--I'm asking for a recommendation on how to learn about a specific part of the Python language. –  Jeff Tratner Jun 9 '12 at 21:26
    
Why doesn't Google suffice? I am being serious; Stack Overflow does not want to be a proxy for search engines that can do that job better than we can. –  Robert Harvey Jun 9 '12 at 21:28
    
OK, seems like this wouldn't be an acceptable question for SO ;P I thought I could close my own question, but I don't see the option. Should I just delete it? –  Jeff Tratner Jun 9 '12 at 21:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As stated in my other answer, Stack Exchange is not a place for recommendations. That expands over to requesting tutorials, books, and other guides that could help you. These types of things would almost always exist on the broad side of the spectrum. Anyone can post a link to any tutorial or book that might exist on the Internet, or maybe it's not even on the Internet. The problem is there is no real answer. Everything is valid. I could post some rant about how staring at the sky helps me to analyze things I've done and develop a better understanding of programming practices.

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thanks for the answer. I appreciate this sentence in particular: "I could post some rant about how staring at the sky helps me to analyze things I've done and develop a better understanding of programming practices." Clearly that's a great recommendation and I'm going to follow it immediately :) –  Jeff Tratner Jun 9 '12 at 21:46

If your question is about a particular pain point or intricacy of a programming language, feel free to ask it on Stack Overflow in more or less the following form:

I enjoy the Foo feature of language Bar, but I don't understand how the Baz part of Foo works. Could you explain how Baz relates to Foo, and provide a small bit of sample code describing how it works?

But please don't ask us for links to external resources; that's not what we're here for.

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good point. I'll probably come back with a question about mmap or whatever else once it doesn't work the way I expect. Thanks for taking the time to answer me. –  Jeff Tratner Jun 9 '12 at 21:33

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