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Is there a place in Stack Exchange to gather ideas on how to solve a problem?

Sometimes I just want to get into a direction with a problem to solve, but no current or immanent solution to ask about.

Where can I ask questions on how to move on, with no Q & A suitable for that question?

Some programming topics can be hard to get started with, so that help is needed already in the beginning.

This may be near to a discussion, but there may be some hints already that help and can be marked as an answer.

Stack Overflow seems to be wrong for that. Discussion like idea gathering is not applicable there I believe.

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Sometimes I just want to get into a direction with a problem to solve -- Then ask your question in a specific way, and show what you've tried so far to solve the problem. But don't expect us to fulfill a "Big List" request or use the SE framework as a discussion forum. Good questions have answers. – Robert Harvey Jul 31 '12 at 20:31
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, there are no Stack Exchange sites that fit the bill - they are all Q&A sites and looking for ideas/inspiration on any of them will simply not work.

However, all Stack Exchange sites have associated chats - these tend to me much less formal (just about anything goes), so the Stack Overflow or Programmers chats may be suitable.

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There seems to be a gap. – Mare Infinitus Jul 31 '12 at 20:26
That does not imply SO/SE has to fill it. – Bart Jul 31 '12 at 20:27
And I did not state that – Mare Infinitus Jul 31 '12 at 20:34
@MareInfinitus - Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange have a specific mission in mind - building the best Q&A sites in the world. This means that gaps in other types of sites are not of interest. Just because someone has a need, doesn't mean they need to fill it. – Oded Jul 31 '12 at 20:34
I have a concrete question in mind. Will try to ask it on Stack Overflow, but it is hard if there is only a problem and not even a specific language necessary to solve it. Thank you for your input! – Mare Infinitus Jul 31 '12 at 20:37
@MareInfinitus - Look at Programmers (read the FAQ first) – Oded Jul 31 '12 at 20:47
Chatting is old school (who has time to just hang out and wait for others to show up?). I think people ask to create discussions here on StackExchange sites than elsewhere because the community members have earned trust (it is SO much nicer to get an opinion on C# from say, @JonSkeet, than 0xC0kEHEAD). – scorpiodawg Jul 31 '12 at 21:40

Specificity is the key here. Also, as Robert Harvey commented, you need to show your work.

If you're looking for help with a broad direction (Windows and Linux application that will feed my dog), then your problem can be broken down (interfacing with a motor, cross-platform dev, scheduling, etc.). Do research on smaller pieces and ask about them. That has a good chance of producing a solid SO question which will be amenable to a focused, helpful answer.

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