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I'm especially referring to http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12124035/information-external-libraries-count-by-programming-language (currently deleted) but have seen similar stuff before.

Does anyone have statistics on the external available libraries per programming language? I am interested in information on Java, C++, Python, C# and Ruby.

I don't get why this question is flagged down as vague or not constructive.

Sure there might be some need for clarification, like "what is the meaning of 'external'" but the basic question is really quite strait forward. Although the answer might not.

Also the argument brought forward the answer would change every day isn't really valid since it applies to most questions. Languages and libraries change every day, so the 'correct' approach to solve any problem might change tomorrow.

While the exact number of libraries changes every minute, the relation and the order of magnitude will stay relevant for quite some time.

So why do such questions, that don't have a simple to identify answer, get such a bashing?

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Precisely because they don't have a simple to identify answer. (Note that this is not the same as "simple answer" or "easy answer", which seems to be implied in your title.) –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Aug 25 '12 at 17:33
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Additionally, languages and libraries may change every day in source control, but even Google Chrome with its stupidly rapid release cycle doesn't see a major stable release every day. Library releases, on the other hand, pop up way too often and all over the place. It's very hard to keep track of for statistics. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Aug 25 '12 at 17:35
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It's not a difficult question, it's a vague question. It's overly broad too; covering several languages with a request for general statistics without clarifying what that means. –  Martijn Pieters Aug 25 '12 at 17:37
    
Most good questions are atomic and specific to a version or library. Difficult doesn't mean needing to constantly update the meaning of current. –  random Aug 25 '12 at 17:37
    
There's a huge difference between answers that might be obsolete tomorrow and answers that are guaranteed to be obsolete literally tomorrow. –  Bill the Lizard Aug 25 '12 at 17:57

1 Answer 1

The question you linked is the poster child for everything that sucks about traditional internet forums.

The question is:

  • An invitation to engage in extended discussion
  • A Big list
  • Very broad
  • Too vague to be answerable.

Traditional internet forums already service those needs, albeit poorly. SE serves a different purpose: to raise the signal to noise ratio, to make more wheat. To do that, we have to give up some of the chaff.

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You can add that even if a complete and correct answer were given, it would be fast obsolete. So this can't be useful for a site like SO. –  dystroy Aug 25 '12 at 17:48

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