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The question: Tips for using Google when looking for C stuff, rather than C++?

The FAQ says the following:

We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • software tools commonly used by programmers

I definitely consider Google to be a software tool commonly used by programmers. The question I asked also is a real problem I have with this tool, and looking to solve. So why was it closed?

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closed as off-topic by CRABOLO, Doorknob, Aziz Shaikh, gnat, Lance Roberts Jan 22 '15 at 15:54

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – CRABOLO, Doorknob, Aziz Shaikh, gnat, Lance Roberts
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

My gut feeling is it should be closed, but I'm not sure which one of the rules supports it :) – Pëkka Dec 8 '12 at 16:41
Head long into the rush of – random Dec 8 '12 at 17:11
You're asking about how Google works, that's simply not a programming question. – casperOne Dec 9 '12 at 2:29

Google is a tool that programmers use, but it's hardly exclusive to programmers. There are a seemingly infinite number of verbs that can come after "As a [foo] programmer, how do I .." .. and we're simply not equipped to handle that. Consider the following:

Well, darn it, you let the person wondering how to use Google as a programmer ask their question, why can't I ask the same about Excel?

Sooner or later, you'll get someone asking about boating as a programmer. That, actually happened. Programmers could conceivably use anything to get our jobs done, heck we use rubber ducks. We have to draw a line, so we ask that the tool you're asking about be rather exclusively used by programmers. That is what is meant by tools that programmers use.

If you've got a question about an editor, a compiler, a debugger .. we're here to help provided that the problem relates to programming. Tips on how to narrow down Google searches (essentially, what you're asking) are of a far broader interest than a very programming specific community.

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Honing the Google is more Web Apps – random Dec 8 '12 at 17:10

"How to Google something?" is not really a programming question. Even if you end up Google-ing programming related content. So as such I would say it's off topic.

The whole "software tool commonly used by programmers" angle doesn't really work either. I'm sure most of us commonly use a browser. Or some IM program. That doesn't mean questions about those fall under this header. Questions about IDEs, compilers, etc. would fall under this header.

All in all, I would say it's off-topic indeed.

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But you could make the argument that how to Google something C specific is very, very programming related in a way. This is a really weird edge case... – Pëkka Dec 8 '12 at 16:48
@Pekka I disagree. That is simply a topic-specific rephrasing of a more general "How do I search for X, excluding Y" type question. I would not be able to suggest an appropriate SE, but I don't think the question itself is enough programming related by virtue of the content searched for. – Bart Dec 8 '12 at 16:50

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