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I was looking at the different Stack Exchange sites and noticed that there is a Drupal.SE which is cool, but then I was looking on Area 51 and noticed that a proposal for a Ruby on Rails site was closed as an exact duplicate of Stack Overflow.

Hence my question, why do the people at Drupal (I admit, it is a bad platform so they do have lots of questions) get their own centralized QA area while the Ruby on Rails developers don't?

So lots of debate, and Pekka has even been so kind as to draw a picture. I would like to point out that there are not just a few dozen questions that should be closed as off-topic on Stack Overflow about Ruby on Rails, but there are literally thousands and thousands of them (I know, I'm a full time Ruby on Rails developer.) See this question asked by me right here for a perfect example that can lead you to hundreds of others.

So @RobertHarvy, you have a point, but only to a certain extent. At some point the existence of all of those questions does in fact become evidence...

(As a note, I'm joking about Drupal, though only kind of, sort of...)

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Drupal is a CMS, Rails is a... wait a minute... – BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 7 '13 at 17:46
Drupal is a CMS. Rails is a software development framework. SO is about software development, and already has a ruby-on-rails tag. – Robert Harvey Feb 7 '13 at 17:58
Yeah, this is comparing apples with oranges. As far as I grasp RoR, it's an application framework. Drupal is a full-blown web application. A more apt comparison would be RoR vs. a site solely about Zend Framework, which would likely be closed like the RoR site. – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:00
@RobertHarvey and Pekka, Ruby on Rails is a framework true, but it also has a full blown ecosystem behind it to support rails developers. See, and there are plenty of questions on SO about rails, that are not exactly programming related, in fact I have asked questions about installing rails, that are not programming related... – ryan Feb 7 '13 at 18:07
@ryanOptini: Stack Overflow is not a perfect filter; you can't use as evidence the existence of off-topic questions, because we don't catch them all. – Robert Harvey Feb 7 '13 at 18:08
@ryan mmm as far as I can see, questions about installing rails would indeed be on-topic on SO to some extent. I can't really pass definite judgement here, but I'm pretty sure that's the case – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:08
@Pekka웃 I can see that point of view, but when there are thousands of questions about, using the framework, and not about programming, then doesn't it sorta fall over into the same categorie? – ryan Feb 7 '13 at 18:09
Rails has a 0-day vulnerabilities... – Cole Johnson Feb 7 '13 at 18:12
@ryan can you point to some examples of questions like that? That would help me understand – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:19
@Pekka웃 I just posted one in my question. – ryan Feb 7 '13 at 18:20
@ryan that one hasn't been voted off topic, though - it's been upvoted and answered? I think this falls under the tools commonly used by programmers rule – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:22
@Cole Johnson: So does Drupal, and just about every other program in existence. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 7 '13 at 18:27
@Pekka웃 it would, if rmagick wasn't specific to the RoR platform.... that's what I mean, there are these tools, thousands of them, that are specific to RoR, not software development. – ryan Feb 7 '13 at 18:30
@ryanOptini the community seems to think they're on-topic, though. Not one "off topic" vote (not that I'd actively be against a RoR site personally, but I guess the seeming 99% overlap with SO is the reason why it was closed) – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:36
@Pekka웃 I see a little less overlap then that. I also think that the community accepts these as on topic because they have no where else to go... and who is looking at these besides RoR developers? So it's not so much the community that's accepting them, but the RoR dev's. – ryan Feb 7 '13 at 18:39
up vote 26 down vote accepted

This seems to be comparing apples with oranges. As far as I grasp Ruby on Rails, it's an application framework. Drupal is a full-blown web application. A more apt comparison would be Ruby on Rails vs. a site solely about, say, Zend Framework, which would likely be closed like the Ruby on Rails site.

To me, the point of having a Drupal site is that being an application with a front-end, the topic contains an endless possibility of questions that are not programming questions, and hence off topic on Stack Overflow. Whenever that's the case, it makes sense to start a spin-off. I don't think the same can be said about Ruby on Rails.

Or, expressed as a scientific infographic:

Enter image description here

The similarity of Stack Overflow with a Death Star is entirely coincidental.

I do not know Ruby on Rails well, so if I'm wrong here, feel free to correct me.

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It looks to me like your Drupal circle has about 1.564% too much in common with SO, from my calculations. +1 anyway. – Andrew Barber Feb 7 '13 at 18:09
@Servy fixed! ---- – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:21
@Pekka웃 There is now a distinct lack of death star in your post :( – Servy Feb 7 '13 at 18:23
@Andrew this is based on the data dump, so it's not totally up to date. Hence the digression (actually 1.565% by the way) – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:25
@Servy true! Truth or Death-Star-Ness? It's a difficult choice. – Pëkka Feb 7 '13 at 18:25

There are plenty of Drupal questions that would be off-topic on Stack Overflow. You can use Drupal without writing a single line of code. Questions about configuring the various options of Drupal, about which modules to use are off-topic on SO.

Proposals are usually only closed as duplicates if they are a full subset of an existing site. In the Drupal case there is a significant amount of overlap with SO, but also a large number of questions that don't fit on SO.

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"You can [sort of] use Drupal without writing a single line of code." FTFY. – JCL1178 Feb 9 '13 at 7:54

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