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What type of SO question is voted up, highly viewed, and invariably closed? Answer: This versus that questions.

Maybe there should be an area51 site devoted exclusively to stackoverflow this versus that questions. The format could be standard SE, or some subtle tweaks could be proposed to fit this type of question.

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flamewars.stackexchange.com? –  madth3 Feb 13 '13 at 0:43
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Why this versus that? Why not this versus that or that or that or that? The problem with these questions is that it invites comparisons between every pair of two things that could possibly be compared in any way. –  animuson Feb 13 '13 at 0:44
    
why? because people ask exactly those questions. the idea is based on a set of existing content on the site that has demand but does not fit the site's rules. –  ted.strauss Feb 13 '13 at 0:46
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@ted.strauss: A far more useful thing to do would be to make a chart that has all the possibilities along one axis and all the features along another axis. Stack Exchange isn't the place to make that chart though. –  animuson Feb 13 '13 at 0:49
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You may be interested in reading Gorilla vs. Shark on the Stack Overflow blog. –  Josh Caswell Feb 13 '13 at 3:09
    
"Maybe there should be an area51 site devoted exclusively to stackoverflow this versus that questions." And maybe there shouldn't. Yeah, let's go with that. –  Jack Maney Feb 13 '13 at 3:41
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1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I suppose you are welcome to make such a suggestion, or piggyback on one that already exists, but here's the problem:

The overall design, layout, and workflow of the Stack Exchange sites does not lend itself well to such questions. "This vs. That" invariably leads to everyone wanting to get in their opinion on This or That. Many, many answers are posted as a result... none of them significantly more 'right' or 'wrong' than the rest - yet some will get up-voted, and others not; Giving an incorrect impression to those who come and read later, and give up when they reach the end of page one (or much, much sooner).

This type of question is better suited to a forum; where people can post a long string of opinions and discussion. That is very much not what the Stack Exchange sites are meant to be.

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A tangential point: Those "long strings of opinions" that forums allow is one reason I long since gave up on forums as being of any use whatsoever, with exceedingly rare exceptions. The Internet is rife with memes concerning the flame wars that forums have inspired and nurtured. –  Andrew's a Unitato Feb 13 '13 at 0:51
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