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So I recently flagged a question that was of the general form

<code block>

[...] I was wondering if there is a better or more correct way to do it.

asking for it to be moved to code review. The flag was declined with the following response:

Please stop with the push to codereview. CR is a SUBSET of StackOverflow. That means we can easily contain questions that are viable on CR. Questions like this can exist in both loca.

If all questions that are appropriate for Code Review are also appropriate and on-topic on Stack Overflow what would be the point in creating CR in the first place? All of the questions can just go on SO if they belong there. It was my understanding that the reason for creating new sites is to create a place for questions that don't belong on any of the existing sites. Sure, there can be some overlap sometimes, but these other sites shouldn't be a complete subset of another, yes?

In any case, I disagree with the premise that all CR questions would be appropriate on SO. A question that simply says, "I was wondering if there is a better or more correct way to do it." is "Not Constructive" on SO as far as I can see. There's no objective means of stating whether an answer is "correct" or not. It's entirely subjective as to what's "better". If these questions shouldn't be moved to Code Review then they would need to be closed as "Not Constructive". I'm not active on CR, but I would assume that they have some means of addressing this issue and therefore have a way of allowing the increased subjectiveness. Rather than having a question like this closed I would think the OP would feel better having their question simply moved to an appropriate site.

So, for an actual question:

  1. Should questions posted on Stack Overflow that are asking for a code review be moved to Code Review?
  2. If the answer to #1 is "no", should they be closed as not constructive?
share|improve this question
The question referred to in the flag is this one, but I'm not here to discuss that one question so much as all questions similar to the described template. –  Servy May 23 '13 at 17:43
I think CodeReview.SE is for "here is a program I made, here's what it does. Is this a good method?". I don't see why that question wouldn't fit in there. –  Rocket Hazmat May 23 '13 at 17:45
@RocketHazmat: I understood SO to be for: this code is not working, how do I fix it? while CR is for: here is working code, did I do it right? What can be improved? –  Martijn Pieters May 23 '13 at 17:52
@MartijnPieters: Yeah, that was my understanding too! –  Rocket Hazmat May 23 '13 at 17:53
@MartijnPieters So did I, which is why this flag declining confused me. –  Servy May 23 '13 at 17:53
And for the record, so far all questions that I flagged as CR material have had those flags marked as helpful. Not all were migrated (not all questions were great) but I have yet to see a declined flag, and certainly nothing as acerbic as your note. –  Martijn Pieters May 23 '13 at 17:53
@MartijnPieters, I'd say there will be situations whereby it's hard to draw the line. What about "Here is working code that is slow (e.g. n or ), Can it be improved? What can be improved?" –  Pacerier Apr 28 at 10:23
@Pacerier: it depends on the question. It sounds ilke it'd be too broad for Stack Overflow, making it off-topic there. –  Martijn Pieters Apr 28 at 11:55
@MartijnPieters, I was referring to your first comment... –  Pacerier Apr 28 at 13:54

1 Answer 1

I've never been a fan of Code Review questions, Mostly because their utility is quite localized. They would be more useful to a wider audience if people took the time to edit their titles into shape and edit the question into something useful to more than just them, but alas.

So if it were up to me, I'd probably close them all as 'too localized' until the author edited [at least] the title into shape. Once they did that, then they could stay here or get punted to Code Review (with the preference being Code Review).

It's not up to me, however.

I'm also not going to send crap to other sites if I can help it though. I've made that mistake before.

As far as why your specific flag was declined, I could only speculate. I know I'll decline a flag (particularly migrations) under the following circumstances:

  • Someone has repeatedly flagged questions of a variety in a short amount of time, in a way that resembles flag farming (probably by using SEDE or Google to select a criteria and flagging posts based on that criteria). I'll decline one or two flags and communicate to them that their time is better spent organically flagging items.

  • I'm in a particular mood. I've looked at my decline/mark helpful patterns with flags, and there are some days I'm more likely to take a strict stance at marking helpful, and other days I'll mark pretty much everything helpful. I'm human.

  • The question has an answer on this site, and there's good content in that answer. If it's a site's topic that could be interchangeable, I'm just going to leave it here. We don't want an exodus of Good content, even if it's also applicable on another site.

As a general point (not related to your specific situation):

Code Review is a specialized site, and it's important that we help keep their signal to noise ratio high by not migrating bad questions. It's even more important to make sure we keep our signal to noise ratio high and that a question is useful to more than just the person who asked it.

If that means less migrations and more closings, then I don't see how that's a bad thing.

share|improve this answer
Hmm, so it's about the question's quality, not what it's asking? –  Rocket Hazmat May 23 '13 at 17:55
@RocketHazmat Yes. If we migrate crap, it gets rejected (as it should). –  George Stocker May 23 '13 at 17:56
Well, I hadn't flagged a question for migration to CR for at least a month (after which point I stopped checking the log, it's probably been noticeably longer) so it's not the first option. Perhaps another user was doing so at the same time? –  Servy May 23 '13 at 17:58
As to them being localized, that I can agree with entirely. I imagine that would be a major issue that the entire CR site needs to deal with. Had that been the response I wouldn't have been bothered by it (much). –  Servy May 23 '13 at 18:00
@Servy I've asked the moderator who handled your flag to chime in. So we'll see what he says. –  George Stocker May 23 '13 at 18:01
@Servy I've also updated my answer to handle declinations on migrations specifically –  George Stocker May 23 '13 at 18:05
@Servy: We've had a rash of them. Might have been a mistake to deny yours; sometimes you mis-remember which user is flagging which for what. But migrating to CR is not exactly something that requires mods to act, in general. They've been taken off the migration options due to people not sending over good stuff (probably bugs, as most "migrate to CR" flags are about buggy code, which is OT there). And they're not hurting for content. And asking questions about your code is definitely not off topic here. Meh, all around. –  Won't May 23 '13 at 18:35
@Won't Well, as I stated, questions like this are at least often going to be "not constructive" on SO, if not too localized as George mentioned, so if it would have been appropriate on CR I would prefer to migrate it rather than closing it. As for it not requiring a mod action; it's no on the migration list, so other than the OP re-asking, and any existing answers being re-posted, how would you migrate without a mod? –  Servy May 23 '13 at 18:40

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