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Sometimes when I ask a syntax question about the Apache Module mod_rewrite, I get at least one comment and close vote saying "belongs on serverfault". Recent example here.

I strongly disagree with this. Mod_rewrite's rewrite rules have conditions and basic flow control. The rules are distributed as text files along the web application or web site itself. They are an integral part of the product - not the server they are set up on.

I understand that specific server setup questions ("How do I set up IIS with multiple sites?", even "my mod_rewrite rules don't work on my Apache") belong on SF. But how to write mod_rewrite rules is definitely programming related IMO.

Also, we are merrily answering tens of thousands of HTML and CSS questions on SO, even though these are arguably much less "programming" related. We also already have 1,125 mod_rewrite related questions.

I would like to know what the official position on this is.

share|improve this question
    
I agree, but I seem to remember Jeff disagreeing in a comment on one of these. Might be wrong though - will be interested to find out! –  Dominic Rodger Feb 11 '10 at 12:38
    
It would be nice to have clarification, as there are other classes of posts that sit in the grey area, such as those about maintaining build tools (e.g. stackoverflow.com/questions/2244638/… ) –  Rowland Shaw Feb 11 '10 at 13:37
2  
only 1 and 1/8th mod_rewrite questions? That's not very many... –  Jeff Atwood Feb 12 '10 at 11:51
    
@Pekka's other trolling account: I disagree probably equally strong. Sure, I can't boast as many reputation points as you, but let me try to describe my reasons. Obviously I am one of those you refer to, even though your question is from before my time on SE. It's new to me that basic flow control implies "programming" in any way. Natural language has a flow control of a kind, yet you wouldn't accept questions about it on SO. /etc/network/interfaces in Debian/Ubuntu has basic flow-control? Now where does it belong? Obviously this is to complex a topic to discuss in a few comments, though. –  0xC0000022L Jun 6 '11 at 0:38
    
Oh, one more thing. +1 - since the discussion is worth it, IMO - although we disagree. And I think that HTML/CSS questions don't belong on SO either. (La)TeX, another "markup language" has its own site on SE ... –  0xC0000022L Jun 6 '11 at 0:40
    
mod_rewrite is a DSL in it's own right and 99% of the time it's a developer who's asking the question because they're building stuff that does pretty urls and the like. –  Kev Jun 13 '11 at 12:23

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

My official opinion is that mod_rewrite and build tools can fit in both places.

Unless there's some particular tone of the question that tilts it heavily toward "sysadmin" or "programmer" I think they are usually fine where they were originally asked (SF or SO).

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how do "build tools" fit on SF? Could you please explain the reasoning behind that? –  0xC0000022L Jun 6 '11 at 0:39
    
@status I don't know why I said that. I agree that build tools are going to skew heavily towards programmers. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 6 '11 at 3:45
    
I don't know when webmasters.stackexchange went live, but I'm fairly confused as to where htaccess should now fit. According to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/80064/… questions about mod_rewrite rules are on-topic there, however when I pointed this question from SO (stackoverflow.com/questions/8512637/…) to WM (webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/23381/…), it was closed on WM as off topic, but I can't see why it's OT. Any further thoughts on this? –  Chris J Dec 15 '11 at 18:37
    
@chris that question is very programmery, since it references "the code base" (among other signals). It depends what perspective you are asking from, in this case, it's clearly a programmer's perspective, not a webmaster. –  Jeff Atwood Dec 16 '11 at 0:22

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