Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 157 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

The question is a little vague, so let me elaborate: I want to ask whether or not the uers of Stack Overflow include return 0 in their code even though ISO C++ doesn't require it. This doesn't really affect the code except to close out main() more clearly, but I am curious about it. Is this kind of question okay to ask on Stack Overflow?

share|improve this question
no, you cannot ask whether programmers prefer Cheetos or Doritos when they code... – quack quixote Apr 6 '10 at 1:06
up vote 9 down vote accepted

In my experience, it tends to depend on how you phrase it.

  • Do you return 0 from main()? - will almost certainly be closed.
  • Is it better to return 0 from main()? - very likely to be closed.
  • Should I always return 0 from main()? - fairly likely to be closed.
  • When should I return 0 from main()? - might stay open.
  • What are the reasons for/against returning 0 from main()? - probably will stay open.

In essence, if you're able to phrase the question in such a way that you are asking for facts as opposed to opinions, the likelihood of staying open goes up (but it still might get closed, especially if it's a dupe as gnovice has pointed out).

Disclaimer: Standards tend to vary somewhat among sub-communities on Stack Overflow, and I'm not sure how the C/C++ folks would react to these; I am pretty confident in the accuracy of these statements for the .NET/SQL groups.

share|improve this answer
This is good information. I don't really think that other question is asking the same thing, so it wouldn't really be a dupe. – Maulrus Apr 6 '10 at 0:35

It's not, because you are asking a user's opinion.

It will be closed as subjective and argumentative:
It's impossible to objectively answer this question; questions of this type are too open ended and usually lead to confrontation and argument.

share|improve this answer
yea, in theory it's correct, but in practice we have a ton of these kind of questions. Just look at the entire best-practices tag. – Earlz Apr 6 '10 at 0:22
Just because we have a ton of these questions does not make it ok – juanformoso Apr 6 '10 at 0:26
Well does that mean I can't ask any questions that could result in differing opinions? I mean, there's only two choices with return 0, and it seems like a valid best-practices question looking at the other ones on there. – Maulrus Apr 6 '10 at 0:28
try it @mau, report here the result... – juanformoso Apr 6 '10 at 0:33

It's the big huge gray area. Label it as best-practices and make it CW and it may survive though

share|improve this answer

Whether or not you should ask your question is probably a moot point, since it is already pretty much addressed by this other existing question. To summarize the answers there, there will be an implicit return 0 if you don't explicitly add it, so the inclusion or exclusion of a return statement is a subjective individual preference that doesn't appear to matter (and therefore requires no real discussion, in my opinion).

So, not only could your question get closed for being a bit too subjective, it could also be closed as a duplicate.

share|improve this answer
Eh, but that doesn't really answer my question. I understand that it's inserted by default if you don't include it, but I want to know if people /do/ include it. I've seen differing opinions on different places on the web, which I why I'm curious to see the general consensus. – Maulrus Apr 6 '10 at 0:32
@Maulrus: I think it does answer your question, because it points out that there is no real objective difference between the two different cases, and it is thus a purely subjective matter (discussions of which aren't generally welcomed on SO). – gnostradamus Apr 6 '10 at 0:39
I agree – juanformoso Apr 6 '10 at 0:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .