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Given the commotion around 'banning' web-apps from Super User and that Jeff already suggested it as a 'new' Trilogy site, I would like to ask for some help defining the proposal for a Web Applications Stack Exchange site.

Though I've made a proposal on meta.stackexchange.com, I think that not everyone interested in this site is actually looking on MSE, so therefore this shameless plug! If you want this site: put your votes and comments where your mouth is!

From MSE:

The topic

This site will be aimed at questions on using web applications. The first that come to mind (and which are explicitly banned from SU) are Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress. Though off course Google Apps or Gmail and other web apps would suffice.


Target Audience

People who have questions about using web apps

Personally I would love this site to replace the current help/support forums of the above named sites. But excluding the following:


On-topic questions


Off-topic questions

I would love to get some feedback on the following discussion points:

There might be a problem with the scope of this site.

  • As to quote Jeff Atwood:

    such a site would be ridiculously broad -- "ask questions here about .. uh .. any website on the internet!!" So I hope you can see why we don't want this for SU which is already quite broad in scope.

  • Perhaps the current scope (any question on any site) might be a little ambitious, I'm sure we will find a compromise somewhere.

There's also a grey-area, considering things like:

  • Where's the border between asking how to put in some code for Google Analytics on your Wordpress blog and changing the CSS layout? The first would fit this site, the other DocType or StackOverflow if it required some programming.
  • Chrome OS, is it a real OS like Windows/OSX and does it belong on Super User? Or is it one large web app and belongs it on this site?
  • Browsers vs web apps, some questions might be about integration of specific web apps into the browser. Is this a browser or a web apps question or perhaps both?
  • Desktop/Adobe Air apps, things like TweetDeck and Adobe Air or Mozilla's Prism create a grey area around desktop and web apps. I would say these are on-topic here and make them off-topic for Super User.
  • SEO and website optimization, given that people will ask questions about using a website, it might lead to people also wanting to ask questions related to managing their website. I would consider these off-topic, since this would be more for creators rather than users of websites. Plus there are already several proposals for these kind of topics, which would suit the questions better.

So any suggestions on making the distinction clear would be great!

Oh and please propose a name as well!

For anyone interested: help commit to the proposal!

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closed as off-topic by Al E., Hugo Dozois, hims056, Azik, РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Mar 14 at 6:10

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The problem described here can no longer be reproduced. Changes to the system or to the circumstances affecting the asker have rendered it obsolete. If you encounter a similar problem, please post a new question." – Al E., Hugo Dozois, hims056, Azik, РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
PageNotFound.com? –  Gnoupi May 6 '10 at 8:50
1  
What about AwSnap.com? –  fretje May 6 '10 at 12:14

2 Answers 2

Good definition in general, I think.

About the server fault dilemma, we have to think with SF main line:

Server Fault is for system administrators and IT professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity. If you are in charge of ...

  • servers
  • networks
  • many desktop PCs (other than your own)

... then you're in the right place to ask your question! Well, as long as the question is about your servers, your networks, or desktops you support, anyway.

For SF, I think the main question before asking is "who are you?", "what is your job?".


A bit of my opinion on the grey areas:

  • Where's the border between asking how to put in some code for Google Analytics on your Wordpress blog and changing the CSS layout? The first would fit this site, the other DocType or StackOverflow if it required some programming.

Like the initial sentence, this site is for questions about using web apps. Putting some code for Google, we can consider it's about using Google analytics, but that's mostly all. Rest is indeed more for website creation/edition, and should be redirected somewhere else.

  • Chrome OS, is it a real OS like Windows/OSX and does it belong on Super User? Or is it one large web app and belongs it on this site?

Like currently with SU: if the issue is about installing and maintaining the system (recognizing hardware, installing drivers, setting Chrome, it is for SU. Anything which happens on a web app accessed from Chrome OS would be for this other site.

  • Browsers vs web apps, some questions might be about integration of specific web apps into the browser. Is this a browser or a web apps question or perhaps both?

Depends indeed on the question. If the issue is about installing it, or what exists to install, SU. If it's about using it, and it requires setting something on a distant server, this site.

  • Desktop/Adobe Air apps, things like TweetDeck and Adobe Air or Mozilla's Prism create a grey area around desktop and web apps. I would say these are on-topic here and make them off-topic for Super User.

As far as I'm concerned, as a user, an Adobe Air application is something I launch from my computer, without caring about the connection (Balsamiq Mockups, for example). It is delivered and updated through a quite automatic online system, but as a user, all I see is a desktop application.

  • SEO and website optimization, given that people will ask questions about using a website, it might lead to people also wanting to ask questions related to managing their website. I would consider these off-topic, since this would be more for creators rather than users of websites. Plus there are already several proposals for these kind of topics, which would suit the questions better.

Same point here, I think the key to keep the scope is the using. Managing server is more for SF, optimizing is more for SO or doctype.


For names, I think we can take inspiration from the usual error codes (though seeing them for an actual webpage feels weird):

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Thanks for the good comments, it would help if the site would have multiple cross-site moderators, who know what questions belong where and transfer them appropriately. And I like your name suggestions! –  Ivo Flipse May 6 '10 at 10:07

This site has some problems as defined. Anything where asking about functionality on "any website on earth" is a valid question ... is going to be utter freaking chaos.

  • Bloggers, how do you deal with spam?
  • How do I make Facebook block a friend’s Mafia Wars updates?
  • Facebook: Upload problem with the (java) photo uploader
  • How do I download photos tagged of me from Facebook?
  • How do I search someone’s tweets?
  • Can I auto-forward Gmail to multiple addresses?

Did you notice that: (3) of these questions are about Facebook? Hmm?

I think we should scope it. Probably just to Facebook since they're by far the most dominant and popular site, and apparently growing by the size of Albania every second.

I mean, we could do "Facebook and Twitter and GMail!" but.. where does it end? Why aren't we including, say, NewsVine and Reddit and ESPN and .. my god, the list is endless.

So, stick to Facebook. We can cover both API and power user functionality in the same site.

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1  
The list of installable programs and hardware combinations is "endless" as well. That doesn't prevent SU from running correctly with all these possibilities. –  Gnoupi May 6 '10 at 11:00
2  
Making a site only for Facebook is likely to answer 80% of questions with links to their help center, for the user questions. The point of a wider site is like for the rest of the trilogy, to cover also smaller cases, for which you won't find an instant answer on a dedicated help center. It would be like making a ServerFault site where only Exchange questions could go. –  Gnoupi May 6 '10 at 11:05
    
I simply checked for Super User questions on websites and used Facebook as an example. There isn't that much complex functionality in Facebook on a user level, not a programmer! –  Ivo Flipse May 6 '10 at 11:18
    
Also I didn't exclude sites like Reddit and ESPN, I simply haven't come across any at Super User yet. –  Ivo Flipse May 6 '10 at 11:19
1  
What's the point in opening a SE site only for facebook? Those guys have their support forum already. It'll end up the same like super user. People will ask questions about other sites and they will get closed. This site is just so these questions can stay open, or get migrated there! –  fretje May 6 '10 at 12:06
1  
Like @Ivo also mentions here: "SO shows you can have multiple, distinct programming languages on one site and gain a much larger community. The same goes for websites." –  fretje May 6 '10 at 12:16
    
It will be the new trashcan for the Trilogy! –  Ivo Flipse May 6 '10 at 13:09

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