Provided Example Question
Has the lack of Flash support on the iPad impacted your technology decision in a recent Rich Internet Application project? If so, how?
I have four responses:
Who is an expert?
Consider these SO users. Which of them are experts, for the purposes of this question?
- I own an iPad.
- I am a prominent marketer for Apple working on the iPad.
- I am a Flash Developer.
- I wrote a Flash game once.
- I'm new to the internet, I just learned C.
Obviously, none of them could be considered experts by the criteria supplied in the question ("made a technology decision for a project"). How do we stop them from answering? We can't.
What makes their opinion valid?
Ok, so having actually made a decision is rather limiting; each of these users could qualify as someone who has needed to make such a decision. But, their considerations would be wildly divergent.
Why is this question generalizable?
Anyone who is making technological decisions relating to a project has a myriad of factors to aggregate. For instance:
- Available developer / team-lead / support resources
- Time to design / implement application
- Difficulty debugging / training / using this technology
- Functionality planned / required / possible with this technology
Even if some small portion of such information is described in an answer on Stack Overflow, what makes you think that the information left out isn't relevant? Each of those factors will weigh differently for different users, and will have an enormous impact on each of the other decisions.
These items are not weighed in isolation, so excluding any of that information will hide some of the reasoning behind the information that was disclosed.
Why would they get voted up?
This is by far the most important part: it's the general populace, the people you wanted to exclude because they are not experts, they will be voting based on... whatever they feel like.
Generally, better formatted answers get voted up. Better written answers. Especially on subjective questions, presentation is everything. You must be more convincing not more correct.
So by encouraging these questions, you face the difficulty of only targeting experts, making sure they are experts, finding relevant information, and then convincing only relevant users to vote for it. And then you still have the problem that there is no one answer: the Stack Overflow format is designed around the concept of a question with a Single Correct Answer. Your suggestion completely ignores that, inviting in questions that are not well supported by the software itself.