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The most recent article @ Mozilla Hacks features infographic that included information about web developers perception of online communities. While Stack Overflow is highly popular there is a few areas of concern, particularly "site organization", uniqueness of information and the accessibility of the owner/leader.

I was wondering if some policies, such as preserving multiple duplicates are contributing towards the negative image of Stack Overflow among web developers.

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I just saw it and thought 'wow, what a great score we got!'... but kudos to you for trying to improve it.. –  Michael Pryor Nov 30 '10 at 22:20
@Michael: due to the survey objectives SO weren't compared to the any of the QA community, but I'd love to see that comparison! –  SilentGhost Nov 30 '10 at 22:28
Jimmy Wales is more accessible than Jeff/Joel/Jon??? –  ЯegDwight Nov 30 '10 at 22:32
@Red:I'm sure 57 and 58 are the same number for all intents and purposes. –  SilentGhost Nov 30 '10 at 22:37
My point is that the figures should be not just the other way round, but also more like 0 vs 100. I have been contributing to Wikipedia since 2003, I am a Wiktionary bureaucrat, and I am not entirely inactive on meta.wikimedia, yet I have never even crossed Jimmy Wales' path. Compare that to StackExchange, where I constantly run into Jeff and Joel. –  ЯegDwight Nov 30 '10 at 23:01
@Red: good point. But I'd doubt that the visibility/accessibility of our corporate overlords is something that can be tweaked with the change in policy. It is also important to note, that the average user is probably not as involved on meta as one might expect, therefore his view point would be somewhat different to ours. –  SilentGhost Nov 30 '10 at 23:15
I don't understand why "owner/leader accessible" is a factor in the rating at all. –  mmyers Nov 30 '10 at 23:24
Let's plaster a big banner across every page with Jeff's Personal Appeal, that will fix that perception. –  Uphill Luge Dec 1 '10 at 0:48
Based on their findings, I guess we should totally drop that and use jQuery. –  gnostradamus Dec 1 '10 at 2:00
I look at that infographic and think: ① Since when is Wikipedia a Web developer community? ② The "visits to company-affilated sites" metric is misleading at best, given that many respondents found out about the survey from visiting MDN, ③ SO got great numbers given that most questions by respondents would be considered off-topic on SO, and ④ The "accessible leader" thing isn't that surprising given that your average web dev with an SO question isn't likely to run into Jeff or Joel—whereas everyone on WP HAS to look at Wales. –  Dori Dec 1 '10 at 2:57
@Reg Wales is extremely accessible -- just go to any Wikipedia article and he's right there at the top :) –  Michael Mrozek Dec 1 '10 at 6:52
@Dori: how did you make those nifty numbers with circles (1, 2, 3, 4)? –  Peter Mortensen Dec 1 '10 at 18:00
@Dori: re: 1) A long stretch, but it could refer to the Wikipedia Reference desk for Computing that works like a Q&A site , e.g. DOM/HTML5/JavaScript, Checking the size of a canvas element and A painfully simple perplexing CSS question. –  Peter Mortensen Dec 1 '10 at 18:05
@Peter - I Unicode. –  Dori Dec 1 '10 at 21:25
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2 Answers

That report says:

a lot of people self-selected as both a web developer and designer

While the SO FAQ says:

If your question is about … Web design and HTML/CSS layout, and your job title is "designer", ask on Doctype.

So the answer to your question:

I was wondering if some policies … are contributing towards the negative image of Stack Overflow among web developers.

is definitely "yes."

If "a lot of people" who answered the survey think of themselves (at least partly) as designers, and the SO FAQ tells Web designers that their HTML/CSS/Layout questions are unwelcome not just on SO, but on any SE site, then it's not really surprising if SO isn't better loved by that group.

Yes, I know that there's no shortage of HTML, CSS, and even Web design questions—but they're from people who either don't read FAQs or don't care. Is that really who we want to favor?

My preferred solution, btw, would be to see any of these currently existing Area51 proposals take off: Web Development & Design, Web Design, and/or CSS Expertise.

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well, the popularity percent of the SO is rather high, and if you look at the top of the graphic there is a breakdown by what actual development respondents did. As you can see there are plenty of legitimate SO stuff there, and not just html/css. –  SilentGhost Dec 1 '10 at 23:14
@SilentGhost - I was just answering your question: what policies I thought might influence how SO is perceived by those who answered the survey. I agree with Jeff that SO did impressively well overall—and the FAQ does make it pretty clear that designers ain't welcome on SE. –  Dori Dec 2 '10 at 2:35
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I agree with Dori's answer. This was my reaction as well : this survey is a little skewed toward designers. And obviously for design there's no way we're going to be as good as, say A List Apart.

favorite developer communities

Anyway, it's an honor to be on the list and I thought we did great. Not that we can't improve...

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