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Before blowing a few hours or days trying to write something to do a task that may well have been thought up and done before, can I ask about where I could find the code to use or tweak on SO?

I'm concerned that it would basically be a type of question, and that I would be fully acknowledging it. Questions like this tend to get closed very quickly. Is there a way I can avoid that?

And if I can't ask this type of question on SO, is there another site where it would be a better fit?

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The allowability of such a question would depend heavily on phrasing and word choice. There are ways to make it acceptable, and plenty of ways to ensure that it gets closed quickly. I see some of each type on a daily basis. You might consider editing your question here to include a sample question, and let the community comment on that. – Cody Gray May 20 '11 at 3:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think as long as task X is reasonably specific and related to programming, I don't see why not...

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You can turn your question into a:

Does anyone know about libraries to do X if you need it to program something?

Or eventually Super User is the place to ask if you just need a program.

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Program recommendation questions aren't welcome on Super User. – Al E. May 21 '13 at 14:01

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