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I just noticed that Git for beginners: The definitive practical guide was closed and locked just over a month ago with the note that such questions are no longer accepted by the community.

Is this really the position we want to take as a community?

Organizational and "guide" questions help locate duplicates

We get a lot of beginner duplicate questions - some object's value is null in C# as an example - and it's always difficult to quickly find the canonical question to provide as duplicate. Similar to the way that the faq is organized - as a meta question with links to all the common faq questions - wouldn't we find value to have such organizing meta questions on stack overflow?

This would make it easy for 3k and up users to find the canonical question - easier than simply answering the questions, which is what often happens now.

Organizational and "guide" questions can act as introductions to new technology

Further, it would provide a starting point for beginners in a given technology. There is currently no easy way to learn, for instance, Haskall on Stack Overflow. Yes, the site's primary purpose is to answer questions and solve problems, but there is a lot of excellent beginner material that simply lacks organization in a manner that would make it easy for beginners to start climbing that ladder. Those of you who have tried to learn a technology via searches and tags understand the problem.

I believe that the Git question referenced above serves both purposes for the very simple GIT usage questions, and I find it hard to believe that Stack Overflow does not want to incorporate such organizational meta questions.

share|improve this question
It's worth mentioning that the Git question is in the top 250 question with most views on Stack Overflow (ie, it has more views than 99.99% of the questions on SO). While we shouldn't optomize for bad questions that get lots of views, we should carefully consider whether this is really a bad question or not, and whether we should encourage users to create similar questions, while holding them to very high standards. – Adam Davis Jul 7 '11 at 4:26
Also, this wouldn't then extend to questions such as List of freely available programming books - these could not be decomposed into a list of existing stackoverflow questions, and so would still be off topic. Practical guides and organizational questions would still have to meet the other standards of the site, they would merely be larger macro questions to help people find dupes and get beginners started. – Adam Davis Jul 7 '11 at 4:33
-1: Not because I don't like the idea, but because I can't see it work out in the current system. SO is Q&A, definite questions with definite answers. Re-Introducing list-like questions might open the door for more evil things, like What is the best [portal device]. Additionally it is hard to judge answers to such a question in a subjective manner, it's a mere I like it, too and not a It was helpful. That's the whole point why community wiki for questions was removed, to discourage such questions. While they are a nice addition, I can't see them fit into todays SO. – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 7 '11 at 15:59
@Bobby "Best" style questions wouldn't be allowed in any case. The two types of questions (best vs organizational guides) are not related in any way - off topic questions still wouldn't be allowed. Answers to such a question could be used in a variety of ways. Check out… as an example of one way that answers help organize the question. The reason CW questions were removed was because people were abusing them as an excuse to post off topic questions. Again, these organizational qustions would be required to be on topic. – Adam Davis Jul 7 '11 at 16:05
Some of this can be subsumed by tag wikis, assuming people actually find them. – mmyers Jul 8 '11 at 4:02

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