I noticed that the post "Best Java book you have read so far" has been recently migrated to Programmers:

Programmers Java Book Migration

While a similar post The Definitive C++ Book Guide and List is still sitting silently on SO, enjoying its time, and not even being closed.

My confusions:

  1. Is there anyone so hostile to Java, that s/he did this to this post? EDIT: Okay, I take it back. This is actually a joke, so if I offended anyone, I apologize.

  2. Is this migration really necessary, considering this is definitely programming related, and is a good place for people to learn from, and is a pretty famous question?

  3. Is this migration appropriate, since this post has such a long and glorious history (not only near three years, but also with almost 200 upvotes and many great replies)?

I am confused about the distinction between programmers and SO. At times it just seems there is a fine line too thin for us mortals to comprehend.

  • 1
    Now that you have pointed it out, I have a bad feeling that someone is going to migrate the C++ book question too. :-( I wish those old questions are simply closed because now rules have changed instead of migrating them.
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 14:09
  • The only strange thing here is that the question was actually migrated, rather than simply being closed or deleted on SO. It's not a particularly high quality question and it reads more like a poll than a question in the first place. I doubt there was a mass conspiracy involved... Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 14:15
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    We have most of the 'not constructive but famous' questions locked and labeled. It looks like this one slipped through the cracks. We really need to dig up the rest and label them, or new moderators might not realize that a consensus regarding these types of questions was already reached.
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 14:23
  • @Tim Post: If I come across any such questions, under which category should I flag those questions?
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 14:35
  • 1
    @Siva - "Other" and let us know. We then see if mods on other sites feel comfortable accepting it .. and if not we lock it and insert a label at the bottom. I realize that doesn't actually fix the issue of having them around, but it's the best compromise we have for now between all concerned.
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 14:43
  • @Tim Post: Sure, I will flag any such question. I found one in meta as well meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16250/… Does meta questions belong to same category of locking?
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 14:46
  • @Siva - MSO is treated a bit differently, and we (almost) never migrate posts away from MSO. While we try to keep things productive here, there was a time when anything really funny AND marginally related to SO did quite well here.
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 17:06
  • @Tim Post: I am not suggesting to migrate MSO questions. Yes, I have seen lots of funny questions. My question was whether the questions can be flagged the post to be closed. I see swers new users posting answers to those very old questions, which are funny but not relevant as per new regulations.
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 17:09
  • 1
    @Siva - Yes, you should flag anytime you feel something needs attention.
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


There are two moderators involved here.

  • A Stack Overflow moderator migrated the question to Programmers. Possibly in response to flags, I don't know the story.
  • A Programmers moderator (and at least one other user, there might have been flags as well) closed the question as not constructive.

The difference in treatment between the questions has nothing to do with the language involved. Moderators don't judge questions based on their programming language preferences (your suggestion that someone was “hostile to Java” is ridiculous), they base their judgement on the question's quality. Consider the difference between the two:

  • One question, still open, asks for “QUALITY books and an approximate skill level”, with “a short blurb/description about each book”. The question is maintained, with an organised selection of books together with explanations of who might find each book useful.
  • The other question, now closed, asks for “the best Java book you have read so far”. It even insists on “one book per answer”, which is a sure-fire way of getting a long list with absolutely no organization. Most answers say “this book is great”, not “this book is good because …”.

I think the migration was not appropriate — because the low-quality question should have been closed in situ. It might have been salvageable if someone had gone through the effort of improving it until it reached the level of the C++ book question.

The line between Stack Overflow and Programmers is indeed thin, but the fate of this particular question has nothing to do with it.

  • 2
    I agree; the rule should be "don't migrate crap."
    – apaderno
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 15:14

The migration was appropriate because it's not a technical code programming question. Stack Overflow is just for those. Resource questions belong on Programmers (and yes, they're picky about those).

  • 1
    Resource questions are tricky. We're trying to move away from being a site that points people to other sites (or books) and encourage questions that can be answered on Programmers itself. It's a work in progress, but I think we're slowly getting there.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 23:04

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