I recently asked a question about submitting my app to the app store and if I was going to charge for it would I have to set up my banking details immediately or could I set them up later.

It got closed pretty quickly but despite the great culture which makes the SO so great, nobody left a comment to tell me where I could ask this question instead of SO.


So is someone able to please tell me? I could put it on Apple.SE or Programmers.SE but I'm not sure it completely fits either of those topics and risks being closed as well.

EDIT: I would like to point out there are a whole lot of app store, apple developer connection, and itunesconnect questions which are similarly off topic to mine (if you agree that mine is off topic). So browsing the SO questions looking for an answer to MY questions would you not be led to believe that this sort of questions is indeed on-topic?


Judging by some of the comments below maybe I am not explaining my question properly, so will attempt to clarify it here now. The question I posted on SO sort of covers the "topic" of three SE sites ... StackOverflow, Programmers, Apple. These are the "kind of questions" each site encourages (from the FAQ pages of each site):


  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • matters that are unique to the programming profession


  • Software engineering
  • Developer testing
  • Algorithm and data structure concepts
  • Design patterns
  • Architecture
  • Development methodologies
  • Quality assurance
  • Software licensing
  • Freelancing and business concerns


  • Apple hardware
  • Apple software
  • other Apple products or services
  • third-party hardware and software for Apple products

The items in bold are the topics I feel that my question meets the criteria for. So clearly (if you agree with me) my questions should be able to be asked somewhere on these three sites. Even if it is somewhat of an edge case in some peoples opinion does not necessarily mean it should simply be closed without explanation. Despite how optimistic I am that there are a lot of good users on the SE network, there are also a lot who feel that just because they have the power to close a question that they should do so, and that's what I feel has happened in this case.

EDIT: I would also like to mention that although some of you might not be convinced, I am not trying to be difficult. I would just like to be able to ask a question and not have it closed for no good reason. If you feel that I am clearly wrong and my question does not deserve to belong on one of the three relevant sites mentioned above then please say so.

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    Please note: there is no guarantee that there is a Stack Exchange site where your question is appropriate. – ale Sep 13 '11 at 1:50
  • @Al Everett : My response was too long for a comment so I updated my question with a response. – Nippysaurus Sep 13 '11 at 2:14
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    No, you explained yourself just fine, but your detailed question is based on an invalid premise: that there must be some place somewhere in the SE network where your question can be asked. That simply may not be the case. The SE network is not all-encompassing, and one of the things it decidedly does not do is serve as a proxy for those companies that have sh... er, slow customer service. – Robert Harvey Sep 13 '11 at 3:04
  • @Robert: I dont suppose you answer every question with "this is not a proxy for google" ... this is a site for asking questions that fit into the topics mentioned above so that other like-minded people can find them, which is exactly what I have done. I'm not simply saying that there "must be some place" I am showing you that there is a place and that if you feel so strongly about it why dont you go along and request to close the other hundreds (i'm exaggeration, but its a lot) of questionable questions. – Nippysaurus Sep 13 '11 at 4:00
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    We're in the process of doing just that, but it takes awhile. :) And there are, in fact, people on these Q&A boards who do object to questions that can be easily answered with a Google search. In fact, there's an actual close reason for this currently being evaluated: "General Reference" – Robert Harvey Sep 13 '11 at 4:04

When evaluating a site's FAQ to determine if your question is on-topic, it's always helpful to continue reading the rest of it, past the bullet list that briefly describes what types of questions might be on-topic there.

For example, on Stack Overflow, there's this part:

Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but but if your question generally covers...

And then it lists the items you provided. The introduction frames the scope: the site's about programming, not running a software business. Most programmers aren't also entrepreneurs. Most programmers don't deal with the day-to-day concerns of setting up a business or revenue sharing. Stack Overflow isn't really the best place to ask such a question: really, you want Stack Overflow if you're asking about programming, generally about some trouble you're having with source code.

Now on Programmers, the bullet point list is opened with:

Programmers - Stack Exchange is for expert programmers who are interested in conceptual questions on software development.

and is followed by a bunch of discussion about subjective questions and what-not. Again, this is all to frame the scope: Programmers is for white-boardy questions about programming or being a programmer. "What should I be looking at before designing X type of application?", "As a freelance programmer, should I be charging by lines of code?", "What's your favorite programmer cartoon?" (that last one's a joke).

There are two important things to know about Programmers:

  • Like Stack Overflow, is that questions are again unique to programmers. Setting up a business and revenue sharing aren't really on-topic unless they invite the specific insights of other programmers.
  • Unlike Stack Overflow, Programmers is for questions that programmers ask while conceptualizing a problem. It's the whiteboard to Stack Overflow's compiler. Questions and answers have a distinct "this is what I would do in your situation", non-objective vibe to them.

Finally, we get to the third candidate you presented, Apple. It starts off with:

Ask Different is for Apple enthusiasts and power users.

and immediately after the bullet point list you quoted, explicitly prohibits questions about the App Store:

and it is not about ...

  • Apple Developer Programs or iTunes Connect

So Apple is right out.

Where is your question on-topic?

Allow me to provide two, potentially more appropriate alternatives: Answers.OnStartups and an Area 51 proposal, App Stores.

Answers.OnStartups is a Q&A site devoted to questions about being an entrepreneur, and all the business concerns related to it. From their FAQ:

Answers.onstartups.com is a site for entrepreneurs starting and running new businesses.

Topics include financing, hiring employees, renting an office, legal, marketing, sales, compensation plans, banking, payroll, benefits, and more. This is the place to come with specific questions or to seek specific advice from your peers.

This sounds more like what you're looking for. Their questions about app stores seem to match closely with what you want to know. But just to be on the safe side, I'd ask on their meta discussion site first. This way you won't have to take my word for it.

Then there's the App Stores proposal on Area 51, our new site staging ground. Its description reads:

Proposed Q&A site for developers who have questions about the technical and business aspects of submitting apps to App Stores and Markets. (Typically for mobile, but not exclusively limited to.)

Turns out, a few people ran into the same issue you're having: general questions about the business of app stores don't really have a great, central home anywhere on the network here and are spread out across several different sites depending on the nature of the question. If you're interested in helping set up a site specifically for questions about app stores, I'd consider following that proposal and spreading the word.

Finally, I want to end on ChrisF's answer, which you really should consider. The one entity in the best position to answer your question definitively is Apple. It might take a few days, but you'd have the right answer, and when it comes to running a business, that just might be the most important thing.

  • Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question appropriately. At the risk of sounding like I'm flogging a dead horse I must "accept" your answer because you are the only person who has taken the time to actually address the questions I am asking. Thanks again :) – Nippysaurus Sep 13 '11 at 7:01
  • The App Stores proposed site would be a great place for this, if it ever reaches critical mass. I specifically wanted it to expand into the business issues of selling on these stores so that we can give a home to the many questions that get asked on SO which don't belong. – Brad Larson Sep 13 '11 at 21:50
  • "Most programmers aren't also entrepreneurs". Why does that matter? Most programmers aren't drupal devs, but that doesn't mean drupal questions are off topic. You're also ignoring a whole slew of independent developers who do rely particularly heavily on Stack Overflow, because they don't work at large companies with business development departments. Developers very frequently are aware of App Store policies and decisions, based on their past experience with apps they've worked on. That absolutely makes them relevant experts. Your better options are a beta and an Area 51? – Nate Oct 14 '12 at 10:38
  • @Nate Read the rest of the answer, and, for that matter, Stack Overflow's FAQ. Stack Overflow is scoped in such a way that it's for questions about code, not ancillary questions that aren't unique to the programming profession. But hey, it's a free country: you can insist that Stack Overflow is for those questions, but you're going to have a hilariously bad time trying to ask the type of questions the OP wanted to ask. Personally? I'd just accept that's how it is and instead of asking strangers, I'd ask the company to whom I pay a yearly fee precisely for this purpose. – user149432 Oct 14 '12 at 12:36
  • I did read the FAQ. Did you? It absolutely does not say it's only about code. In fact, this original question plainly highlights in bold where it talks about stuff other than code. Submitting to the app store is part of the programming profession (for smartphone developers). When the app store accepts submissions for stuffed animals, Snuggies, or Ginzu knifes, I'll accept that you have a point. – Nate Oct 14 '12 at 12:47
  • @Nate Straight from the FAQ you claimed to have read: "We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but but if your question generally covers matters that are unique to the programming profession then you’re in the right place to ask your question!". As I said in my answer, most programmers are generally not entrepreneurs. In no way would someone consider such entrepreneurial concerns "unique to the programming profession." But by all means, try asking such questions on SO and see how it works out for you: I wish you all the best. – user149432 Oct 14 '12 at 13:14

Why don't you ask Apple?

They'll be able to give you the definitive answer, rather than asking a bunch of random people on the internet.

BTW, your question isn't on-topic for Programmers

  • I will ask Apple but it usually takes them a few days to reply and I didn't think SO would close my question. My expected outcome from asking this question on SO was that I would get a few quick answers from people who had gone through the same thing before. – Nippysaurus Sep 12 '11 at 21:43
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    @Nippysaurus - fair enough, but Apple could have changed the rules so people's knowledge could be out of date. – ChrisF Sep 12 '11 at 21:45
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    thats a completely invalid statement. all knowledge can go out of date as time goes one. people reading information online usually take into account when the question was asked. – Nippysaurus Sep 12 '11 at 21:50
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    @nippy this is a question for Apple, pure and simple.. it is not a programming question, it's about a store with an Apple logo where people buy software. – Jeff Atwood Sep 13 '11 at 6:33
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    @Nippysaurus - If you want a faster response, use Apple's Developer Forums at devforums.apple.com . They have a specific forum just for App Store business issues, and I bet by searching that you'll find that others have asked this before. While less active than SO, Apple engineers participate in that forum and can give direct answers to questions like this. – Brad Larson Sep 13 '11 at 21:53
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    @JeffAtwood I disagree. If I have a question about WalMart, WalMart may not want to or be able to answer my question. I should be able to ask around at other places to find what other people in the same situation have done. – Slapout May 25 '12 at 15:35
  • @slip sure, just not here in that case, per both answers above. – Jeff Atwood May 25 '12 at 17:12
  • Programmers who have gone through the process of using Apple's App Store many times are not a bunch of random people on the internet. They are smart people with very specific, and relevant expertise. There's also a whole host of questions about using the App Store that you wouldn't want to ask Apple themselves, partially because you wouldn't want to risk reprisals from a company that seems to think they're Masters of the Universe. – Nate Oct 14 '12 at 10:29

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