I recently came across this question on SO and promptly flagged it as: off topic; belongs on Super User.

My flag was declined with the reason: a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

Now understand that I'm not here to crib about my flag being declined, losing flag weight, etc. My question is: Am I wrong in considering that off-topic?

That question (to me) was about installing PIL on Snow Leapard and I thought SuperUser was the correct place for it. If I'm wrong, I'd genuinely like to know so I can adapt my flagging practices accordingly.


Note that the FAQ clearly states that Stack Overflow covers questions about:

… software tools commonly used by programmers

As such, I would assume the Python Imaging Library is one of those tools. As the installation involves manually compiling from sources, setting some compiler flags, and generally has to do with Apple's developer suite Xcode, the question was fine for Stack Overflow all along.

Note however that it wouldn't have been completely off-topic for Super User. It's about installing computer software, and we probably wouldn't have closed it. But there's still a very strong programming background, hence (probably) your declined flag.

  • You're right, I stand corrected :) Jan 14 '12 at 0:20

There's a ton of these cases (at least, since I tend to vaguely follow vim questions which are on-the-fence, it feels like a lot to me), and I've seen many migrated and many not migrated.

I wouldn't vote to migrate that specific question because it sounds like the user wants to use PIL with the Xcode-provided Python.

I probably would have voted to migrate a similar question if the user had asked about installing PIL as a prerequisite for some end-user application.

It's a fine line as distinctions go, but it could be much worse.

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