Are questions concerning programming tools acceptable for Stack Overflow, or should they be directed towards Super User?

I ask because it seems the precedent is that questions about git are acceptable, but questions about an editor (ex. Visual Studio) are not...

There seems to be some discrepancy as to what tools are ok to ask about.


  • 3
    I've asked and answered questions about Visual Studio on Stack Overflow. They are appropriate there. Jan 16, 2012 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


questions about an editor (ex. Visual Studio) are not...

seriously? Programming tools questions are acceptable on SO. Period. Of course, if they're about using a programming tool to do something other than programming ("How do I spell-check my novella using Vim?") or just plain crap ("How do I write a Facebook in Visual Studio?") then they'll still get shut down...

See also: Where to ask a question about an IDE?

  • 4
    OK, but how do I write a Facebook in the vs? :p Jan 16, 2012 at 17:41

There are tens of thousands of questions tagged with some variant of on Stack Overflow, but only a few hundred on Super User. Questions about tools that are primarily used by programmers should be asked on SO. If the question is about a tool like vi (a text editor very commonly, but not exclusively, used by programmers), and it might easily be answered by a non-programmer, then it might also be acceptable on SU.

  • Many "visual studio" questions are mistags. People often tag questions as visual-studio, just because it's the IDE they're using, not because it's relevant to their question. So the statistics may be a bit misleading. Jan 16, 2012 at 19:10
  • 1
    @CodeInChaos The difference in the number of questions on SO and SU is orders of magnitude. Do you think 90% the visual-studio questions on SO are mistags? Because that's really what it would take for the stats to be misleading. Jan 16, 2012 at 19:13

Are questions concerning programming tools acceptable for stackoverflow?

Yes. According to the FAQ:

software tools commonly used by programmers

are on topic.

This therefore includes: eclipse, vim, visual studio, emacs, git, svn, cvs, netbeans, intellij, sun studio, gcc, patch (might float on unix), gdb, msbuild, WiX, erm, I'm running out of examples.

Super user is, more generically about:

computer hardware, computer software, personal and home computer networking

in other words, power users, not developers.

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