I have a question that is slighly related to this question, but rather looks into the future and the specifics of Stack Exchange. I wonder:

Where are the processes of Stack Exchange that shape the rules here and its creation written down? And (where) can they be discussed and improved upon? As mentioned above, people come along and want to change Stack Exchange.

I don't want to change Stack Exchange, but I want to gain insights. And I have questions. Actually, my issue right now is that I can't ask some questions about Stack Exchange on Stack Exchange itself or even on meta, because my issue arises out of, IMHO, incomplete information or "missing parts" (as far as I can see). But I don't want to immediately offend anyone who might have 20 hours / weeks available to devote to Stack Exchange, unlike me.

So I want to start by finding out about all these process of building and running Stack Exchange, much like how I can find out about the rules and processes of Wikipedia by diving into the depth and complexities that are layed out to the public under the "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:..." pages. Then I want to follow the standard Stack Exchange processes and procedures to bring in my issue on this way. At least, after delving that deep I will sure be more confident as to where I can find support or help solve this (meta) issue myself and thus contribute to Stack Exchange...

PS: Sorry for being so unspecific except for my one question, but maybe you can guess what impression a casual user gets about Stack Exchange if he feels the need to react this way...on the other hand, for now it is only important for me to get just this one question answered.

  • 5
    You're actually on that site right now.
    – casperOne
    Jan 21, 2012 at 2:49
  • 4
    A couple of rules (some written, some implied), when posting Meta questions: 1) Be polite. 2) Don't name names - target the behaviour not the individual. 3) Be concise, but tell us everything. 4) Understand that voting is different on Meta. 5) Be extra careful when posting on a Friday.
    – yannis
    Jan 21, 2012 at 3:10

3 Answers 3


The Official StackExchange Process™ *

  1. User asks question, reports a bug, or makes a feature request here.

  2. Said bug report/feature request either

    a. Gets downvoted mercilessly because it's been beaten to death here already, or

    b. Gets wildly upvoted because it's the best idea ever.

  3. Feature/bug request gets [status-declined] by Stack Exchange management.

  4. Waffles locks himself in a closet, and adds the feature/fixes the bug while no one is looking.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

*Not actually the official process, just my observations. Do not try this at home. Allow six to eight weeks for delivery.

  • Thanks for clarifying! Not sure which answer I should accept, as I also accept the one of Yannis Rizos of course. ;) Jan 21, 2012 at 3:39
  • This pattern of recursion indicates that @Waffles never comes out of the closet. I'm just sayin. There has to be a Waffles has left the closet! step.
    – Tim Post
    Jan 21, 2012 at 19:33
  • 1
    +1 for locking up @Waffles Jan 21, 2012 at 19:35
  • Don't forget [status-ignored] - there are several examples of high-voted feature requests out there that don't have a status tag. OP might get the impression that every request gets processed in the way you describe above.
    – razlebe
    Jul 2, 2012 at 9:03
  • Ah, the good old times! Oct 22, 2019 at 10:07

Required reading

On Stack Overflow:

On the blog:

On Meta Stack Overflow:

On Stack Exchange:

Further reading

  • And everything else I forgot. Oh well, that's enough to keep anyone occupied for a couple of hours
    – yannis
    Jan 21, 2012 at 3:33
  • Thanks, I will indeed take it upon my duty and delve into that! Actually I already found "my" question here and and the current answer on it, so now I will think about if and how to appropriately request a change that gets "wildly upvoted" (R. Harvey above) and is actually applicable and helpful to also - but not only - my core problem... Jan 21, 2012 at 3:40

Going to the handy search box in the upper right hand corner and searching for faq <topic> (e.g., faq voting) will bring up the extensive collection of references on the different aspects of the site. Many of these have explanations and more details than you ever wanted to know.

This is a different set of questions from the site faq accessible from the link on the bar above.

  • [faq] would be more accurate, as it would be a targeted search against the faq tag, as opposed to just a word relevance search (which is good, but specifying the exact tag is always better).
    – casperOne
    Jan 21, 2012 at 3:56
  • @casperOne meta.stackexchange.com/a/47829 but I don't know how far (n) goes down the list on Meta.
    – jonsca
    Jan 21, 2012 at 7:17

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