I see at least a couple questions a day on SO related to reviewing performance or "How to improve...".

What qualifies a question to be migrated to code review from SO (or possibly even P.SE)?

I've seen this question who's answer says:

  • Stack Overflow: You've an actual question about coding.
  • Programmers: You've a conceptual question about coding.
  • Code Review: You've a bunch of code you want reviewed.

but that really doesn't provide a good definition of where the line is blurred.



1 Answer 1


If you have a question about a piece of code that meets all of these criteria:

  • You wrote it or you contributed to it
  • It currently works as intended
  • You're looking for improvements to it (e.g. optimization, refactoring, patterns, security, etc)

It's probably better on Code Review than on Stack Overflow.

If you have a problem with your code (i.e. it doesn't work as intended), or you don't have any code to begin with, then it's not on topic on Code Review.

That said, there's a bit of an overlap among the three sites. This means a question may be OK for two or three of the sites, and a question may not always need to be migrated from one site to another.

  • Understood (though it isn't my question), where this gets a little shaky is the second point: It currently works as intended. Is performance considered when considering how it works? Though maybe this is a match for the third point...
    – M.Babcock
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:08
  • Another example (The one that actually spurred this question).
    – M.Babcock
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:12
  • Seems both of them got cross-posted... I'll talk to the Code Review mods and see what we do with them. Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:14
  • It's also possible that a question like that would belong on both sites. Some overlap is okay. I'd probably lean towards posting performance improvement questions on CR since the answer typically is "profile it and see what happens", so the "try X,Y,Z" nature of CR seems to fit, but I also don't see a problem posting such questions to SO.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:35
  • I haven't been on CR much - I wonder where people take less kindly to micro-optimizations :) Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:36
  • @AnnaLear - You seem to have a good grasp on the differences between the sites, would you be able to answer my question? Or is there an answer?
    – M.Babcock
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:46
  • @BoltClock - I just re-read your answer... your last comment is slightly confusing: or you don't have any code to begin with, then it's not on topic on Code Review. I understand that if there is no code to review that it doesn't belong on CR, but are you suggesting that it belongs on SO or P.SE? Instinct tells me the latter since to me it deals with code concepts rather than code issues itself (as suggested by the answer to the question I linked in my question).
    – M.Babcock
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 3:03
  • 2
    @M.Babcock I usually give the same answer as BoltClock did here... with the caveat that there's some overlap and that's okay. I see it sort of like this: SO - this code takes an hour to run, how do I fix that? CR - this code runs in reasonable time, but is there any way I can make it even better? Programmers - how can/should I investigate my code's performance?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 3:05
  • @Anna Lear: Great examples there. I edited my answer to mention the topic overlap. Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 3:07
  • @AnnaLear - That is a very fuzzy line indeed. I appreciate the input, however no more satisfied in the response :(. On SO, performance question's I've seen typically appear in the form of "My program takes forever to run" which is ambiguous at least to the first two options you listed (even though they really are good clear examples). Reasonable is subjective, so I'm not really sure someone can understand the difference without running the code themself.
    – M.Babcock
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 3:10
  • @BoltClock - Any chance of fixing my helpful flags count since this question was double posted yet my flag on it was marked as "declined - If a question is on-topic here and getting answers we're hesitant to migrate it away."? Or do I need to ask another question about that?
    – M.Babcock
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 5:01

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