I was pretty surprised to see this Git question migrated to Super User. IMHO, the question is much more about programming than it is about how to use an application. (This one isn't even Git command line syntax, but something more abstract.) Was this just a mistake? A change in policy? Where can I go to angrily shake my fist and demand that the policy change be reversed?

EDIT Now migrated back here.

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    This was discussed briefly as late as June. I wholeheartedly agree that this was a bogus migration. Sep 7, 2012 at 17:53

3 Answers 3


The question wasn't about programming, it was about Git usage. Technically, it's SU material, but version control applications are traditionally an exception that lives on SO rather than SU. This exception makes some sense inasmuch as version control is rarely used by non-programmers.

This question was migrated by 5 community votes. I don't think they represent anything like a community consensus; I don't recall any discussion on Meta.SO that concluded in a change of policy for version control programs¹.

Since there has been no new activity on the SU side, it would be a simple matter to close the question on SU (which would reject the migration) and reopen in on SO. I'll contact mods to see about this.

¹ Unlike questions about text editors in a non-programming-related usage, where the case for keeping questions on SO is much weaker and has significant opposition on MSO.

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    Stack Overflow is not only about programming, it is about programming-related tools as well. Git is totally on-topic on SO, not just as "an exception". By the way, a question can be on-topic on both SU and SO at the same time so Git questions may very well stay on SU if asked there. Sep 7, 2012 at 17:58

Sometimes I wonder if programmers get overzealous in wanting to categorize everything in neat little buckets. Take source control. It most assuredly is something that programmers use, but everyone else? They might. It doesn't have the same effect when you're using it for binary files, so that limits its usefulness to outsiders, but... It's potentially used by the outside world.

However, as a programmer, I would never think to search on SuperUser for a git answer. It just doesn't even hit me that SuperUser could possibly contain git related questions. So I'd search on Stack Overflow.

That should be a determining factor in where a question goes: What site is a visitor most likely to search for something on? In this case, it's pretty clear: Stack Overflow. Only pedants would say otherwise.

This question has been re-opened on Stack Overflow.

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    I'm wary of the argument that “as a programmer, I would never think to search on SuperUser”. Plenty of programmers who never think to search on SU for things like how to install Linux on their PC, which are clearly off-topic on SO. People search and post on the wrong site all the time, that doesn't make them right. There are many subjects where people search on SO first because they've heard of SO but not of the other sites in the network. Furthermore, categorizing questions isn't a matter of pedantry, it's a matter of getting good answers. SO isn't good at answering SU-type questions. Sep 7, 2012 at 12:33
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    @Gilles After moderating Stack Overflow for a scant few months, I can say, unequivocally, that pedantry trumps common sense. Sep 7, 2012 at 12:59

The FAQ tells that tools are on-topic on Stack Overflow:

software tools commonly used by programmers

Since Git can be categorised as such, I would say that the question is valid.

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