I asked a question a couple years ago: Create session if none exists. It's got about 5K views and twentysome votes right now. Initially, there was some question as to whether it was appropriate for the site, but I argued that it was similar to asking how to use vim, and that seemed to settle it for a time.

It got closed as "off topic" recently. So either the community hasn't made up their mind about it, or they've changed their mind since I asked it. I still think tmux questions are appropriate for the site, but I'll bow to the will of the community. If I shouldn't be asking them on SO, where should I be?

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    Your question might be a better fit for SU imho. – PeeHaa Sep 12 '12 at 16:34

I don't understand what that question has to do with programming. It seems to only be about how to configure an application.

Editing a configuration file != programming.

My guess is it would exist on a linux forum or something like superuser.

  • Maybe SuperUser would be a good home for it. My reason for wanting it on the site is that programming tools like vim or tmux have healthy userbases on StackOverflow. It was previously determined that vim questions belong on StackOverflow, and I see many of the reasons used to justify that applying to tmux. – rampion Sep 12 '12 at 16:59
  • "tmux is a terminal multiplexer: it enables a number of terminals (or windows), each running a separate program, to be created, accessed, and controlled" -- WTF does that have to do with programming?? – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 17:00
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    Well, for some programmers who use the command line rather than an IDE, using a terminal multiplexer like screen or tmux makes really easy to view and switch between tests, running applications, etc. alongside the text editor and relevant documentation. – rampion Sep 12 '12 at 17:08
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    Well for some programmers who use computers, a monitor makes things much easier. – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 17:10
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    "C#: What resolution is best for my monitor?" – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 17:16
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    "C# - visual studio giving me error X" - also not programming, but allowed. – Adam Rackis Sep 12 '12 at 18:28
  • The difference is that VS is a programming tool. – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 19:22
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    I'd recommend Unix & Linux over Super User: smaller site, but more focused audience. – Gilles Sep 12 '12 at 21:23

The Tmux tag currently has 73 followers, and 118 questions, of which only around 5 or 6 are closed.

If this Tmux thing is off-topic for Stack Overflow, it looks like that'll be news to a lot of people.


To clarify, yes, developer-related tools like IDEs are on-topic for Stack Overflow. And yes, a creative mind could stretch that to include all sorts of silly things, like plugging in monitors or adjusting office chairs; but we shouldn't govern by idiotic straw-man exaggerations.

This is clearly a borderline case that was allowed in the past, with a lot of successful questions and followers in this tag.

This is not a case of clearly off-topic material like programmer jokes and cartoons, so I think we should err on the side of not closing/deleting this, and other similar questions.

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    An appeal to common practice. – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 17:38
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    Unabashedly so. These questions seem to be adding value to a lot of developers (like OP). I really hate seeing good content removed. – Adam Rackis Sep 12 '12 at 17:43
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    A bunch of questions about how to plug in computer monitors and how to adjust chairs would likely 'add value to a lot of developers' as well. Would still be off topic. – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 17:44
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    Straw man argument. – Adam Rackis Sep 12 '12 at 17:52
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    @GEOCHET: Not only a strawman, but irrelevant besides. Programming tool questions are explicitly on-topic for SO. If you want to argue that all of them shouldn't be, then make that argument. But singling out tmux seems rather silly. – Nicol Bolas Sep 12 '12 at 19:38
  • Yep. And screen and linux itself is now a 'programming tool'. Excuse me while I roll my eyes. – GEOCHET Sep 12 '12 at 19:49
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    An IDE is a tool for programmers. Tmux is a tool for all computer users. Tmux questions belong on the site for computer users (Super User) or (since it's a unix tool) on the site for unix users and administrators (Unix & Linux). – Gilles Sep 12 '12 at 21:22
  • @Gilles - indeed - looks like SU has a larger tmux presence than either SO or Unix and Linux. Still though, this tag seems to be doing well enough on SO, so I'm not sure starting to consider it off topic is in anyone's best interest. – Adam Rackis Sep 12 '12 at 21:26

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