I have an architecture question, which involves both best practices and design patterns part, as well as "best tool for the job" part. As far as I know the first part, if written correctly, is a valid Programmers.SE question, where as the latter, again, if thoughtfully crafted, may be a good Stackoverflow question.

So here is my question

  1. Where such a question should be asked? Is there any stack exchange site that fits it best?
  2. Should I divide the question between the sites (to the "architecture" part, and the "tools" part)
  3. Are there any good examples of a similar class of questions that are considered good?

I couldn't find the answer I'm looking for in this related question: Which site should I use for my question? And where do I find this info? - Stack Exchange's Site Directory


3 Answers 3


A "best tool for the job" or "find me a tool that does X" question really doesn't belong on Stack Exchange in general. The question would most likely be closed as "not constructive". Such questions are highly subjective, tend to attract lots of spam ("try my tool", "no mine is better", "I like this", "I also like this!") and it is rare to be able to support your decision with facts.

A more appropriate question would be something along the lines of: "Is tool X suitable for task Y? Would I be using it for its intended purpose or is this outside of the domain the tool was designed for?"

There are exceptions, but questions asking about a specific tool can usually be made to be acceptable, and any question for which the answer will be one or more tools not mentioned in the question at all are unlikely to be suitable on any SE site.

  • So is a question about "is Hadoop a recommended tool for solving problem X" is a valid question in SO?
    – Eran Medan
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 19:18
  • @EhrannMehdan I wouldn't use the term "recommended" as that is asking for opinions. You want questions that will provide facts. "Is Hadoop capable of solving problem X?" or "was Hadoop designed to solve problems such as X?" is more along the lines of what you'd want.
    – Servy
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 19:22
  • Thank you, here is the question: stackoverflow.com/questions/12501920/… I hope it's ok
    – Eran Medan
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 19:55
  • 1
    @EhrannMehdan The title seems a bit...much. Consider shortening it; titles need not be complete sentances. But I'd say it's a good (in scope) question for the site the way that you phrased it.
    – Servy
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 19:57
  • You can't ask "Is tool X suitable for task Y?" if don't know any X ffs. So, the community stance on this is "it's hard to avoid subjectivity, therefore we'll just pretend these problems doesn't exist". Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 7:24
  • @yaccz Of course not; we know very well that these problems exist. The stance is, "you can discuss them on other sites more suitable and willing to discuss them, we are choosing not to allow them here because we don't have the means for them to be effective." That said, a "find me a tool that does X" is actually quite different from a "does X do Y". The latter is not opinion based; and one can provide hard factual evidence supporting whether or not it can do it, so such a question can in fact be appropriate on the site.
    – Servy
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 14:51
  • The question, "why aren't tool recommendations allowed on SE," is answered with, "because tool recommendations are not allowed on SE." I find lots of the "recommend a tool" threads to be VERY useful, because -- like most allowed questions asked here -- a lot of smart people have already evaluated various alternatives, and the voting/reputation mechanism helps to collaboratively filter out the junk. Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 20:16

I would use SO, assumming you know what language you want, and ask a question that you've researched. For example, look at my last question on SO (I'm on my phone atm, so no link right now)


Actually, there is now a site for this: Software Recommendations. According their site tour,

Software Recommendations Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people seeking specific software recommendations.

Good software recommendation requests have two components: a purpose (a task to accomplish, a user story) and some objective requirements (a minimum set of features).

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