Quick background info: I have been actively programming in C# and Clarion for two years now. When I search about how to do things, SO is almost always the first link for C#. There are currently 356,163 active C# questions on SO. However, when I search for Clarion, I never come up with SO. There are currently only 19 active questions for Clarion. This leads me to my question:

Should people ask questions regarding uncommon languages on SO even though they probably will go unanswered?

I see two ways of thinking about this:

  • Pro: It will add traffic to SO and continue to make it an incredible resource.
  • Con: It could be considered spam and will only add clutter to the site. It's better to use other language-specific sites which already have lots of active members.

I have a lot of questions about Clarion and want to make SO a better resource, so should I ask my questions here even if they will probably go unanswered? Should I ask them and then answer them myself if and when I find an answer?

  • Users of r took steps to make StackOverflow a useful resource for R programmers - is there an active Clarion community that could be mobilised to do the same for Clarion?
    – AakashM
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 13:08
  • 1
    "Obviously this ratio is based on the popularity of the languages..." No, that does just mean that C# coders need to ask more questions, and I'm serious. Question-count does say nothing about popularity of the question. While you can relate it to a certain amount, in the end it doesn't tell you anything. Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 13:57
  • @UnicornifiedBobby - I didn't mean C# coders need to ask more questions, I just meant C# is more widely used and Clarion is almost a programming sub-culture where users don't typically visit sites like SO. I also wasn't inferring that for all languages the number of active questions is the best benchmark for how popular it is. I simply wanted to point how 350k >> 19. Thank you though for pointing out that this is a conclusion that I am drawing based solely on my opinion, so I'll edit it out.
    – DanM7
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 16:14

3 Answers 3


If it's a good question, obscurity of the particular language does not matter at all. That will not be considered spam in any way shape or form.

So yes, ask your question here (well, on Stack Overflow really). Perhaps it might take a while to get your questions answered, but if they are good questions, we would love to have them.


It's rather a chicken-and-egg problem, isn't it?

I'd say it's best to ask your questions even if they remain unanswered.

If someone is searching for a solution to the same problem a web search will lead them here. While they may be frustrated that there is no answer posted, perhaps they will see there is a question than they can answer. Even better (for you) if they ask a question of their own that you can answer.

At worst, they just leave for elsewhere never to return.

Seems like a win-win to me.


I see nothing wrong with asking and answering your own questions.

Assuming the question still fits within the guidelines of the FAQ, asking some questions you already know the answer to might help build up the question/answer base within the community and attract new questions from others.

And if you ask your own real questions and find your answer(s) later, come back and answer your question.

  • Reasonable suggestion indeed. Though a note: don't start posting trivial questions just to have some content on a topic. Even if you self-answer, the question needs to be good enough to stand on its own. All the rules for regular questions still hold.
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 13:33
  • @Bart I assumed that was implied but I will clarify. Thanks. Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 13:51
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    Yeah, my comment was also not really addressed to you. Let's just say that I've seen my fair share of frankly terrible self-answered questions. :)
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 13:54
  • @Bart - I promise I'll follow the regular posting guidelines and not post useless questions.
    – DanM7
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 16:05
  • 1
    @DanMaguire Good. Because if you don't, I might just shake my fist and yell "Kids these days!".
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 16:18

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