So, I recently asked the question Rosyln versus T4 for code generation It was thereafter shortly closed because it was a "list" question. I was first pointed to the general stance on shopping questions(ie, list of ways to do something) Are list questions off topic? Then, I was pointed to the blog post for Gorilla Versus Shark which outlined why general "X vs Y -- which is better" is not constructive.
However, I feel that my question and pros/cons questions in general do not quite fit into these established stances. Arguments:
Every answer is equally valid
Generally, those questions are infinite, as a new answer could always be added; they also tend to be subjective
It's pros/cons. Which is the most accurate is "correct". It's possibly a bit subjective, but with the context my question included ("for generating code") I don't think this is a problem. A new answer could not always be added, though a comprehensive pros/cons list would rarely become "complete", it's not always becoming out of date with the exception of new software releases.
Nobody needs to know the answer to this question
Do you own a gorilla? Do you own a shark? When was the last time you even saw a gorilla and shark going at it hand to fin? In other words, what is your skin in this particular game? What specific problem, other than idle curiosity, would answering this question satisfy or solve for you … or anyone else?
People in the planning stages of code generation projects would like to know the answer to this question. Some of the pros might overlap especially well with what they are doing, etc
It’s not nearly specific enough
Where will the fight be, in what location? Underwater, or on land? What are the rules of the fight so we can determine a victor? Will it be to the death, or under some type of points system? Can they be trained specifically to fight by trainers, or are they completely on their own? Without any kind of scope, every answer can make any assumptions they like — and there will assuredly be hundreds, all different.
I covered "where the fight will be". In the code generation arena. This is fairly specific context I think.
It is difficult to learn from these questions
Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, we had animaltrainers.stackexchange.com, a site full of people who have hands-on experience with both gorillas and sharks. And they were, hypothetically speaking, willing to answer such a question to the best of their expert knowledge. In the process, you might learn a few interesting things about both animals, such as that an adult gorilla’s upper body strength is six times more powerful than that of an adult human. Or that shark skin is so tough and hard that before the invention of sandpaper, shark skin was used to polish wood. But this sort of learning is largely accidental at best, like a random walk through an encyclopedia. It might be entertaining as a speculative diversion to compare and contrast these two very different animals in broad terms. But even under ideal circumstances there really can be no absolute answer to this question other than “it depends; both animals are adapted to their particular environment and have certain strengths and weaknesses.” This is a good answer, maybe even the correct answer, but it’s just not that useful.
I'm not sure about this part. this question is basically asking "in this area, what are both animals strengths and weaknesses". I don't think this applies, but can't come up with a good argument otherwise
It drives away experts
What serious, expert animal trainer would give Gorilla vs. Shark the time of day? This kind of question attracts the opposite of experts: people who aren’t serious animal trainers, but are willing to engage in idle speculation and discussiony generalities — rather than focusing on the real world, specific, honest-to-goodness questions they face in their day to day work. Any true expert who came to animaltrainers.stackexchange.com would be appalled to see a question like Gorilla vs. Shark appear on the homepage.
I wouldn't think it drives away experts. If an expert in T4 (I'd like to consider myself that :) ) didn't know anything about Roslyn, this would be an interesting question to come across to figure out if they should be learning it to see what it can do, since it applies to their specific task (code generation)
So, in summary: What is the general stance. Are pros/cons constructive.. or not? I tend to think their constructive, but I'd like to get a more "official" view point and/or concensus so I know not to ask such questions.
Also, for reference, do a search of "pros cons" on Stackoverflow. You'll see a lot. For the more recent questions, some are closed and some are open. Hence me asking this question. Appropriate or not?