I have faced/seen closed questions (very recent example here) whenever the question relates to something other than very specific programming errors, installation, some data-structure, algorithm or how-to-solve-this questions.

Although Stackoverflow seems to have a lot of tags that relate to theoretical computer science (And hence I assumed questions clearly related to those tags (Automata-theory, type-safety, computation-theory etc.) would be within the scope of the SO site) I often see such questions down-voted and closed extremely quickly for being off-topic.

What would be the appropriate place to ask such questions, especially if they do not clearly fall in either Computer Science or Programmers (the scope of programmers is not very well defined/clear to me) or Stack Overflow or Unix & Linux ?

Shouldn't such questions be automatically migrated or moved if moderators feel a different SE website would be more appropriate?

I have also looked at Where on SE to discuss computer science and there seems to be quite a lot of discourse going on there too, although the question has an accepted answer.


The more meta I read the more I get the feeling that nobody really seems to wants noobish CS questions anywhere.

Here is a similar question on programmers.

So, going by the site FAQ as well as the overall tone and audience of the site, this question doesn't belong here. I don't think there's currently a site in the Stack Exchange network that's really appropriate for it ¹, but the closest, and officially-sanctioned, is Stack Overflow.

Why, then, is this question not migrated to Stack Overflow?

¹ Reminder: CSTheory is about research-level computer science only.

Even questions (similar to this one) on meta asking what to do with such questions get down voted pretty fast.

Eg. here and here

  • How would they not fit in CS or Programmers? If they don't fit in either, they are probably not good questions.
    – imulsion
    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:25
  • @imulsion I am not very sure of what the scope of Programmers is. Also when the mod closed the question he did not suggest moving the question to CS (I only got to know that there was a CS after going through meta). Also if a question is closed in <10hrs I'm not very sure one has the chance to migrate it to another SEwebsite. --------- Also what I meant by they don't fit in either is that the domain of the question is overlapping. ( for eg. the linked question requires unix knowledge and knowledge of theoretical computer science )
    – ffledgling
    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:33
  • @Ayos The scope of any website within the network can be figured out by reading the faq linked at the top of each website. If that does not provide any clarification, you're always free to ask on the site-specific Meta whether or not the question would be a good fit. If I'm not mistaken, migration can still happen even after closure. (with help from a moderator) But only if the question is a good question and a good fit for the target website.
    – Bart
    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:39
  • There has been some debate about the scope, although the official FAQ scope ofcourse is unambiguous and according to that the linked question seems off-topic there. meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/5654/…
    – ffledgling
    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:48
  • 4
    Note sure if you've noticed this: there are two CS sites: cs.stackexchange.com and cstheory.stackexchange.com. While CS Theory is for research-level stuff, CS's FAQ states "[...] for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science."
    – Mat
    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:49


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