In a perfect world, the so-important advice "do not reinvent the wheel" would be extensively followed. In practice, everyday millions of wheels are reinvented simply because someone didn't know an existing solution for a specific problem. The best way to find a library, today, is googling it, but it's not always obvious which keywords to use. The lack of a tool for finding solutions is very counterproductive for the dev world as a whole. Stack Overflow is not very receptive for recommendation threads. So what about a new SE for it?

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    Wikipedia is the first place I go to find things like this. Jan 28, 2013 at 22:54
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    @MichaelHampton in order to go to wiki - you need to know what you're looking for. What if you're looking for a tool that has a specific functionality - but you have no idea about its name ?
    – Nir Alfasi
    Apr 20, 2013 at 19:10
  • @alfasin If the question is: "I need an X that does Y" then you hit up "List of X" or "Comparison of X" and look at the features list(s). For instance: "I need a text editor that automatically indents my code" will lead you to Comparison of text editors with whether each editor supports the feature. Apr 20, 2013 at 20:05
  • @MichaelHampton I know how to use Google LOL :) what I'm saying is, that I have more trust towards recommendations made here in SO not only because I like SO, but also because chances are higher that members here will post an answer such as: I like to use X to do Y because it supports the following list of features: 1,2,3... And that is, to me, very helpful as well as constructive. And, TMHO, it is also relevant to the programming world - which is what this website is all about, isn't it ?
    – Nir Alfasi
    Apr 20, 2013 at 20:11
  • @alfasin OK, so how do you solve the "vi vs. emacs" problem, which tends to make such questions and answers non-constructive? Apr 20, 2013 at 20:17
  • @MichaelHampton I would treat it as any other question: meaning, if it's REALLY not constructive (just argumentative) - close it, but if it has any kind of added value to the community (like in the case I described above) - leave it open. If someone states that he likes emacs/vim more because of this and that features - that's great, cause there may be users that are not aware of these features.
    – Nir Alfasi
    Apr 20, 2013 at 20:36
  • Voted to reopen, the dupe chain sort of breaks down here. We've got SR and HR now. Also this probably shouldn't be tagged declined.
    – Jason C
    May 31, 2017 at 3:27
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    Actually the better action would be to change the dupe target of this one to Where should I ask questions for asking which software library or API or framework to use for specific set of objective requirements?.
    – Jason C
    May 31, 2017 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


Software Recommendations entered public beta on 2014-02-18:

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). Please read our question quality guidelines before asking for a recommendation.

We request that answers demonstrate how the recommended product meets the requirement and is suitable for the intended purpose. Please read our answer quality guidelines before answering a question.

Hardware Recommendations entered public beta on 2015-09-29:

Hardware Recommendations is a community-run website to help you find a specific product for your needs. That means you can ask for a recommendation for hardware to perform a specific task. However, you should be aware that "hardware" is not an all-encompassing term — for details of what hardware is accepted on this site, please see What is Hardware?. In essence, we can help you if you're looking for a recommendation for hardware that is "an electronic item that is, interfaces with, or connects to a computer to operate".


Stack Overflow isn't very receptive to requests for recommendations because more often than not those questions don't really work with the Q&A philosophy & format, for a variety of reasons:

  • Voting fails, people vote for their favourite suggestion instead of the more useful solution,
  • Recommendation questions typically don't show much prior research (which makes them bad questions in general),
  • Recommendation questions are often time dependent,
  • Recommendation questions are very attractive to link only answers, and link only answers are not answers,
  • Recommendation questions are extremely attractive to spammers,
  • blah blah blah...

Given that Stack Exchange sites share exactly the same philosophy & format, I don't see how a separate site for recommendations would work.

PS. You might be interested in checking out Slant. Not everything needs to be on Stack Overflow / Exchange, and the Slant folks are doing a very good job so far (not affiliated, I just like their service).

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    Yannis thank you! But as I said, I was going to delete this question as it's not fit for this site. I can't do it when it have answers, so could you delete your answer so I can remove my question? Thank you!
    – user189341
    Mar 27, 2013 at 1:50
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    Also great recommendation on Slant, thanks!
    – user189341
    Mar 27, 2013 at 1:52
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    @Dokkat Why delete it? Voting on Meta is often used to show agreement/disagreement, don't worry about the downvotes. It's a fair question to ask, people just disagree that we need a recommendations site.
    – yannis
    Mar 27, 2013 at 1:53
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    oh, well, if the question is valid then it's not nice to lose reputation for opinions though.
    – user189341
    Mar 27, 2013 at 1:56
  • @Dokkat MSO reputation is meaningless, no one really cares about it and neither should you. In fact MSO is the only Meta that has reputation, every other SE Meta doesn't. MSO reputation is just a historical artifact, you can just ignore it.
    – yannis
    Mar 27, 2013 at 1:56
  • Slant looks really great, but a) I'd like to stay here "at home" and get software recommendations from SO members! and b) I would trust a recommendation for a PHP framework from someone that has a PHP badge - more than recommendations from people that I have no clue about their backgrounds.
    – Nir Alfasi
    Apr 20, 2013 at 20:40
  • @Yannis btw, excluding the first point you mentioned, all the other points have no weight: "typically", "often", "attract"... if there's a "link only answer" - downvote it, if you spot a spammer - flag it. And this is relevant to every question on SO, etc. And about the favorite point - I don't think there's anything wrong with that, as long as it is being explained as: this tool is my preferred tool cause it supports a,b,c - not because "I never used any other tool"...
    – Nir Alfasi
    Apr 20, 2013 at 20:44

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