My questions at stackoverflow have been continuously closed or deleted because I insist in asking questions not related to "how to do it" but also "what is the best thing to do" because I believe we could learn in here about best practices. I believe this is of great value to the community to help others become better developers and to encourage standard developing practices for aiming at high and latest technology and procedures.

I think that becoming a better developer is not just about knowing how to create classes that connect to some OS service, but also what is the best, safest, simplest and most modern way to do that.

What does stackoverflow consider about that?

  • 3
    Asking "what's the best xyz" doesn't make you a better developer. (Although I get your point.)
    – Pekka
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 19:59
  • 5
    Paradoxically, the "what is the best thing to do" question is the worst one you can make. You'll get all kinds of useless advice from unquilified individuals. There are things you can do, like paraphrase your concerns in a way they generate valid input, such as "What's best? a, b or c...?"
    – user217352
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 20:13
  • 3
    Try chat, chat is usually a good place for discussing best practices. Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 20:31
  • 1
    What you are describing is a feature, not a bug.
    – talonmies
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 21:34

3 Answers 3


Stack Overflow has been specifically designed to avoid the problems that can occur with traditional Internet forums. One of those problems is that discussions don't scale.

When you have six people at a conference table discussing a problem, that process works very well. When you have the entire Internet community discussing a problem, not so much. You wind up with people discussing the color of the bikeshed, engaging in separate conversations, getting into arguments about a particular point, and so forth.

Accordingly, we require that questions be definitively answerable by an expert having the required knowledge, not questions that can have multiple answers and attract debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. We want to help you get an answer to your question, in other words, and one of the ways that we do that is to require you to ask a "real question," one that can actually be answered.

It's all about keeping the signal to noise ratio as high as possible. That's why you also see us deleting answers that: don't answer the question, ask if the problem has been solved yet, attempt to engage in conversation, or advertise a product.

Further Reading
Why Forums Suck, and What You Can Do About It


Stack Overflow is about providing the best possible answers to specific questions.

The problem with "best thing to do" type of question is that everyone has a different opinion about that. And therein lies the rub - answers will be opinion based, not fact based.

As such, it means that such questions cannot have answers that are simply "the right answer".

This is why such questions are not accepted by the community - they not only tend to not have a "right answer", but they foster discussion, which Stack Overflow is ill suited for.


Questions on Stack Overflow (and all Stack Exchange sites) are meant to have definitive answers. This is so there is only one (or a couple) correct answer(s) which can float to the top, while all of the incorrect answers sink to the bottom.

The idea is to get a definitive answer to a question, which is why discussion topics aren't encouraged on Stack Exchange sites. Find a good Internet forum if you are looking for some best practices.

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