I am wondering where is a good place or how is a good way to ask a question on what software tools to use for a specific task.

A lot of the time when searching for information on these types of problems stackoverflow comes up with the top and actually useful discussions and answers, but the question is locked.

I completely understand the point of discouraging "best of" or list questions as discussed in this question (Exceptional cases for list questions) and agree they often aren't constructive enough to justify the effort in moderating them.

What I am wondering is where is the right place to have a discussion like this? Stackoverflow has a good and active community so perhaps there is another section or related site I can ask less specific questions. And I do find some value in reading people's opinions, even if subjective on issues like this.

Here are some examples of the kind of questions I mean:

What's the best UML diagramming tool? and https://stackoverflow.com/questions/91445/best-ide-for-ruby-on-rails

First results in google when searching for those subjects and some useful discussion.

Perhaps asking a question like this but with a strict and detailed specification it might be considered a valid and reasonable question to ask on stackoverflow; perhaps it's just a case of re-thinking how to ask a question. Or perhaps there's a more relevant place for this kind of discussion. Please let me know what you think.

  • 1
    Do you have a specific example question?
    – dcaswell
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 15:24
  • 3
    – Bart
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 15:24
  • @user814064 I do not have an example question at the moment but have come across these kind of questions before and am in the process of researching software tools and it got me thinking where and how is the best way to ask for help with this.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 15:37
  • @Bart slank.co looks interesting, I will investigate.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


The only place within the entire SE network where such questions are allowed is in chat. There are other sites out on the web (quite a lot in fact) that allow such discussions.

Note that asking for recommendations of other sites to ask recommendations on is also offtopic on SE sites (again, outside of chat).

There have been a lot of proposals for the creation of a new site/subsite/section of the network where such questions would be allowed. A long time ago questions of this type were appropriate (of which you can occasionally see remnants, as you've shown). It ended horribly, very, very horribly, in almost all cases. Now they are not allowed all requests for the creation of a place where they would be allowed have been shot down pretty hard.

  • Okay, this makes sense. I'm sure there are other resources but without the strong community and visibility stack overflow seems to have, hence the google ranking of those two example questions. But, of course, this is largely due to the strict policy for question and answers such as closing those example questions for not being constructive.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 15:35
  • @Michael Exactly, SO has as strong of a community as it does in large part because it doesn't allow these types of questions. If we let the questions in, and all of the other questions that people want to ask, but that we don't allow, then SO's quality will go down to that of all of the other sites out there.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 15:38

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