I am referring to this post because there is a lot of confusion:

What are the advantages of Sublime Text over Notepad++ and vice-versa?

So it was closed as off-topic because it was deemed subjective. I believe the OP did change his question so that it would not be as subjective by asking "What are the differences between A and B?" This can be answered very specifically.

In the comments someone referred to this Meta post stating that it should be valid to ask these sorts of questions.

I also found this question that, while not having an accepted answer, the only answer given stated it should be valid as well.

So clarification as to why this question has been closed as off-topic? If it's simply the question title, why not just edit that rather than close it?

  • Note that your first link seems to indicate that such questions should be valid on Programmers.SE, not SO.
    – apsillers
    Sep 9, 2013 at 1:27
  • 2
    @apsillers Questions on programming tools are off topic on Programmers (see second item in the "not about" list on the site's "What topics can I ask about here?" help article). The SVN vs git question barely escapes closure because it's more of a centralized vs distributed version control question, than a straight tool comparison.
    – yannis
    Sep 9, 2013 at 1:48

3 Answers 3


Let's assume the best case: you limit your question to ask only about objectively-verifiable fields of comparison, since allowing subjective comparisons would immediately disqualify it.

The domain of comparison is not specified, which allows for a unbounded range of answers. Someone could answer that one runs faster, or supports a wider range of character encoding, or has official paid support plans, etc., etc.

Even if each comparison can be backed up by objective evidence, there's still an unbounded number of comparisons that could be made, allowing for unlimited correct answers, which strongly indicates a poor fit for SO. I know you clarified that you are interested in the "main feature set" of the two tools, but I'd argue that such a phrase doesn't meaningfully reduce the scope of acceptable comparisons.

In sum: it's not a good fit because each answerer makes a subjective choice about which fields of comparison to include in his answer.


This can be answered very specifically.

It can also be answered very subjectively. Maybe I think Notepad++ is better because it renders my ASCII turtles better.

The list of differences is virtually infinite, and that makes it not a good fit for Stack Exchange.


It could be closed based on question title. Questions of type Mozilla vs Gozilla are good for raising attention, but not for constructive discussion, therefore they are considered disruptive and declared passe...

But actually, the OP defined the scope of comparison to the usability for developers. It makes the question too broad. There are so many aspects to take into account (regex compliance, HTML/XML support, syntax highlighting, syntax autosuggesting etc.) that putting them all in single question is too chaotic - or too chatty/usenety/phpbb3y.

I would suggest doing a bit research, dividing the question into specific aspects and asking specific questions. To prevent quasi-propaganda accusations you could target one question for one tool. Compiling that all to single big picture is more appropriate for blog article than Q&A.

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