I recently discovered cs.stackexchange.com, and just browsing the site, it seemed like a site better suited for homework questions, or questions from those seeking help understanding the basics of the language. Should we start flagging such questions on SO as candidates to be moved to that site instead?
closed as off-topic by gnat, Nathan Tuggy, Glorfindel, Catija♦, Robert Longson Dec 21 '17 at 19:25
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – gnat, Nathan Tuggy, Glorfindel, Catija, Robert Longson
There's nothing wrong with basic questions about languages provided that:
- They clearly state the problem to be solved
- They clearly state what has been done thus far to solve the problem, or where and why the author is stuck
- They show relevant snippets of code, where appropriate, so that the problem can be clearly understood or reproduced
- The problem must be a real problem that someone is facing
In some cases, these questions will come in the form of impossibly bizarre business logic which is clearly a task designed to test the aptitude of the programmer - student or otherwise. These might not be practical problems, but they are problems that someone faces.
These questions are clearly on topic for Stack Overflow, and in many cases, would not be a good fit for other sites. An exception are requests for folks to evaluate working code, which should be asked on (or sent to) Code Review. However, until CR graduates, there won't be a migration path established; you'll need to involve a moderator to get something sent there.
Provided that a question meets our quality standards and topic guidelines, it's on topic; basic questions are frequently asked repetitively in different ways, there's a good chance a canonical answer to it exists on the site - the 'related' questions to the right will quite often turn up a good duplicate candidate.
If the problem is basic but more algorithmic than a fundamental understanding of language constructs, CS might be a better fit - it's hard to say out of the context of an actual question. Just remember, migrations are designed to make the experience of the question author better, the ability to 'bucket' content more appropriately was secondary to that goal.
I'm a Computer Science Stack Exchange moderator.
CS.SE is a site about computer science. From a computer scientist's perspective, it covers both theoretical and applied computer science: algorithms, information theory, formal methods, etc. as well as data mining, graphics, computer architecture, etc. From a programmer's perspective, you would probably call all of this “theory”.
What CS.SE does not cover is engineering. Programming is not science, it's engineering (which is backed by computer science, like bridge building is backed by physics).
You should consider migrating a question to CS.SE if it is about computer science. Whether a question is homework or not has nothing to do with whether it is more suitable for CS.SE or SO (if any).
I commonly migrate programming homework questions from CS.SE to SO. Programming homework is not suitable for CS.SE, because it is about programming, not about computer science, even if the programming class is part of a computer science curriculum, and even if the programming is done as an application of a computer science class. Of course, questions about computer science homework are fine (provided they meet the usual Stack Exchange quality guidelines, of course).
A question about the basics of the language would not be appropriate for CS.SE. Only questions about programming language theory are appropriate for CS.SE; most of these do not refer to a concrete programming language but to language features in the abstract.
As a rule of thumb, if a question contains code or if its answers would be likely to contain code, it's likely to be suitable for SO but not CS.SE. If a question contains mathematical notation or if its answers would be likely to contain mathematical notation, it's likely to be suitable for CS.SE but not SO.