It seems to me that since Stack Overflow is more popular, many users post their questions in there, even if it belongs to another site.

I've seen many design patterns/architecture/algorithms questions that weren't migrated to Programmers, and many questions about backup/restore/Advanced Querying/Data Modelling and database-design that weren't moved to Database administrators.

Do we need to flag to migrate more questions to those sites?


1 Answer 1


Without specific examples, it is tough to provide an answer that is more than just a generalization, but the short answer is no, we should not be migrating more.

The community's general feeling is migration is reserved only for truly excellent questions that are not on-topic for the site they were asked but are on-topic somewhere else. We're not in the habit of moving questions around just because they might be better somewhere else. So if it is on-topic where asked, don't move it regardless as to whether it would be a better fit somewhere else. And if it is not really a great question, just close it where asked and let it go.

Additionally, there is a limit on migration that even mods can't override. Questions that are more than 60 days old cannot be migrated for any reason. So there are a lot of questions on Stack Overflow that were asked before a more on-topic SE2.0 site was launched that could have been asked there, but where too old by the time it was launched to move.

So in short, where deciding whether to migrate there are 5 general rules:

  1. Is it possible to migrate? (meaning is it younger than 60 days)
  2. Is the question off-topic where asked?
  3. Is the question on-topic where you want to move it?
  4. Are you familiar enough with the actually scope of both the current site and the target site to answer #2 & #3 above?
  5. Is the question good enough to survive on the target site? The oft quoted rule here is "don't migrate crap", but I think it goes beyond that. The question really needs to be a great question to make it worth the hassle of migration.

Point 4 above is a key part as to why we don't migrate more questions. In general, the community of Stack Overflow is just not familiar enough with what is on topic and what constitutes a quality question on other sites. Sites like Programmers.SE and Super User used to be on the migration list for Stack Overflow, but because they were often used as dumping grounds for stuff that Stack Overflow didn't want, they were removed. Now only mods can migrate questions to those sites.

So, could we migrate more questions, absolutely (assuming they pass the migration test above). I know this seems like I am contradicting myself, but earlier I said "should" and not "could". The reason we can't is due to the knowledge of the community and moderation on the target site.

  • There just aren't enough people who know what is worthy of migration to be able to make sound judgements on what is worthy and we don't want to force other sites to have to clean up the crap that Stack Overflow sends.
  • And the target sites are much smaller than Stack Overflow (by orders of magnitude in many cases) and they don't have enough community moderation to be able to handle an influx of questions from Stack Overflow.
  • I thought the limit was 2 months (60 days). Oct 26, 2013 at 9:53
  • @michaelb958 funny you say that, I was second guessing myself as soon as I hit "submit". I'm looking for confirmation right now. Oct 26, 2013 at 9:54
  • @michaelb958 I found confirmation, you were correct. Thanks Oct 26, 2013 at 9:55
  • @psubsee2003 - Many specific examples are out there, but I would like the general view rather then few specific examples analysis. I feel like SO is being the default, and thus contains tons of questions that are more suitable for other sites. Oct 26, 2013 at 9:58
  • @Yosi like I said in the last paragraph, regardless of any apparent quality, if it is older than 2 months, it can't get moved by anyone (unless a dev physically goes into the database and copies it over to the other site). So that is the limiting factor on older questions. Oct 26, 2013 at 9:59
  • @psubsee2003 - I'm not saying that old posts should be migrated, but may be change the policy for new posts. Oct 26, 2013 at 10:01
  • @Yosi again, if off-topic where asked, on-topic somewhere else, and is a good question, then flag for migration Oct 26, 2013 at 10:06
  • @psubsee2003 - I know there is a flag option :) but there's a limit to what I can do. Oct 26, 2013 at 10:08
  • @Yosi I feel like we are going in circles :) My answer is the general community consensus, at least as I perceive it. I did edit again to try to clarify the "why" a little bit better Oct 26, 2013 at 10:18
  • @psubsee2003 - I challenge this - "migration is reserved only for truly excellent questions that are not on-topic for the site they were asked but are on-topic somewhere else", this make SO contain tons of good but non-excellent questions that are more suitable for other sites. Oct 26, 2013 at 10:27
  • @Yosi exactly what are you challenging? That this is what the community thinks? Or that the idea should change? I explained why it can't change in my answer. It would be great if we could move everything around, but it isn't practical. Oct 26, 2013 at 10:30

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