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Consider the OP wants only pseudo-code answers for a question. The OP wants the answer to be independent of language/platform. Isn't this a case of problem solving approach?

Is StackOverflow the best site on StackExchange for such questions?

Example question: Psuedocode - Largest to smallest integer

The above may be a good question but is it a fit for StackOverflow? If not, for what reason and where would it fit on StackExchange?

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    That really depends on the question. There is a good chance that it will be too broad.
    – juergen d
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 17:19
  • While I could see someone justifying such a question as being a practical problem, it's certainly a lot less likely. Odds are that it either is a practical problem and there is a specific language used, or it's not a practical problem. More theoretical, rather than practical, problems would likely be on scope on some of the other sites on the network.
    – Servy
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 17:28
  • If the question is regarding an approach solvable using psuedo language agnostic examples then math, CS, or CS Theory is probably a better fit.
    – Travis J
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 17:38
  • Or even Programmers, if you can make the question specific enough.
    – user102937
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 18:44

2 Answers 2

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I have to agree with juergen d's comment on this one, it depends entirely on the question.

The question you linked wasn't really a good question to begin with. It was plainly a homework dump with no thought put into it at all. It doesn't seem practical, and the OP doesn't help that by explaining why it's practical at all.

However, some of the best questions I've seen in are looking for psuedocode. Whether or not they get psuedocode-only answers is not up to them. Most of the time, answerers will use whatever language they're comfortable in, and leave it to the OP to translate that into whatever they need/want.


For example, this question about in-place radix sort asks for a psuedocode implementation (rather, at least psuedocode). It's a very nicely written, well explained problem. It's both practical and non-trivial.

The fact that the accepted answer is written in D doesn't take away from that at all. There are a few other approaches posted, with both actual code and psuedocode descriptions. Professional or enthusiast programmers should be able to deduce the code they need (whether or not that's psuedocode) from that.


Sometimes it actually makes sense to ask for psuedocode. Take the same example question. From the OP's final resolution, you can see he's using C++/Seqan. If he had asked for that specifically up front, it might not have led to the same great answers he got.

Now, you could make the argument that this would be a good fit at Programmers, CS, CS Theory, or any other SE site you want. You'd probably even be right. But do we really want to deprive SO of stuff like this?

For more examples, just browse through the first page or so of highest voted questions tagged algorithm or language-agnostic. It's full of goodies I don't want to see go away.

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  • I understand these are some very good questions, probably challenging and better than programming-related questions. However the point is, is it correct to stack it up everything here on SO or make use of other sites in StackExchange & build up the StackExchange community.
    – ram
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 19:40
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    Well, the questions asked were "is it okay?" and "if not, where?". My answer is, yes, it's okay. If you want to post it at another site rather than SO, that's fine also, as long as it's on-topic there.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 19:43
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Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved.Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results

A question asking for pseudo code is no different from a question asking for Java code. If it were a Java question we would expect in most cases for the question to include some Java code, so in most cases we should expect a question asking for pseudo code to include some pseudo code.

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