I've seen several questions in the close queue like this one lately:


There are advanced Node.js questions being flagged as off-topic for Stack Overflow and recommending Server Fault instead -- I don't imagine the Server Fault people are willing to learn Node.js code just so they can determine whether the fault is on the server side or the code side?


  1. Is this a new policy somewhere that I missed -- that Node.js questions (with valid code) be sent to Server Fault?
  2. Is this an acceptable behavior or should these questions remain open? (Assuming that the problem isn't clearly identifiable as a server/provider issue)
  • This looks like it's perfectly on-topic for SO. No idea why it got flagged for SF...
    – MattDMo
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:54
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    It's just one close vote from one random person. Let's wait until questions get closed for that reason before discussing if this is a new trend. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:54
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    That was just one vote of the 5 needed votes. It does not mean that the post will be closed for that reason.
    – gunr2171
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:54
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    @gunr2171 yeah, but it's just one example. There were about 4 in the queue this morning. I'm worried it's a trend, and a lot of close votes come from people not really paying attention. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:55
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    Short answer: some people are complete idiots. And this is why the migration path to Sever Fault was removed.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:58
  • I see a lot of this in general -- I don't understand the topic or the question, it must not be clear or belong somewhere else.
    – Hogan
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 21:30

2 Answers 2


Do not close Node.js questions as "Belongs on Server Fault!"

Node.js is a tool used by programmers. Even Node.js installation questions would be on-topic on Stack Overflow.

  • (That is positively the answer I wanted to hear!) Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 17:56
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    Keep in mind, too, that there may be other valid reasons to close the questions, such as their being utter crap. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 18:04
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    @MichaelHampton for sure! And closing a question because it's crap is fine. I just don't want to see people getting the idea that they should be asking Node.js questions on SF. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 18:20
  • @remus Don't worry. If they do get that idea... well, there's a reason many sysadmins are also gun owners. ;) Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 18:20
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    "Even Node.JS installation questions" So, JBoss/IIS installation questions are now on topic for SO? Good to know.
    – Powerlord
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 21:37
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    @Powerlord - be reasonable. The installation should be aimed to create a development environment, not a high-scalable server farm. (but question how to automate the installation of a tool on a server farm with some scripting language would be again on-topic here...) Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 1:10
  • @JohannesKuhn This is why over-generalizing is bad and why I upvoted the other answer and not this one.
    – Powerlord
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 14:13

OK, here's the deal: If a Node.JS question is about code (writing, debugging, troubleshooting, etc.) like this example it ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY 100% DOES NOT belong on Server Fault.

More than that, basic troubleshooting and research is something any competent developer is capable of (or at least it should be) - this question shows none as far as I can tell. It's a bad question, and suggesting it for migration flies in the face of Don't Migrate Crap.

If a Node.JS question is about the server aspects of Node.JS itself (the engine -- setting it up, optimizing its performance, managing a farm of Node.JS servers etc.) it may be on topic for Server Fault, but be aware that the bar for entry on Server Fault is not the same as on other Stack Exchange sites - It is generally expected that questions be asked regarding an actual problem you're facing in a production environment (or a well-documented and researched issue in a lab test that's going to go into production).

"How do I install this?" doesn't generally pass muster (especially if the next three words are "on my workstation").

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