Jeff Atwood has started Discourse site which is now in beta phase.

Do you plan to integrate a similar concept for discussions, for example a new site where 'not constructive' questions, such as Django OR Rails [closed] could be migrated?

Update: I would like to clarify why I ask this question. The number one reason I use StackExchange is because I almost always find what I am looking for. It has a vast user base and has solved the problem of needless searching throughout the whole internet. Not that I don't resort to that either, but I find myself doing this less and less these days. I think that it would be nice if this centralisation was possible also for matters requiring discussions and not clear cut answers.

  • 4
    A better application of Discourse might (if anywhere) be in place of meta, rather than using it as a waste bin for off topic questions. Whilst I'm not sure of the merits of Discourse in terms of support and feature-request posts, it must surely be better at handling discussions!
    – Matt
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 9:07

3 Answers 3


First of all Discourse is not owned by Stack Exchange. Second Stack Exchange is not a forum. If we discourage non constructive question on one site, why should we allow them on another site? Also, we have Area51 where we can suggest new sites. If they don't fit in Stack Exchange model it will be closed. So I don't think we are planning to add Discourse to our communities.

  • Regarding the ownership point - discourse is open-source so how does the ownership point relates to the question? If I am not mistaken, once it becomes publicly available, anyone will be able to use Discourse to build a community. Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 9:01
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    @AlexPopov - You ever see those crazy inventors in the movies? Like the car that's also a boat that's also a plane? Those things are never practical since they don't focus. The worst car will always be better than the best carboatplane. That's why Stack Exchange won't use Discourse. It's not in their goals.
    – jmort253
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 9:05

The best products are those that focus on a singular goal. While folks in the past have attempted to turn Stack Exchange into discussion platforms, the Stack Exchange team actively discourages such attempts by shutting down such proposals in Area 51.

Without a clear goal, it would be difficult to replicate the success of Stack Overflow in a manner that scales. Likewise, Discourse exists to solve an entirely different problem. It exists solely for discussions.

To mix these two worlds together would dilute the brand and make it harder to teach new users what Stack Exchange and Discourse are about. Therefore, if I were running either of these companies, I would continue keeping them separate. Each platform has its own goal, and that's by design.

In the case of the Django or Rails question, it's definitely not a good fit for Stack Overflow and arguably not a good fit for Discourse. Neither platform benefits from rehashing the same discussions that have already been answered elsewhere on the Internet. The Django or Rails question can be answered with some time, patience, diligent Google searching, and self-exploration. Having people discuss what's already been discussed is a waste of time, energy, resources. Also, it spreads out information over various places and simply creates noise. These concepts aren't just limited to Q&A.


The SE Q&A platform has time and again proven insufficient for meta (and Area 51) discussion.

Hence I think that moving meta sites to a discussion platform -- Discourse or another -- would be a great move. A move that'd make developers cry, but still.

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