Is the following a valid question?

"What is an example of the most fun thing you can program in Python in less an hour?"

Or is this not really appropriate for this site. I have seen similar questions on stack overflow that seem to have become community wikis.

I'd like to get people's opinions on fun 1 hour long programming projects, but I don't know if it is appropriate to ask.

  • 2
    This asks for an opinion, so it is not appropriate for SO. Mar 10, 2014 at 4:25
  • Just to clarify, do you mean this question that I posted on Meta, or the question within my question? Mar 10, 2014 at 4:27
  • @Tyler I'm assuming the latter.
    – bjb568
    Mar 10, 2014 at 4:28
  • Yes, the latter. This is MSO. The question you propose is inappropriate for SO. Mar 10, 2014 at 4:29

2 Answers 2


Absolutely not appropriate for Stack Overflow. That's an example of a so-called "list question" where

  • every answer is equally valid

(from the FAQ).

It falls squarely afoul of the "primarily opinion based" close reason:

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

The questions you are seeing as similar examples are left over from the early days of the site, when everyone was still trying to figure out what would and wouldn't work. For a while, community wiki was considered a compromise position for these kinds of questions. They're kept either because they haven't been cleaned up yet, or because they have historical popularity or value.

Thanks for asking here first, though, instead of just posting it.


First of all, when making a judgment call on questions that you've seen that look like the one you're about to ask, check the date on them. They're likely three or more years old, and are not good examples of on-topic questions here and today.

If the question has enough attention, it may have a historical lock, explaining in part, that while the question may have got a lot of attention/value from the community, it's not an example of a constructive question.

If you're ever curious about if a question would be on topic, check to see if it fits with the on-topic section of the FAQ. Cross-reference the don't ask section as well - it will indicate the kinds of questions that are explicitly disallowed.

Namely, the question:

"What is an example of the most fun thing you can program in Python in less an hour?"

...has answers that are both equally valid and open-ended, and would be subject to closure and likely a flurry of downvotes.

So no. Don't ask that question. It would not be appropriate for Stack Overflow.

  • 1
    The pointer to the on topic section and don't ask section is particularly useful. Thanks for that. Mar 10, 2014 at 4:41

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