Does this question belong on Stack Overflow or not?

Why or why not?


Well, according to the results of this poll, yes, as per the 3rd-highest voted response:

Questions about best practices and other aspects of programming, including use of software tools used in the development process, standards for maintenance and readability of code, advice to avoid potential coding pitfalls, etc.

(emphasis added)

I think that for a great many of us, an HTML editor is a tool used in the development process. I think the important distinction here is that he isn't asking for help in installing such a tool (which would be a superuser question), but is asking for advice on selecting a good tool.

Since selection will critically depend on the fact that one is a programmer and not a hobbyist or heavy-hitting UI designer, this is definitely fair game for SO.


This comes down to the old question - is 'pure' HTML design (without automatic markup generation or scripting) programming related, or not?

Since HTML is a markup language, not a programming language, many people feel that designing HTML is not programming, and therefore does not belong on SO.
OTOH, I believe that any web developer worth his salt will want to look up the HTML source his code generates from time to time. From this perspective, HTML editors are programming related.

I disagree with Ólafur's answer. Of course, HTML isn't programming. But it is related (rather closely, in fact). Therefore in reply to his statement: Related related related


Edit In reply to Ólafur's update on his answer:
He is right in saying that there is a gray line, and I agree that a question like How do I install Visual Studio does not belong on SO. Even though installing VS is certainly programming related, such a question is better placed on SU.
The main reason why there still are such questions on SO is that they were asked before SU was available. That can not be used as a justification to post such questions on SO nowadays.


Now that we have SuperUser up. I would say it belongs there now.

  • 2
    But, there will probably be a duplicate and be closed. – Troggy Sep 20 '09 at 19:17

Asking about a program is not programming related. Even if you program with that program.

Asking how do you a certain type of code with a certain type of program. Is programming related.

Program program program.


What I mean is. Questions about using a program are on a gray line. There are questions about using a program that fit perfectly with SO and others that do not.

But questions about where to get, how to install etc are IMO not programming related.

To answer the original question, I think yours is on a gray line but it's worded well so IMO it's fine.

  • 4
    Would that mean asking about Eclipse or Visual Studio is also unacceptable? – Rex M Sep 20 '09 at 20:01
  • Installing it, where to download etc. I've seen these kind of questions closed before time and time again. Check out 603374, 1372078, 885814, 492077, 799223. There are more. You can see the theme there. There are ofcourse questions you can ask about a certain program. And there are question that should be closed but are still open because nobody knows that they should be closed since they don't belong. – Ólafur Waage Sep 20 '09 at 20:17
  • Installing it, downloading it....Probably a different question than "Where can I find it." – user102937 Sep 21 '09 at 0:02
  • It all depends on how you word it, hence the gray line. – Ólafur Waage Sep 21 '09 at 1:18

It didn't get closed, so the community apparently thinks it is a valid question.

My take: HTML editors are programming related, so it's a valid question.


OK. Html markup is not strictly a programming language. But if you are creating a web page using html and not a clean GUI web page designer (i.e. MS Word), you are quite advanced, and will probably also spice up the functionality of the page with some additional javascript, which is definitely a programming language.

Also the fact that 7103 posts on SO are marked with the html tag (at the time I post this..) means that html related questions definitely belongs here!

  • 1
    I don't think he has a problem with HTML being discussed. The linked question is about HTML editors. Are editors programming related? – Ladybug Killer Sep 21 '09 at 12:22
  • So the question is really: Does questions about which programming-related editors to use belong here? That means, if these kind of questions don't belong here, then questions about what C++ editors to use also does not belong here... – awe Sep 21 '09 at 13:09

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