Is it on-topic over here (or any other SE site) to ask how Stack Exchange implements a certain feature?

For example, how do SE show 'linked questions' - do they make a 'note' in a database every time a post references another one? Or something else?

  • It's on topic, but scope is an issue.
    – Servy
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:09
  • @Servy I was thinking more of the 'idea'; not the code... (I wouldn't possibly understand SE's code! :). That on-topic? Are there any 'official' views that have been said before? Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:11
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    Again, it's on topic, so long as the question is sufficiently narrow about what you're asking as to allow for it to be answered in just a few paragraphs. And of course there are plenty of things that they choose not to explain how they're implemented, not that you can't ask.
    – Servy
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:12
  • That is very on-topic! Meta is used to ask about these, among other things. But there is a possibility your question will get closed due to one of those canonical posts.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:13
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    @MARamezani what do you mean? Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:14
  • Just ask it. You'll either get a full answer, part answer, or told no info can be divulged at all,
    – James
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:14
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ I meant that if you're asking what is the formula for hot questions? your question will get closed of another one previously asked and explained. (You get the idea, and I'm too lazy to put a link in there :) Better search every corner before asking one. Just a suggestion. I know you know better.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:19
  • @MARamezani Ahhh.. true - but it's hard to find stuff and you often miss things - as rene has proved :) Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


On Meta Stack Exchange you can ask questions about software that drive the SE network.

But as it is closed source and only an SE Dev or Sysop could answer it might depend on how much they want to share or if the feature owner find the time to write a good answer.

Examples of good questions are:

How does Stack Exchange work around the lack of Redis clustering?

Does StackExchange have 1 multi-tenant environment, or many single-tenant environments?

Does Stack Exchange use caching and if so, how?

Who made the 2013 Winter Bash snowflake script?

Markdown formatting bug with code blocks in lists

How much bandwidth does SE eat up?

(and this selection doesn't mean I don't like contributions by other Devs)

For your example question I think their implementation is close to what is in SEDE which means there is a row added to the PostLinks table for every link.

  • Nice! +1 - good example question :) And thanks for the 'answer' to my example question :) Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 17:16

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