I asked an opinion-based language design question on Stack Overflow yesterday (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/43080801/why-doesnt-c-sharp-use-the-hindley-milner-type-inference-system), which in retrospect seems more appropriate for the Software Engineering community. However, my question was closed as "off topic", rather than being migrated to the correct site.

  1. Can I posthumously transfer this question?

  2. Is there anything in the Stack Exchange system to incentivize voters to transfer rather than closing questions? It seems to me that transferring an intelligent question to the relevant community should always be preferred to a cold close.

  • 4
    Where do you think it should be transferred? Opinion based questions won't fit for any SE site. Mar 29, 2017 at 14:02
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    A question should only be migrated if the community believes the question will be accepted by the target community. Now that your question is closed, you could ask your question over a Software Engineering, but I strongly suggest you ask if the question will be on topic over their meta and read their help center. If you believe your question should still be migrated, contact a moderator in a Stackoverflow chatroom, and make your case for a migration.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 29, 2017 at 14:04
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    Only moderators would be able to migrate your question anyway in this case—there is no migration path from Stack Overflow to Software Engineering for normal users when they vote to close, so even if someone wanted to migrate it, they couldn't without moderator intervention.
    – Aurora0001
    Mar 29, 2017 at 14:05
  • I can tell you there is at least twoi parst of that question that cannot be reasonably answered by anyone outside of Microsoft. I do not believe your question would be accepted by the Software Engineering community, which means, it would be sent back to Stackoverflow.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 29, 2017 at 14:07
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    That's a rather high opinion of it being an intelligent question
    – random
    Mar 29, 2017 at 14:33
  • I don't understand how this meta question is such a bad question according to so many people. The question is clear and has a definite answer, and it totally on topic on this site.
    – JamesFaix
    Mar 29, 2017 at 16:10
  • @random Why troll?
    – JamesFaix
    Mar 29, 2017 at 16:21
  • You might be surprised that "Why is X not in language Y" or similar questions have a long history of being asked on SO. They also have a long history of being closed as off topic, as they are chatty (people guessing or giving their opinions without basis in fact) and rarely result in an actual answer (some random team member strolls by and happens to answer). They're trivia, not a specific programming problem. There are many convos about this here (from ancient times) and on meta.so (from since after the split).
    – user1228
    Mar 29, 2017 at 17:07
  • And there isn't a migration path from SO to software engineering (nee programmers.se). If you want to know why, do a search for "please don't use programmers as your toilet bowl"
    – user1228
    Mar 29, 2017 at 17:08
  • @JamesFaix, Votes on meta sites more strongly reflect the voter's opinion on the subject of the question rather than just "is it a good question for this site" or "is it on-topic". While both of those are part of what people use to determine how they choose to vote on questions and answers on meta-sites, meta-site votes are also used to gauge how people feel on a subject. Given the multi-purpose, and that the vast majority of SE users don't have the ability to vote-down on meta.se, vote score can not really be used to accurately gauge basically anything, other than that people voted that way.
    – Makyen
    Mar 29, 2017 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


Setting aside the issue of whether the question was too opinionated to host on Stack Exchange…

I would not have migrated this question regardless. Migrations were intended to save good content, so when there's no answers to preserve (like a brand new question simply asked in the wrong place), the side effects of migration make it a poor choice almost every time.

Why Migrations Are [usually] Broken

There's more that goes into a well-received question than moving a block of text. The author (and other participants) often don't have an account on the other site, so all that content is essentially orphaned as anonymous, which also breaks any notifications and activity that goes with it. Questions are often rejected when they're not a good fit, and the question itself may not follow the proper usage of that site. The tags are probably wrong and the voting/vetting doesn't typically reflect the expertise of that community. Migrations also bypass all the in-question dupe checking and usage guidance a user receives before they hit that post your question button.

I can go on about how most migrations typically go wrong, but long story short, in all but the rarest of circumstance, you should forget about migration and politely invite the author to post their question in the context of the correct site.

cc @all-moderators ( ← no, that doesn't actually work)

  • A much more lenient migration policy would have also a strong cross-advertising effect, why the SE gives it up? The OP of a closed question may go to quora, wikipedia, anywhere. The OP of a migrated question would suddenly find himself in the for him best environment - while he remains inside the SE network, and knowing already 2 SE sites. Why is it so???
    – peterh
    Mar 29, 2017 at 16:36
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    @peterh This post explains why we no longer recommend migrations for new questions instead of politely inviting the author to re-post in the context of the correct site. The effort is negligible, and I'll prefer a path to better content over a bit of advertising any day. Mar 29, 2017 at 16:40
  • Ok. What if the receiving side would vote from the migration, and not (or not only) the sender one? They could probably find the correct tags. And, in the case of a rejection, there wouldn't be any problem, "not on my backyard", nothing, it would be just so ordinary, usual process like the closure now.
    – peterh
    Mar 29, 2017 at 16:46
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    Then the procedure would become... vote to migrate, vote to accept, fix the tags, check for duplicates, edit to fit the new site if needed, verify all the users have an account, notify those that don't, wait for responses, remove the voting, clear any comments that no longer make sense; and if everything goes well, move and re-open the question — is all that complexity really worth saving a few seconds of cut-and-paste? Mar 29, 2017 at 16:50

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