1

I recently had some beef with other users on Stack Overflow. And why I'm getting the feeling that giving context is not a desired thing on Stack Overflow, I'm hopeful it might be here, so I'll give a little bit of context before coming to my actual question.

Basically, I was facing a programming problem (streaming audio data from a mobile device), and I couldn't figure out what what the standard solution for this problem was, so I was asking what the standard solution for this is. The question was closed for being too broad, which I still find odd.

I would have understood if the question had been closed for being off-topic for Stack Overflow, citing 4. of the listing on the Stack Overflow Help page listing off-topic types of questions, being:

  1. Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it.

While I don't think that is exactly the same as asking for what is the standard way, I can understand that it is possible to consider my question as asking for a recommendation. But I don't want to argue about that distinction as well. Nor do I want to talk about how badly this was handled by some users (deleting helpful comments from another user and myself without giving a reason why, for instance). It might be worth another topic here how to avoid such behaviour, but never mind now. In the end, I was so angry that I deleted the question. (*)

What I want to ask is the following:

If I'm having a software development issue I cannot easily solve by myself, it is usually that I want to do something and would like to know if there's a standard solution for this. Usually some API or library, or even protocol, which is commonly used for tasks like this. Of course, I'm googling things then, but it happens that I can't find the answer, or that all answers I can find are wildly outdated, citing solutions that no longer exist.

In my opinion, these are legitimate questions about software development. Now, while it's debatable if they fall under the clause stated above, let's assume for now they would be considered off-topic for Stack Overflow.

What Stack Exchange site would such kind of questions be on topic?

(*) Footnote: I think I found an answer to my original question by now (still doing some research on it). I think if someone suggested that, I would have accepted the answer and the answer would have not been a recommendation for a software library, which underlines my point that I'm not convinced my question actually was off-topic.

Edit: This is NOT a duplicate of the question where to ask for software, since I am not. I‘m asking where to ask what technology to use. I don’t want software recommendations, but platform/protocol/general technology.

Please note my comment below, I find these superficial duplicate suggestions very unwelcoming.

To illustrate the difference: if I‘m asking for a good way to distribute information on the internet, the answer could be to suggest using a web server. A software recommendation would be Apache, for instance.

A software recommendation is something you want when you already know what technology to use. This is a step before that, choosing the right direction.

  • 1
    SE Software Recommendatons might be suitable, but you have to be very specific. – πάντα ῥεῖ Aug 24 at 11:47
  • Even if the answer to my question might not be a specific piece of software, but a technology of which there may be many implementations? – Demosthenes Aug 24 at 11:50
  • 1
  • Certainly not a duplicate of the first one. – Demosthenes Aug 24 at 11:53
  • You got one close vote in that SO question. I guess the juicy comments have all been deleted? If anything, the last paragraph of that SO question seems to contain the most trigger words. – rene Aug 24 at 12:04
  • 5
    With a little editing your question can be on topic. Don’t ask what libraries to use, ask how you do it, with any hard constraints you have. It’s the difference between “what ladder should I buy to fix my roof”, and “here are the dimensions and unique landscape present around my home, how do I patch this hole on my roof?” – George Stocker Aug 24 at 12:17
  • George while you are right, I‘m afraid it is not that simple. If I‘d have asked this I would instantly have gotten „possible duplicate of“ replies citing similar questions with wildly outdated answers or where the accepted answer didn’t answer the question. I included that context and was reprimanded for being too broad. I sometimes feel a lot of users on SO have an attitude trying to prevent people from asking questions. I feel the need to justify myself for asking a question, that’s not how a Q&A platform should work. – Demosthenes Aug 24 at 13:17
  • Rene, as I wrote in this question I got angry and deleted the entire question with the juicy comments. I then phrased it differently with much less context. On that one I got one close vote, that’s true. I answered that one myself with my current top solution, hoping it will encourage others to be less destructive. Seems to work, got a comment already that is perfectly fine. – Demosthenes Aug 24 at 13:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .