I tried to ask a question on StackOverflow whether I should use the new Rails 3 for my new app or not. but I got a dark red box saying:

"The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed."

I'm wondering what's wrong with subjective questions in general. Although there isn't right or wrong answer all the times, they definitely help making some important design decision as some users might have more knowledge and better knowledge about certain technologies or how different technologies play well together and it's programming-related. Is it a matter of re-formulating my question to have a definite answer or should I ask my question somewhere else? if so where do you suggest?


3 Answers 3


Focus less on subjectivity, and more on answerability. You're right when you say that design questions are often, by their nature, subjective. That's not the end of the world. More important: for us to provide any help, the question needs to be reasonably answerable, in something less than a ten-page white paper, and with a minimum of religious arguments. The subjective questions we see often don't meet this criteria.

Also, remember that a short little regex is triggering the box. Nobody's dinging you - it's just a hint that you should look again at your question.

Did you end up asking your question? A link to it may help provide some context.


Is it a matter of re-formulating my question to have a definite answer


You can ask, "Should I use the new Rails 3 for my new app?" and then describe your app requirements, skills, etc. The eventual answer(s) will be useful primarily to you, but that's ok - you can accept the one that works for you in good conscience.

Don't ask, "Would you use the new Rails 3 for your new app?" or "Is Rails 3 a good choice for new app development?" - that's asking a question that anyone can answer, even if they've never used nor plan to use Rails. As dsolimano notes, those are the sort of discussion-fodder appropriate for forums and message boards, but not a good fit for SO's Q&A format.


I think a look at the SO FAQ answers your query:

This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

The questions that you're asking are useful questions to discuss, but SO is not the proper forum for such discussions, at least as envisioned.

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