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Implement a single front-end for searching and asking questions on any SO site
Why do we need the trilogy instead of just one site?

I was wondering why there is not one single Stackoverflow for all type of questions (where we have the different portals now, like meta.stackoverflow, the basic stackoverflow, superuser, math.stackoverflow, etc). There could be some basic tags like programming or meta or math or so.

It would make the moving from one site to another (or just closing because it fits nowhere) obsolete. It would be just a retagging. Thus is would simplify the process when posting on a wrong platform and avoid confusion for newcomers. In many cases, a visitor of stackoverflow.com sees that there are many computer related questions and will post his own computer related question there.

You would also share your same account for all sites. (This would solve automatically the problem described here. For a possible solution about the reputation, see below.)

I often felt the need to ask some non-programming question but was always to lazy to figure out what other sites there are and where my question would fitt best. And also the need to create a new user account annoyed me.

In case it is wanted to have different reputation for each major topics, that can be done technically (like assigning tags to each reputation point - or at least seperate them by the major topic).

In case someone really only want to see only questions of a certain kind, there can be some filtering. And also all domains like x.stackoverflow.com could automatically filter for the major topic tag x.

To not allow any random question, you could force the use of at least one major topic tag. And any question which are unwanted on Stackoverflow could just be closed. (To maintain some quality.)

Edit: I just figured out that math overflow is not related at all to stackoverflow. This adds of course some non-technical difficulty to the issue. And esp this would have been a good example to my proposal as I can see a huge intersection of computer science and math. (Whereby I am not sure if stackoverflow is just about technical questions or also about computer science in general.)


1 Answer 1


You want something like Yahoo Answers which provides in depth high quality and well researched answers to intelligent questions on a broad range of topics.

All humor aside I don't think it would add anything and it would remove a lot of the cleanness of the user interface. I only want to look at programming questions and having a "programming" tag on every question I look at is a bit pointless.

Given the amount of problems we have with incorrect tags, I would expect that there would be huge amounts of questions in the wrong place. Far more than there are now. It is far easier to have separate sites and separate visual styles for each topic. It also makes it far clearer to new users (who are the most likely to miss tag something) where they should be posting.

There is also the issue of reputation. I am fairly good at knowing what programming topics need to be closed, even if the subtopic is slightly out of my field of experience. I don't have a clue about server fault and I would be a liability if I had the ability to close questions.

In summary StackOverflow has succeeded partly because of the very strict set of topics allowed and the fact that it doesn't try and be the jack of all traders (and master of none). Killing that winning formula wouldn't be a good idea.

  • I know Yahoo Answers but I mostly meant only to merge all current stackoverflow sites and allow all of those questions types but not really all random questions.
    – Albert
    Commented May 9, 2010 at 22:30
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    @Albert: Yacoby is being sarcastic. Sorry for ruining the joke. He's implying that the low quality of information on Yahoo Answers is a direct result of trying to answer questions on many different topics, on a single site. That higher-quality answers will come from a site specializing in a single topic. Commented May 9, 2010 at 22:38
  • Ok, I didn't knew that the quality of YA is so bad. :) I never have used it, sometimes just stumbled upon it. I'm also not sure if they have any solution like what I described (to filter out only the programming questions for example). Also, I don't know much people asking programming questions there, that is why I was never interested in using it.
    – Albert
    Commented May 9, 2010 at 22:49

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