Couldn't we make a new kind of question, similar to community wiki but call it a poll?

For example: This question asks Is it always evil to have a struct with methods? This question is about best practice and is subjective.

Clearly a "normal type question" is not suitable since it is unfair to decrease users' reputation based on their answers to subjective answers.

I also don't think that it should be a "community wiki" because that invites editing of the entire post (as opposed to just formatting, etc). Also I think that the term community wiki is confusing for poll type questions.

I think that a new type of question should be created called a poll, for subjective questions and questions with more than one answer.

Here are some more examples (of poll questions):

I think that the asker of the question should not accept an answer. I think that should be up to the community.

I am not sure how reputation should be handled. This is my proposal, but feel free to suggest your own.

  • Downvotes do not decrease your reputation
  • Upnotes:
    • Do not increase your reputation (because it is a poll, duh)
    • Increase your reputation to a maximum of x votes (well it is a good answer but you should not be able to profit 100 votes from it)
  • Reputation for the asker of the question remains the same

(It seems especially useful for meta. In fact, I think that this question should be a poll.)

This question was originally an answer to this question.

The following questions ask similar questions. However, none of them propose a solution like this.


3 Answers 3


You are right that the Stack Overflow engine doesn't handle polls well. I'm OK with that because I don't--for the most part--see poll as appropriate question.

Not that I actively "hate" this kind of socializing per se, but the sheer popularity of such content dilutes the focus of the sites.

Nothing should be done to make polls work "better" unless and until something is done to segregate them from the content that counts: the stuff that makes Stack Overflow and her sister sites special. As long as we have "What's your favorite..." on the Leaders page we have a problem, and you're suggesting thing to make that situation worse.

  • 4
    This is always the answer when people try to add a poll-centric feature: SO is not for polls. Then why do we allow them? It's like we're in mass-denial about the existence of polls on SO; we get stuck in a loop. "Should we close all these poll questions as NaRQ?" "Well, people seem to like them, let's just ignore them" "OK, so should we add features to make polls less intrusive?" "Well, polls aren't allowed on SO" Aug 1, 2010 at 19:41

I have to disagree that either of the examples you posted are good examples to demonstrate "poll questions" (I concede there probably are good examples though...but most are probably closed).

  • The first is a question about a code object names Polls looking for help
  • The second is a very rare case that was created by the team and would only be allowed on Meta.

Aside from the examples, I can't agree with the premise either. Your reasoning is "subjective questions"...which aren't desired. There's a close option for that, or "questions with more than one answer". I think you'll find not only with programming, but with most Stack Exchange sites there is almost always more than one answer, and more than one correct answer; it's far less common that there's only one way to do something.

Disregarding everything above even, I tend to think we have polls already; each answer is an option, and you vote on them :)


I think this would be a good idea, and have a specific example in mind, but I'll make it generic to hopefully avoid too much sidetracking.

Example Scenario I'm working on product A, a 3rd party IDE for working with a certain type of Java project. The standard IDE writes various comments along with the config stored in a .properties file

Example Question Does it matter if 'Product A' writes different comments (or no comments) for the config files?

Example Answer 1 Yes, deviation from the norm is a source of confusion

Example Answer 2 No, if someone edits config by hand instead of using the IDE, they should know what they're doing

Yes, the example is a subjective question, and these are generally frowned upon; however it is nonetheless useful to gauge community feeling on the subject.

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