From the comments:

I think this is breaking away from Stackoverflow.com and might not be a good idea, unit testing is programming and Stackoverflow is for programming so I think it belongs there.

I think unit testing is an interesting enough topic to warrant its own community. Not enough people are doing it, and there are clear leaders that could contribute answers. I don't usually find StackOverflow itself useful when I'm seeking unit testing advice.

This sounded like an important debate, so I though I'd take it to meta. Any thoughts?

EDIT: the proposal is getting close to going into private beta, so we need some sort of verdict. I think any testing questions would be answered well on Stackoverflow and that this fragmentation will not serve the community well.


I'm very worried about the fragmentation.

SO brings a wide array of often very (even scary) smart people with different but related backgrounds on to one site.

While each person has their specialities and will spend most of their time within a small set of tags, I frequently see (and sometimes have been able to provide) good, useful answers beyond the answerer's usual scope.

There's also the "former life" effect -- if somebody comes in with a question about a really obscure technology, there might be one or two people in the entire StackExchange family who would know the answer because they worked with it once 10 years ago. But if these days they're just C# developers focusing on all the latest .NET shinies, they might be off on another niche site and never see the question.

Furthermore, having a bunch of content outside my usual scope is helpful in itself -- e.g. I despise Java and don't really do C#, but I often click through on Java and C# questions that look interesting in some way, and frequently learn something new that may have applications beyond the original context.

We should very carefully examine why people want these niche sites. There might be something about SO that could be "fixed" to reduce or eliminate whatever problems they're having.

  • 3
    Good points well put. – Pekka Aug 13 '10 at 17:15

I personally am a bit concerned about all these proposals popping up that belong clearly in the scope of one of the trilogy sites.

I can understand the desire to create them, especially for niche areas where there's not as resounding and fast feedback on SO as there is for, say, C# or jQuery questions.

I'm not sure, though, whether those splinter proposals have that much of a chance of improving participation. I think they might do more harm than good.

  • I don't like the splintering either, the broader spectrum of questions and answers makes SO not only more useful, but also more interesting. – Georg Fritzsche Aug 13 '10 at 16:52
  • @Georg yup. I would hate the idea of having to "head over to the unit testing site" to ask question A, then to "the jQuery site" to ask question B, then to the "Interface testing site" .... . I also find the Ubuntu site scary: Doesn't every question asked there suck traffic away from Server Fault and Superuser? – Pekka Aug 13 '10 at 16:57
  • 3
    The Ubuntu site is an odd case in my opinion. Ubuntu's community as a whole is rather different than SF and SU, which I've personally come to view as something of a wasteland or post-apocalyptic horror movie. This isn't to say I don't agree that it might pull traffic away from SF/SU, but I also think it's likely to get a lot of users who would never have participated much in SF/SU. It might actually be a net gain for SF/SU as some of the more generic questions get shunted their way. – Nicholas Knight Aug 13 '10 at 17:13
  • @Nicholas Ah! I'm not familiar with the Ubuntu situation, but what you say makes sense. – Pekka Aug 13 '10 at 17:21

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