The Not programming related proposal will soon go into the beta stage, but its name is a huge misnomer.

The description says:

Proposed Q&A site for expert programmers interested in discussions that are only indirectly related to programming.

Also, every single on-topic answer is indeed programming related. The name was probably chosen as a reference to SO's close reason but it won't be understood by unfamiliar people, in fact it will be very confusing. A not programming related Q/A website that is programming related?

I'm not really sure what name it should have, I just absolutely don't want it to go into private beta with the current name. If you agree with me and you can think of a name, feel free to post it as an answer.

EDIT: It was named "programmers" in the site url and header: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/. It's not a great name, but like Jeff said naming is hard, and I am happy with the temporary beta name. =)

  • Not only that, but "Not programming related" is no longer a close reason on SO. It's now called "off-topic". Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 0:58
  • why do you post the question here rather than in the comments on the site itself? Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 9:06
  • 1
    @Mark: He posted it in the right place. NPR is already in the commitment phase, where comments can no longer be posted. There's no way to discuss the proposal at this point without coming to meta. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 9:31
  • @Nicholas - great, thanks for the reply. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 9:54

11 Answers 11


I agree with your concerns, but I don't see any other viable names mentioned here.

Until we have another name that's viable, the one it has is "good enough" -- so you need to come up with another, better name to prove your point.

(and yes, naming is really, really hard. I dread it, every time.)

EDIT: It ended up being renamed to "Programmers"



  • 5
    Win. ​​​​​​​​
    – Aarobot
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 18:32
  • propose this on the programmers.meta for sure.. Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 8:37
  • @Jeff OK, done.
    – Dan Dyer
    Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 9:58

What about extending the current name: Not programming related, programmer related

or simply: Programmer related

  • 1
    +1 for #2. #1 is too long. "Not Programming Related" could be kept on as a subtitle / motto of sorts, though :)
    – hobbs
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 1:32

As requested, making this a proper suggestion rather than just a comment:

The Foo Bar

Inspired by Peter's pub/lounge idea. However, the .com address is currently occupied by this two-word website.


What about Programmers' Pub or Programmers' Lounge?

  • 7
    If there were a programmer's pub, I think it would have to be called "The Foo Bar".
    – Dan Dyer
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 22:35
  • @Dan - I like it! Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 23:30
  • 1
    @Dan: I just voted up your comment. Want to make an answer of it? Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 21:37
  • @David OK, just added it. Thanks.
    – Dan Dyer
    Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 10:12



The name "Not Programming Related" is a deliberate parody of the old close reason "not programming related" and various debates around its meaning and scope.

It's also the equivalent of holding up a card with the word "GREEN" in red letters. It's not supposed to make literal sense.

Keep it just as it is.

  • 4
    Exactly. The site is intended as a giant in-joke. If enough people have signed up, and the management will tolerate it, there's no need to make it comprehensible to anyone else.
    – Rosinante
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 0:56
  • 2
    It doesn't matter what it was originally intended for; now it looks like a serious website where you can ask subjective questions. None of the on-topic questions look like jokes, and some of the off-topic questions are indeed jokes. Why exactly do you think this proposal is a "joke"? It can be useful to people outside of the stack overflow community. If you're saying it's an experiment I agree, but it's definitely not a joke. The apocalypse proposal was, this one is not. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 1:13
  • 2
    @Kop: Slashdot is also a serious website where you can ask subjective questions. And the name is a joke, a joke intended to confuse newcomers. I don't see the problem with following in such footsteps... (and FWIW, I don't think you've looked very hard at the top on-topic questions)
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 6:54
  • 1
    +1. Remember, NPR is just the beta name, we'll be choosing a real name soon enough.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 16:46
  • 93% through commitment at the time of this writing :) Hopefully we see beta by next week !!
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 9:04
  • @Rosinante: Thing is, these sites are intended to stand on their own, presumably with somewhat independent communities. In-jokes don't work well in these cases. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 21:36

This is the challenge of naming something that is at least partially way defined by what it is not. It appears to sort of be an alternate universe Stack Overflow: it seems similar but isn't the same, it occupies a similar space but in a different manner.

Like the other Area 51 sites, this one will have a question about finding a clever dot-com name for use after the end of the beta process. In the meantime, it just needs something that is descriptive to the people likely to be using it. I would think that something like the existing title that plays off the mechanisms of Stack Overflow meets that criteria.

Another idea: programmer tangents and discussions. As in, "go off on a tangent" and a place for "discussiony type" questions.

  • +1. The most accurate name would be something like StackOverflow closed my question with subtitle meta-tags ate my homework. Just like in programming if you're finding trouble naming something, it can indicate the something needs a new design, not a new name.
    – MarkJ
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 18:31

What about Programming Discussion or Metaprogramming? I like the latter, but it's probably a naming conflict with the whole meta = talk about the site paradigm.

  • 4
    No, "Metaprogramming" has a rather more serious naming conflict with... metaprogramming. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaprogramming . As for "Programming Discussion", that's both ridiculously boring and much more limited than the site is intended to be. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 0:44
  • Your argument against the use of metaprogramming (that it means something specific in computer science) is specious. What about Stack Overflow?
    – user149432
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 0:51
  • 2
    There will never be a site specifically for stack overflows. It is conceivable that such a site may exist for the much more expansive topic of metaprogramming. It is self-evident that "Stack Overflow" is not limited to stack overflows. It is far from self-evident that a site called "Metaprogramming" has nothing to do with the vast and important topic of metaprogramming. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 0:56


  • Possibly not specific enough but does encourage informal communication. And the "overflow" is enough for people in the known to recognise that it is at least somehow connected to programming. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 20:46
  • 1
    Or plumbing. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 21:38
  • @David - good point! =:-) Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 5:04


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