Why do we have a diff stackexchange site for programmers, IMO it needlessly duplicates functionality of stackoverflow

  • I'd advise against reading Meta on Programmers SE. Due to shifting domains, topics and rulesets, it opens more questions than it answers.
    – mario
    Nov 20, 2010 at 20:12
  • 1
    From the answers it seems that there has been a long back and forth about this so even though I am not sure about the criteria I think there is no point in reopening the debate, if I knew about the background probably I wouldn't have asked the question. Having said that a. Looking at the questions asked on overflow it seems criteria is "More honor'd in the breach than the observance" b. I don't who downvoted the q but that was not very nice, I hope he/she doesn't kick cute puppies in real life for fun.
    – Gaurav
    Nov 21, 2010 at 5:27
  • possible duplicate of Why was the Programmers site on Stack Exchange created?
    – Pops
    Nov 22, 2010 at 18:57

3 Answers 3


There is a lot of history that led up to the decision to maintain separate sites. There was a continuous, low-level, mostly mannerly, but none-the-less deeply rooted feud over the proper boundaries of on-topicness for Stack Overflow starting as far back as the beta.

The establishment of Programmers has relieved some of the pressure, and I think the situation continues to improve as the community adjusts to the change.


Please read the faq for both sites; it is quite clear what the differences are.


If, after reading these faqs, you have specific questions, please edit your question to include them.

  • actually I asked the question after reading the FAQ =, I know there is a criteria of subjectivity but a. Even after the beta site stackoverflow regularly gets subjective queries as b. it is not very easy to decide what is strictly a subjective question or not, which is not surprising considering c. a lot of programming is about subjective arguments. I would have thought a better idea would have been to have a diff stackexchange based on diff tech (eg web development).Anyhow considering the not very friendly reply I think maybe it was wrong q to ask. My apologies.
    – Gaurav
    Nov 20, 2010 at 10:23
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    @guarav if it contains code, it generally belongs on Stack Overflow. If it does not, it generally belongs on programmers.se -- it's fairly simple if you use that guideline. Nov 20, 2010 at 17:50
  • I think maybe that should be reflected in the FAQ's a bit more strongly. Honestly I've read them a couple of times, and just searched meta to try and find the answer, because after reading them I wasn't sure on the differences. I've seen many a question that don't feature code, where SO seems the right place for them.
    – Ian
    Apr 27, 2011 at 12:14
  • @ian if it is discussiony and has no clear cut right or wrong or even verifiable answer -- this is where code comes in really freaking handy -- then it belongs on programmers. But this doesn't exempt people from using their judgment, either. Apr 28, 2011 at 2:04

I think it's a fair question, I was wondering the same myself.

Having read Jeff's links, I summarise it as:

  • StackOverflow - How Tos about code
  • Programmers - Coding related subjective questions.
  • 1
    Beware about the "subjective" though. There are more closevoting tendencies on Programmers than on SO.
    – mario
    Nov 20, 2010 at 20:11
  • @mario: Fair point. From the Programmer's FAQ: "Stack Exchange is for expert programmers who are interested in subjective discussions on software development." but also "Subjective does not mean "anything goes". Please keep it professional at all times. If this is a question you'd be uncomfortable discussing with your colleagues in a work environment, it's probably not appropriate here, either." Nov 20, 2010 at 21:15

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