On Software Engineering we want to update our FAQ to contain a list of what's not allowed much like the Super User and Web Applications ones.

See this question

However, I've only just noticed that while there is an "edit" link below the What kind of questions can I ask here? section there isn't one below the What kind of questions should I not ask here? section.

So rather than having to bother the developers can we have edit rights over this section as well? After all what's off topic is just as important as what's on topic, and it's just as likely to evolve over time (see Super User as a prime example of this).

We've quite a good list of things we agree shouldn't be asked on Software Engineering and would like to update the FAQ. We'll just edit them into main section for now, but it would be nice to be able to edit the "proper" section.

Can anyone say whether a) this is going to be done and b) when? (and don't say 6 to 8 weeks)

  • 2
    I would like the option to edit it, but until then, you can do what a few other sites do and just add your off-topic stuff to the top portion. You can casually segue into it with a "but not about..." like done on Web Apps, or you can just add a new heading like Seasoned Advice does.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Dec 28, 2010 at 14:31
  • 4
    @Grace - that was my initial thought too, but I also thought it would break the flow of the document hence this question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Dec 28, 2010 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


The top-most portion of the FAQ is what each site should edit. It starts off as "What kind of questions can I ask here", but it should be edited to explain the entire definition and scope of the site:

  • A general statement about what the site is about
  • What is considered on topic for the site
  • Any topics that someone might think are on topic, but are actually off topic for the site.

The "what not to ask" section of the FAQ (and beyond) describe more the general philosophy and policy about how these sites work. We would like to keep that consistent across the networks. It would not be very "user friendly" if the esoteric differences between the sites were scattered throughout the FAQ. Users should find that information within those first few lines. The rest is boilerplate.

The Cooking FAQ and the Web Apps FAQ got it right. Those are good models to follow. The top section (the section you can edit) contains everything you need to know unique to that site.


As stated by Robert Cartaino in chat

The "what not to ask" section is about the more-general philosophy and policy about the type of questions we don't allow. We want to keep that consistent across the networks.

So I've updated the section I can edit to include the information we want. This is consistent with Gaming and Cooking.

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