I was just writing an answer to a programming question. It happened to be related to game development, but it was a fairly generic Java-question.

Once I've spent 5 minutes or so carefully typing in an answer and clicked "save", I was surprised to see that it had been migrated to gamedev.stackexchange.com.

  1. Will my reputation earned on that question before transfer (+10 I think) be "deducted" on next SO rep-recalc?!

    (What if users starts to transfer old questions, say, the 3000+ questions tagged with [game] on SO to some game-dev site? Will my status drop on recalcs!?)

  2. Why on earth are all these overlapping stackexchange sites keep popping up? Is "programming" too "wide" field to handle on one site?

It seems to me that these hundreds(?) of stackexchange sites cause like "inflation" on the original stack-overflow idea. It seems like xyz.stackexchange.com is taking over the role of TAGS. Surly I can't be the only one of this opinion...

  • I saw that one move, too, and was curious. It seemed more applicable to SO than to Game Dev. Game Dev (to me) seems like it should be more about the actual design of the game mechanics (although the FAQ does allow programming questions). This was the question you're referring to, right? gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/8345/…
    – Rob Hruska
    Feb 9, 2011 at 17:47
  • Yep. Can't really see why it would be "out-of-scope" on SO... but perhaps that's the deal now days... stay on SO only if it does not fit on any other stackexchange site...
    – aioobe
    Feb 9, 2011 at 17:49
  • @Kyle While your new title does grasp the nature of the scenario here, the actual inquiries of the question body don't actually touch the thought of whether things should be migrated or not, I don't think.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:49
  • Your second question is actually covered in this otherwise phrased question. But to repeat it for your convenience - you lose it on the original site because the post is deleted (so, yes, it will be post-recalc), and you do not earn any rep for the pre-migration votes on the target site.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 9, 2011 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


Surly I can't be the only one of this opinion?
You're certainly not, me and many other people have raised this issue before. In fact, even Jeff had expressed a similar sentiment.

Yet, for every programming-related area51 proposal, there're many people who think they won't feel enough 'at home' on Stack Overflow. I don't claim to understand their point of view, so I'll let somebody else to explain it.

Another similar issue with Linux and Ubuntu websites. Robert Cartaino says some rational things in that post.

  • It seems to me that there is a great deal of value in having people from alternative areas examine any question. I have often felt that in medicine, an expert on the heart would not notice the axe embedded in one's head - it is a shame that people feel the need to balkanize.
    – Remou
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:31

I'm the one that migrated your question. I'll answer your questions in reverse order to adequately explain the action that I took.

Stack Overflow is, for lack of a better word, huge. While all of us have programming in common, our community is quite diverse. We have systems programmers, web developers, people that program as a secondary function for statistical analysis and people who focus on game development. There are many other disciplines represented on SO, I'm simply naming a few.

New SE sites come into existence because the community behind them is able to demonstrate critical mass. That is to say, there were sufficient game developers across many languages that proved game development was a community that wanted to stand on it's own. Note, this isn't the same thing as everyone answering C++ questions suddenly wanting another site. The new SE sites generally focus on an outcome or end, not the means.

The end result is experts finding questions and providing great answers quickly and efficiently, while using the same system that everyone is used to and appreciates.

Now, to your first question - I migrated it because I felt that the Game Development site would give you the best service and better answers in a shorter amount of time.

  • 3
    Did the question actually not belong on Stack Overflow? I agree with you in the general scenario and for your analysis for this Meta topic, but migration speaks "This is off-topic for the current site" before it speaks "This would be better addressed on the target site".
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:31
  • 4
    Aren't you going against your own election platform a bit? "My view on moderation is that we're here to do what the community can't" Community certainly can close questions, if it feels like it. Feb 9, 2011 at 18:32
  • 2
    @Nikita - The community can't migrate beyond the few sites listed. In other words, the community could not have migrated it to the Game Dev site.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:34
  • @Nikita Counter-pedantry here, but only moderators can migrate from Stack Overflow to Game Dev.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:34
  • 1
    @Tim Yeah, but it didn't express interest either (except for one member, who can't cast close votes yet). I often see pure math questions posted in 'algorithm' and 'math' tags and community always manages to send OP in the right direction (math.SE.com). Feb 9, 2011 at 18:36
  • @Grace - It was a judgement call that was probably (given the reaction) erroneous. The question was flagged multiple times.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:39
  • @Nikita - I also said that I was ready and willing to be held accountable ;) This is the first, but surely not the last call that I'll make that will raise a disagreement.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:40
  • @Tim Well, good luck in your work then :) Feb 9, 2011 at 18:44
  • I'm not necessarily saying it was erroneous, and the presence of flags does give a bit more weight to the decision. I'm just checking whether the question was not valid for the original site, because when it is migration becomes a fairly bumpy ride even when you have the best of intentions for it.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:46
  • @Nikita - Migrating questions is a strange science, especially from SO. Half the time the receiving site doesn't want it even though it seems to fit their scope, and 25% of the time users wonder what hit them, while many users (on SO) start flagging and voting to close a perfectly good question. We're human and don't want to see perfectly valid questions die when they could thrive elsewhere.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:48
  • @Grace - It was really a toss up, the flags added enough extra weight to take the action that I took.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:51

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