An API design is actually a programming question, but it can't be answered like "replace = by == on line 10". Moreover, the asking person has some idea how it should look like and has to start with presenting the idea, otherwise the answers would explore many different directions and not fit together. Starting with such a presentation makes the question appear like no question at all, so it collects closing votes.

Maybe it's just a matter of how the question should be formulated? But I've read the FAQ and have no idea how to make it better. I'm curios if you can advice me.

Maybe is SO not the right place for such questions? If so, I'd see it as a needless constraint.

To be more concrete, this is the question, which lead me to this one.

Please, spare me comments about whining. I'm old enough not to whine because of some critiques. I'm just asking how to solve a problem of mine.

  • Incidentally, there is a Web service API proposal on Area 51 that looks like it will gain enough traction to fly. I'm not sure if that relates, though. – Tim Post Feb 10 '11 at 13:37
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    I'm sure it doesn't - my problem is Java related (it must work with existing java.util.regex classes and is constrained by Java syntax for strings). But good to know. – maaartinus Feb 10 '11 at 13:44

I would say programmers.stackexchange.com

This is from its FAQ (emphasis mine):

  • Software engineering
  • Developer testing
  • Algorithm and data structure concepts
  • Design patterns
  • Architecture
  • Development methodologies
  • Quality assurance
  • Software law
  • Programming puzzles
  • Freelancing and business concerns
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  • Thx, I'll look there. What I hate about it, is having 0 rep there and not being able to write comments - which is too bad for this. – maaartinus Feb 10 '11 at 13:32
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    @ma, you have over 100 rep there so you should be able to leave comments. – jzd Feb 10 '11 at 14:52

Stack Exchange, in general is setup for questions and answers rather than a discussion. So you are going to have to be tactful in the formulation of your question to avoid close votes. Plus you are going to have to give a clear goal ("question") of what you are looking to solve so that everyone stays on the same course with answers.

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  • Thx, that's hard to achieve. The goal is a nice API, which is quite subjective. Actually, it consists of a dozen of questions like "would you need this" or "how to make this clear", but not only this. The goal is clear: a nice and clear API, but this is too general for a question. I'll try. – maaartinus Feb 10 '11 at 13:40
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    @ma, in that case you might want to break it up into individual questions. You will get more people trying to answer if they don't have to read 10 paragraphs of background. – jzd Feb 10 '11 at 14:51

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