This question https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4645739/what-is-the-ubuntu-of-web-development-frameworks-what-framework-should-i-use was closed for being "subjective and argumentative". I'd like it to be re-opened.

I'll admit that I did respond heatedly to some of the answers. I think that's justified because the answers did not address the specifics of the question. Many of the people hadn't even used the frameworks they recommended – just "this looks cool". Not the specialist knowledge I was seeking on Stack Overflow.

As to being subjective: it is. But isn't Stack Overflow the right place for a complete noob to find out what is the easiest framework to use?

In the two months since I asked the question, I've tried some of the frameworks people suggested and reported my progress in comments.

The best reason for opening the question is that Stack Overflow should be accepting and helpful to noobs, not dismissive. "What is the easiest framework" is a question that many noobs have, and while there is not an objectively correct answer, informed discussion about it could help a lot of people who want to learn to program, to create something usable and functional.

edit: I realise that it's no one's job but my own to help me. However as I understand Stack Overflow the payoff for helping less experienced programmers is – like contributing to an open-source project – doors open to more appealing jobs (some positions expect that you have a certain Stack Overflow score for instance). Given then that SO exists to help less experienced programmers and that benefits flow both ways, why isn't commentary on choice-of-framework considered constructive? Getting started is the hardest part for a beginner.

Even if the answers are partly subjective, there are objective aspects to the question and knowing about objectively wrong answers is helpful even if objectively right answers are impossible.

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    "there is not an objectively correct answer" yep, precisely. – Mark Elliot Mar 14 '11 at 23:39
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    This is a boring question. We have heaps of duplicates. And it's too broad because you even left the language open, and since you only wanted a comparison between three popular ones, you should simply check them out yourself. -- However I'm completely at loss why it was deleted now. There are SIGNIFICANTLY worse duplicates on SO. – mario Mar 15 '11 at 3:13
  • @mario: it's deleted now because it was closed two months ago and presumably Mr. Tzu has gotten whatever value there was to be had. As we've noted in the answers, this isn't an appropriate question for SO, and thus it's best if we just lay it to rest. – Shog9 Mar 15 '11 at 3:33
  • @Mark Elliot. There are objectively incorrect answers and there can be fruitful discussion of my question. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:27
  • @mario "Simply check them out yourself". That takes months, and would take even longer to be thorough. It's not simple like a Google search is simple. Hence a discussion on Stack Overflow could help people out. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:29
  • @mario "This is a boring question." Not for newbies! – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:35
  • Wow, so many downvotes – and instead of my request being debated, the original Q has been deleted. How do you senior people think this comes off? I feel like you are being belittling, dictatorial, and prejudiced against the people who need the most help: beginners. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:38
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    @LaoTzu: I'll say it again: There are duplicates - Use the site search. It's unclear what kind or level of thorough review you expect from SO. Maybe it would help to know what you want if you provided an example framework assessment first - maybe a bit more than Tried Zend and hated it. But regardless of that: the easy to learn factor is easy to assess by peeking into one tutorial per framework. (As it so happens, I should know; made a superficial framework overview matrix.include-once.org/framework). – mario Mar 15 '11 at 5:38
  • @mario I think the question was pretty clear. I made several edits to the level of verbosity as the answers came in. When I search for what framework should i use what I see is high-level and complicated. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:40
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    Please list five questions from stackoverflow.com/search?q=simple+php+framework that you deem unsatisfactory and provide an example of what kind of answer you demand. – mario Mar 15 '11 at 5:45
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    @mario I'm not demanding anything. I didn't know to search for simple php framework but several of those look good. I could list 5 unsatisfactory ones but that would just be pugnacious. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:52
  • @mario stackoverflow.com/questions/526040/simple-php-framework has good answers but it really does seem like people here find beginners anathema. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:57
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    (@Lao, see the FAQ What do votes mean on Meta? Why was my well-written post downvoted?) – Arjan Mar 15 '11 at 11:29
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    @Lao Tzu: SO is not a place to get the wrong answer and debate it, it's a place to get the undebated right answer. If you're looking for a debate, you haven't come to the right place. I've got nothing against new users, but I do not agree with your errant understanding of what's relevant and what's not on this site. – Mark Elliot Mar 15 '11 at 11:47
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    @Lao: this is a common misconception. Stack Exchange is great because it was designed for a specific purpose. Using it for any purpose risks destroying what makes it work! You might also like to go bowling with the good folk at your local coffee shop... but bowling in the coffee shop isn't going to work out very well. – Shog9 Mar 15 '11 at 20:00

I think closing this question was the correct decision.

In addition to being argumentative and subjective, I think its overly broad. There are lots of languages with "easy" frameworks (ruby, php, python, etc.) and its pretty much impossible to make an objective comparison between them.

Questions of this nature are much better suited for the Programmers StackExchange site.

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    "What language should I learn next" and "which is better, X or Y" questions are generally off-topic on Programmers.SE. This often extends to frameworks, cause the reasoning involved in deciding that those questions are off-topic is pretty much the same. I can't see the question the OP references here, so I can't tell for sure if it'd be appropriate for P.SE or just closed. But, FYI and all that. – Adam Lear Mar 15 '11 at 2:41
  • It may very well have been closed on P.SE as well. My point was just that P.SE tends to grant more latitude to subjective questions. A question like this has the best chance of success (if any at all) there. – dbyrne Mar 15 '11 at 2:50
  • @dbyrne Yeah, I just wanted to leave a note to avoid the impression that a "what framework should I use" question would be likely to live long and prosper on P.SE. Subjective questions in general are certainly welcome, as you say. – Adam Lear Mar 15 '11 at 3:04
  • @dbyme It's not that broad. Whatever framework has the best tutorial, wins. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:29
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    @Lao - Can you define "the best"? Nope...that's why it's by definition subjective. I think you're confusing two things, your desire that the question would fit the community, and the question not subjective. The first is certainly a valid feeling, however that doesn't make the question any less subjective, or bring it any closer to having a correct answer. What would you accept as an answer? What's "the best" and "easiest" for you isn't necessarily the same as anyone else, so the question may not be helpful to others either. – Nick Craver Mar 15 '11 at 13:53
  • @Nick Craver I was not disputing the subjectivity, I was disputing the "overly broad". – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 19:29
  • @Nick Craver There wouldn't necessarily have to be a correct answer. Even just informing new people which tutorials do not work out of the box would be helpful. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 19:30
  • @Lao At that point it also risks being too localized. Tutorials may be changed over time. Good ones can become bad and bad ones can become good. – Adam Lear Mar 15 '11 at 20:11

But isn't Stack Overflow the right place for a complete noob to find out what is the easiest framework to use?

Um, no...

For that to be true, we'd have to assume two things about our "complete noob":

  1. He has enough knowledge of web development to get past the "easy to learn == easy to use" trap (failing this, "easy" will always be synonymous with "closest to the final application he wishes to write").

  2. He has enough background knowledge to read and understand answers from users with a wide range of backgrounds, and work out how they related to his own.

...aaaand we'd have to assume that the users answering the question wouldn't just push their favorite frameworks.

These are bad assumptions. It's pretty much the definition of Subjective And Argumentative.

As dbyrne notes, you could probably get away with asking something like this on Programmers.SE - they're usually a bit more tolerant of the subjective stuff. But even then, you'd do well to head off the more argumentative aspect, and clearly define what you mean by "easy": your description of Ubuntu is probably a place to start "lots of users, lots of support, lots of documentation".

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  • "Easy to learn == easy to use" is not a trap, it was the soul of the question. Easy to learn was all I wanted. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:32
  • As @Anna Lear notes, you couldn't put it in Programmers.SE. This is such a crucial question for new people. Stack Overflow is likely to come up on top and a helpful discussion can be had, and then tagged so it comes up in "relevant questions" when a newbie types in their question. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:34
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    @Lao: if it isn't appropriate for P.SE, then it certainly isn't appropriate for SO! Stack Overflow isn't meant to host discussions... Please see: Where can I find interesting programming discussions? – Shog9 Mar 15 '11 at 14:18

"Chacun รก son gout." Frameworks are an issue of taste. Thus, 'what's the best framework' is inevitably subjective and frequently argumentative. Further, your question starts off on a religious-war footing by stating your subjective and argumentative view of Ubuntu in the subject.

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  • Surely bringing up the Ubuntu comparison makes the question easier to answer! You burn a CD, push a button, and Ubuntu "just works". It's not my favourite distro but it's what I would start a newbie off with. Similarly I was looking for a framework that's the easiest to start with. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:32
  • "An issue of taste" Newbies have no taste. – isomorphismes Mar 15 '11 at 5:45

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