I came across a question today that really got me thinking about how on- or off-topic it is. Perhaps the decision is more clear than I think, but right now I'm seeing this as a bit of a border case.

In the question, the user is basically looking for an online API and data source that he can use. (Specifically for movies in his case.) There's a close vote, and I can see that person's view in that the question isn't necessarily programming-related in that there's no code involved. But there have been a number of non-code questions before.

The creation of the Programmers SE site has made a home for many such questions, but a side-effect of that is that Programmers SE has become a kind of dumping ground for the border cases that just barely don't fit into SO. I'm not particularly active on Programmers SE, but can still feel the sentiment that the site stands on its own merits and shouldn't just be SO's "other" category.

I guess my question is, can anybody clearly define the linked question as on- or off-topic? This example is pretty simple, but it's still useful information. And we certainly welcome even the simple questions for completely inexperienced users. At the top of the FAQ there is a basic outline of what questions should be asked:

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • matters that are unique to the programming profession

To me, this question falls into the latter half of that list. Sure, there's no code and it's not a programming question. It's even a question that can be fully asked/answered by non-programmers entirely. But it's still programming related. Is there a tag which can help categorize this question properly? If not, should I make one and what would we want it called? The question definitely shouldn't be tagged as it currently is, since it doesn't really have anything to do with the technologies in question.


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