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Questions tagged [discussion]

Questions that may not necessarily have a clear-cut right or wrong answer and are often subjective. If your question isn't a bug report, feature request, or request for assistance, or question with a concrete answer, it's probably a discussion.

327
votes
1answer
21k views

Which computer science / programming Stack Exchange sites do I post on?

There seems to be more than a few computer science/programming Stack Exchange networks (is that the correct term?). Stack Overflow, being the first, has by far the most users, questions, and answers. ...
953
votes
35answers
91k views

Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?

I edit a lot of posts every day. I often run across posts with 'Hi' and 'Thanks' on the top and the bottom of the post respectively. I also run across things like: --User Should these items be ...
262
votes
12answers
62k views

Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered, zero-score questions after a year?

Related to Meta Super User efforts: Old unanswered inactive questions with low views/votes and Meta Server Fault efforts: Cleaning house, really old, unloved questions We already auto-remove ...
1323
votes
50answers
39k views

Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I feel like there's a problem with Stack Overflow, as the number of people prowling it increases. Each question's answers are sorted by descending score and then by descending time of posting. This ...
560
votes
14answers
282k views

Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?

I have often wondered at the practice on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and the other sites where someone will ask a question and an answer will come in that says Look here: http://link ...
893
votes
1answer
276k views

Are there any clones/alternatives for running a Stack Exchange style Q&A site?

Since the source code for this site isn't available for purchase or external use, I'm looking for software that can run a Q&A environment similar to Stack Exchange. Are there any such pieces of ...
496
votes
12answers
14k views

Exit strategies for “chameleon questions”

I'm not sure if there's already an existing term for this, so I'm inventing my own. (tl;dr: I call them "chameleon questions" because they change every time you submit or edit an answer. If you're ...
1713
votes
49answers
36k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

There is a distinct decline in the level of civility on all the sites here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the off-topic and downvote buttons are ...
531
votes
29answers
44k views

Recent Reputation History Changes

Update (March, 2012): This has been rolled out to all sites in the network. Behind the scenes we've been hard at work making some changes to how we track reputation. Here are some of the issues we'...
379
votes
5answers
26k views

Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site?

It is possible to migrate a question from one Stack Exchange site to another by closing, but if I have a question that I think is on-topic for multiple Stack Exchange sites, is it OK to post it on ...
169
votes
3answers
7k views

What can I do if I'm the victim of serial downvoting? [duplicate]

While browsing Stack Overflow, I noticed that I lost a lot of reputation: Is this serial downvoting? Will it be corrected by a rep-recalculation? How often are those done? Here's a second ...
233
votes
34answers
14k views

Can we prevent some of the low-quality questions from entering our system?

Stack Overflow has been wildly successful. And maybe in some ways too successful. I am concerned that Stack Overflow is being inundated by a stream of low-quality questions from users who are ...
179
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I participate in Meta and not die trying?

Meta doesn't like me; I can't seem to keep my points. How can I post better and be well-received?
516
votes
27answers
9k views

The current review system encourages fake reviews; some people upvote everything rather than actually fixing problems

I went to a Late Answers review queue that had four items in it and started reviewing the first one by editing it into shape rather heavily. By the time I was done, someone else had reviewed the ...
1487
votes
7answers
365k views

What is the XY problem?

What is the XY problem? When asking questions, how do I recognize when I'm falling into it? How do I avoid it? Return to FAQ index
231
votes
25answers
17k views

A new search engine for Stack Exchange

After the performance problems we have run into with Lucene.NET we've decided to make a change, we're moving the network on to elasticsearch. Here's where to get started: https://stackoverflow.com/...
207
votes
12answers
17k views

Is it legal to copy Stack Overflow questions and answers?

I just found http://programmingfaq.w3ec.com/faq/4761/whats-the-hi-lo-algorithm which has an exact copy of this Stack Overflow question, What's the Hi/Lo Algorithm, with all its answers and no ...
253
votes
20answers
9k views

Closing changes: on hold, unclear, too broad, opinion-based, off-topic reasons, bye-bye to Too Localized

After a ton of discussion, work and input from the community, we're rolling out the remainder of major closing changes that you've helped us design, as discussed in these prior posts. They're live, ...
81
votes
13answers
8k views

How can I encourage Stack Overflow to rein in the 'subjective' vigilantes?

I'm on SO pretty much every day researching something to do with programming, and over the last month or two, I find I'm growing frustrated and a little disgusted at how many interesting questions ...
301
votes
7answers
5k views

The future of meta.stackoverflow and meta.stackexchange

Historically this site, meta.stackoverflow, has been the place to ask questions about not just Stack Overflow, but the functioning of the entire Stack Exchange (2.0) network, including Area 51 and ...
198
votes
31answers
24k views

What formula should be used to determine “hot” questions?

Right now the front page Popular tab is fairly broken -- it's a simple descending sort by views. As Joel said in podcast #18, it is "a self-fulfilling prophecy." But this is not intentional, it's only ...
147
votes
12answers
6k views

Is “Don't do it” a valid answer?

If someone asks how to do XYZ, and you think doing XYZ at all is a Bad Idea™, is it valid to post an answer saying so? You aren't answering the question, but instead, arguing the question's validity. ...
121
votes
7answers
3k views

Can we get some consensus on what flag to use for link only answers? [duplicate]

Related: Since moderators are just asking users to flag a custom "Link only answer," can we permanently make this a flag option? (not a dupe, that's a feature request and was closed as a ...
112
votes
1answer
6k views

Reputation requirements compared

How do reputation requirements for various privileges compare on Stack Overflow vs a graduated Stack Exchange 2.0 site vs a site in public or private beta? Return to FAQ Index
135
votes
10answers
9k views

Turbocharging the Roomba: solutions for premature deletion

A couple weeks ago, I asked for help: How can we stop premature deletion? And I got some fantastic responses. A big thanks to everyone who participated in that discussion - you're the reason I don't ...
305
votes
5answers
141k views

How do I write a good title?

A good title helps your question get the attention it deserves. What goes into a good title? Return to FAQ index
121
votes
16answers
20k views

Should I not answer my own questions? [duplicate]

I asked a question recently, looking for examples of an online tool. Per the FAQ, I answered my own question with a few examples that I had already found. I did this so that these examples would be ...
72
votes
4answers
12k views

Should I vote to close a duplicate question, even though it's much newer, and has more up to date answers?

I have seen this many times, a question is being asked because a previous, duplicate question was asked and answered a few years ago and has no longer relevant answers. The recommendation is to edit ...
592
votes
3answers
32k views

Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?

I think we can all agree, this sucks: If you've been around a little while, you've probably encountered hundreds of answers like this in various forums, some of them even marked as "The Answer" by ...
173
votes
25answers
5k views

Huge close votes review queue on Stack Overflow [closed]

Today, the size of the close-votes queue is 55k questions and growing. Is that a problem? Which action could be taken to clean it up? It seems to be growing faster than Stack Overflow members ...
114
votes
12answers
6k views

Please stop using SoftwareEngineering.SE as your toilet bowl [closed]

Stack Overflow users have been using the "off topic - belongs on SoftwareEngineering.SE" close reason as an alternative to all the other close reasons. It'd be helpful if people actually read the FAQ ...
104
votes
9answers
14k views

Is it okay to use Stack Overflow as the support forum for a product or project? [closed]

I recently saw a question about a problem (or possible bug) with some product on Stack Overflow. At first, I wanted to suggest that the asker post his question to that product's support forum. When ...
119
votes
5answers
11k views

Are Stack Exchange sites forums?

I was under the impression that Stack Exchange sites were forums, or forum-like objects. If they are not forums: Why aren't they? What defines a forum?
118
votes
10answers
6k views

Posting and answering questions you have already found the answer to [duplicate]

Sometimes you spend a day or more solving a technical problem, and when you finally solve it, you may want to post it on your blog (if you have one) to share with the community. However, most ...
48
votes
3answers
2k views

Changes to “close as duplicate” (part deux)

I feel like we got off on the wrong foot. Due to me being an idiot miscommunication, a partial change snuck out early, and even though we announced it we didn't really explain why we made the change. ...
148
votes
6answers
3k views

Are we discouraged from fixing typos and misspellings on Stack Exchange sites?

I just attempted to fix a typo on a question on cooking.stackexchange.com and saw this Oops! Your edit couldn't be submitted because: Your edit summary must be at least 10 characters This ...
387
votes
15answers
16k views

Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites

Back in April of 2010, Joel shared our assumptions about the role of small sites in the newly minted Stack Exchange network: If a site does not have enough activity at the end of 90 days, it will ...
86
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I link to an external resource in a community-friendly way?

I would like to help my fellow Stackizens, using material from my blog or other website. But external links are sometimes viewed as excessive promotion. From the FAQ: Be careful, because the ...
152
votes
14answers
3k views

What can we do to stop bad edits getting accepted?

A worryingly high number of bad suggested edits get accepted. For example: edits that add bad formatting to random words edits that break the formatting of a block of code edits that add wrong tags ...
200
votes
26answers
4k views

Help us make “Not Constructive” and “Not a Real Question” closures more effective [closed]

In the recent off-topic discussion, Pekka 웃 suggested that other close reasons could be further broken out as well . We've got some more specific ideas along those lines, and we want your input and ...
85
votes
6answers
4k views

New Feature: real time updates to questions, answers, and inbox

We have deployed a new feature that hopefully help with keeping you instantly updated as new questions and answers are posted. All sites except for Stack Overflow have a new activity indicator on the ...
125
votes
1answer
2k views

Eeeeek - what happened to my @ salutation?

I just posted a comment beginning with @username, and my @username part of the comment disappeared (it was the first word in the comment). Is there a lolcat inside the Stack Exchange database nomming ...
156
votes
1answer
29k views

Interface options for specifying language prettify [duplicate]

I'm the maintainer for Google Code Prettify. Markup authors can specify the language for source code, but not markdown authors. Are the SO admins interested in a way of doing this? If so, might the ...
122
votes
23answers
5k views

Should downvotes on questions be “free”?

As I'm sure you all know, downvotes "cost" 1 reputation. That is, every time you downvote: -2 to post owner -1 to you This is done to make sure downvotes are cast only when you feel strongly ...
136
votes
1answer
6k views

How should sockpuppets be handled on Stack Exchange?

A high-reputation, highly-active user has already been dinged once for a sockpuppet, and I just dinged him again. He probably has another sockpuppet as well. What are the guidelines for handling ...
171
votes
11answers
3k views

Do not delete good duplicates!

This question (currently deleted (visible only to 10kers)) is a great example of a duplicate question that should not be deleted. [Note: this question was later merged into this one, which resulted in ...
448
votes
40answers
22k views

Network-wide HTTPS: It's time

Update 2017-05-22 stackoverflow.com is now https://. I've written up a lot of what it took to get here in a blog post. Next up is chat and then https-only cookies. We'll be ramping up HSTS max-age ...
70
votes
8answers
2k views

How to deal with obsolete answers?

I was thinking about this issue from time to time but I didn't know whether it really exists or just an speculation on my side until today when I woke up [!], I saw a very old answer of mine which was ...
58
votes
2answers
795 views

When voting to migrate an off-topic question, why is the list of sites limited?

Earlier, I voted to close this question about Wordpress as off-topic. The question has since been closed. There is an SE site for Wordpress, but it didn't show up in the list when I selected "off-...
61
votes
4answers
2k views

Does systematic self-deleting need to be prevented?

This case (and other similar recent ones) makes me think something must be done about users systematically both deleting their questions after they've received a satisfactory answer, and deleting and ...