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.

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2750
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9answers
312k views

A Terms of Service update restricting companies that scrape your profile information without your permission

Update (April 19, 2016): This change is now live. You can view the updated Terms of Service here, or read about them below. tl;dr: We’re planning to make some changes to our Terms of Service to stop ...
1742
votes
50answers
39k 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 ...
1585
votes
37answers
120k views

Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community?

The last weeks and days have seen some erratic behaviour by Stack Exchange Inc., such as likely illegal changes to the content license and the firing of an upstanding community moderator with no ...
1558
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7answers
400k 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
1359
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51answers
42k 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. This means that if a person sits down and ...
975
votes
35answers
95k 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 ...
939
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1answer
288k 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 ...
857
votes
52answers
14k views

Why aren't people voting for questions?

While at least some answers from every question seem to have been up-voted as a "helpful" answer: about 49% of questions have score of 0 or 1. another 21% of questions have a score of 2. Most ...
816
votes
51answers
26k views

Net Neutrality and Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange

It's July 12th! (in Coordinated Universal Stack Exchange Time) Today we're gonna be showing a banner directing readers to the blog post (and thus, indirectly, this discussion) from every Stack ...
691
votes
147answers
27k views

Help us test the shiny new “User Activity” page! (Plus a bunch of new features.) [duplicate]

We've launched! Please give feedback here. Today, we're shipping the new "Activity Page" of the Profile here on Meta SE, so you can test it out and hopefully share some feedback and suggestions ...
617
votes
3answers
36k 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 ...
612
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2answers
15k views

Winter Bash 2016 - All Hats [closed]

I decided to start the traditional secret hats post, but instead of just another "here is how you get the secret hats" post, to also add in all the hats. There are two answers: one for the secret hats,...
572
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14answers
297k 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 ...
544
votes
2answers
49k views

Will Stack Overflow boycott GoDaddy because of their support for SOPA? [closed]

GoDaddy has apparently withdrawn their support for SOPA. Read link for more info: Go Daddy’s Position on SOPA, from their website; it is obviously yet to be seen whether they will continue to hold ...
533
votes
13answers
15k 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 ...
531
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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'...
522
votes
29answers
22k views

The NEW new “Be Nice” Policy (“Code of Conduct”) — Updated with your feedback [duplicate]

Update: Thanks for all the additional feedback below. We incorporated a lot of your suggestions, and this is going live (as https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice). We're also looking at ways ...
521
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58answers
87k views

The MIT License – Clarity on Using Code on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange

Update (Dec. 22, 2015): Thanks, everyone, for your feedback to this proposal. We're going to digest this one over the holidays and should have a follow-up announcement answering your questions and ...
520
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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 ...
519
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18answers
22k views

Global auth is dead! Long live universal login

Update: Universal login is in place and considered "done". If you see anything weird, please submit new bug reports. As y'all know, our current flavor of "global authentication" leaves a few things ...
505
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6answers
13k views
+50

Dear Stack Exchange: a statement and a letter from your moderators

Dear Stack Exchange, Inc., We know you know about this already, so we'll keep this brief. The past two weeks have been rough. Lots of moderators have lost confidence in you; for some, it was the ...
503
votes
8answers
42k views

How does SOPA threaten Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange?

Today's Stack Overflow system message reads: SOPA is a dangerous law. It breaks the Internet and threatens sites like Stack Overflow. Protect the Internet! How is it a threat to Stack Overflow?
481
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17answers
14k views

How to avoid “Hot Network Questions” on the sidebar

This may sound like a 'first world problem', but I am quite easily distracted by the 'Hot Network Questions' sidebar, as I find them quite amusing and some of them quite intellectual But where the ...
470
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15answers
93k views

Congratulations to our 29 oldest beta sites - They're now no longer beta!

If you're a user on a long-toiling beta site that's been waiting 7-8 years to get out of beta, this may be the post you've been waiting for. The 29 Beta sites that are 7+ years old no longer have the ...
449
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41answers
23k 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 ...
441
votes
10answers
19k views

Employee profiles are now marked with a “Staff” indicator

Starting today, all staff member accounts will have "Staff" next to their name on their user profile. It looks like this: For reference, it used to look like this: We took our cue from the existing ...
418
votes
26answers
14k views

Should Stack Exchange in general be awarding “A”s for Effort?

This just came up again: homework is not acceptable if the asker has made no effort whatsoever I'm developing a bit of an involuntary twitch that manifests itself when I encounter the word "effort"...
412
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43answers
54k views

My God—it's full of unicorns!

Based on this comment, I have started building a unicorn avatar maker. It's still quite ugly, and the results aren't different enough yet, but this is what it looks like so far: Question list / Joel'...
407
votes
9answers
15k views

Goodbye and thank you, Jaydles!

Today is Jay Hanlon’s (aka Jaydles) last day at Stack Overflow. Since I’ve been working with him for nearly 7 years now, I wanted to take a minute to wish him a public goodbye. Jay joined us way back ...
399
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9answers
17k views

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

TL;DR: We did it, so... yes. What is this? Charcoal is the organization behind the SmokeDetector bot and other nice things. This bot scans new posts across the entire network for spam posts and ...
393
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
391
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15answers
17k 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 ...
374
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12answers
16k views

If you're gonna talk Politics, you must respect those who disagree

This is sort of a follow-up to two past discussions: Toward a philosophy of Chat Does the Be Nice policy require SE users to "be nice" to people who are not SE users (e.g. public figures)? ...
371
votes
9answers
37k views

What Experts-Exchange thinks of Stack Overflow [closed]

After noticing a $10 Experts-Exchange (EE) fee on my credit card, I realized I've had an idle EE account for quite a few years. I sent them an email asking for instructions on how to close it, and ...
370
votes
24answers
12k views

Updating the Hot Network Questions List - now with a bit more network and a little less “hotness”!

Some of you may have noticed that we've been making some changes to the Hot Network Questions on the back end over the last week or so. I'm here announcing our first round of changes to how the HNQ ...
367
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37answers
14k views

Proposed new code of conduct for all Stack Exchange sites

UPDATE: We've incorporated lots of the feedback below into what we think is a much better version than the one we proposed originally. Thanks a ton for all the input, and let us know if you like the ...
363
votes
1answer
12k views

Winter Bash 2015 Secret Hats

I just received my first Winter Bash 2015 Secret Hat, so I decided to start the traditional Secret Hats and how to get them spoiler question. Note: Please edit the primary list of secret hats with ...
354
votes
16answers
9k views

New three-tiered badge idea: Explainer →Refiner → Illuminator

The difference between a poor or meh question and a stellar question can often simply be someone understanding it and providing it a great answer. I can't begin to count the number of times I've ...
349
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16answers
6k views
+50

Monica's situation continues unresolved, is SE hoping the problem just goes away?

This surfaced in the apology thread, but I believe it deserves more exposure. The apology thread was posted eight days ago. In it, the idea was expressed that SE, the company, had done wrong by ...
345
votes
19answers
10k views

Stack Overflow technology makes me write bad answers

Today I had some time and felt like writing a relatively good answer on Stack Overflow; explaining both the underlying mechanisms and good practices, unlike usual declarative answers in a "do that" ...
342
votes
12answers
6k views

New UI encourages askers to confirm or dispute duplicate votes

As of the 9th of March, the banner shown to askers whose questions have attracted at least one duplicate close vote has a couple of new options: If the author clicks the first button, they're shown a ...
338
votes
2answers
9k views

Winter Bash 2014 Secret Hats

So far, I've unlocked one of the secret hats. I'm wondering what other secret hats are out there and how to earn them?
334
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1answer
23k 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. ...
330
votes
38answers
19k views

Stack Overflow Annual User Survey 2012

This year's survey is officially open! We've added a few new questions based on your feedback from last year and we are really looking forward to publishing the results in January. Once you've taken ...
329
votes
15answers
28k views

Brace yourselves: The GDPR is coming!

It's actually nothing to worry about. You as users end up with more protection, and companies like us are left in a place where we've got a framework for handling your information that puts much ...
322
votes
36answers
12k views

Toward a philosophy of Chat

TL;DR: The Problem This keeps happening in chat: Surprise at flags on vulgar messages. Language that would invariably get your comments deleted on the main site occasionally gets flagged and deleted ...
322
votes
10answers
4k views

Gold tag-badge holders and moderators can now edit duplicate links

As of a few minutes ago, if you have a gold tag-badge for a tag associated with a question that's been closed as a duplicate, you can edit the duplicate links to replace, add, remove or re-arrange ...
321
votes
70answers
6k views

Should I be discouraged by Stack Overflow?

Let me start off by a little background. I am currently a 3rd year pursuing a BS in Computer Science at a small Christian school in San Diego. I have take a good chunk of the courses offered to me, ...
320
votes
12answers
7k views

Thank you Jeff Atwood!

I'm quite a new user, so it feels somewhat inappropriate for me to post this (I kinda thought it would have appeared already ^^). But as a member of the Stack Exchange network who just read Jeff's ...
317
votes
7answers
8k views

Stack Overflow is getting a Meta of its own

We've grown considerably as a network since the days of the original trilogy, when the prospect of growing into a network of over 100 thriving Q&A sites was a distant glimmer in a cloudy night sky....