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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2788 votes
9 answers
318k 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 ...
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  • 51.8k
2502 votes
45 answers
241k 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 ...
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2253 votes
30 answers
125k views

Stack Overflow is doing me ongoing harm; it's time to fix it!

Over the last month, Stack Overflow has violated its own policies and precedents to cause egregious and unnecessary harm to me -- to my reputation (personal and professional), to my health, and to my ...
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1873 votes
7 answers
604k 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
1840 votes
51 answers
46k 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 ...
1564 votes
46 answers
51k views

Thank you, Shog9

@Shog9, a longtime Community Manager here at Stack Exchange, has just tweeted that he is no longer working at Stack Overflow: @shog9: Well... I suddenly find myself in need of work. If anyone's ...
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  • 54.4k
1491 votes
51 answers
59k 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 ...
1148 votes
2 answers
348k 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 ...
1093 votes
34 answers
113k 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 ...
981 votes
22 answers
80k views

Firing Community Managers: Stack Exchange is not interested in cooperating with the community, is it?

Less than a month ago, there was some settling of the incident with firing Monica. It's obvious that there was not a lot of approval from the community on the course of action chosen by SE, or the ...
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921 votes
56 answers
19k 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 ...
827 votes
51 answers
29k views

Net Neutrality and Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange

It's July 12th! (2017) (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 ...
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  • 432k
802 votes
16 answers
42k views

Thank you, Robert Cartaino

The title says it all. Thank you, Robert Cartaino, for everything you did for SE and the community. I don't post much on MSE, but have been a mod for about eight years. There is a lot that can go on ...
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  • 6,377
749 votes
41 answers
27k views

New Feature: Table Support

Update: I've just enabled this feature network-wide. All sites across Stack Exchange are now able to use tables. Thanks for all the feedback. We'll keep monitoring this question and we'll continue to ...
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  • 11.3k
725 votes
27 answers
86k views

Stack Exchange Public Q&A access will not be restricted in Russia

Like so many people around the world, we are watching the tragic and unlawful invasion of Ukraine unfold. Several of the discussions on Meta and in conversations with us have raised the question of ...
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  • 12.8k
724 votes
3 answers
54k 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&...
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  • 432k
721 votes
37 answers
219k views

Six simple tips to get Stack Overflow reputation fast

From "6 Simple Tips to Get Stackoverflow Reputation Fast" at codexon.com: Be the First to Answer. Even at the cost of quality. Use Downvotes and Comments Strategically Use obnoxious in-...
719 votes
7 answers
40k views

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 final ...
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  • 35.8k
696 votes
147 answers
28k 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 ...
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  • 51.8k
665 votes
18 answers
25k views

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 October 6th, 2019. In it, the idea was expressed that SE, the company, had done wrong by ...
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  • 9,741
643 votes
8 answers
377k 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: https://link ...
620 votes
212 answers
80k views

Formatting Sandbox

Notes: Answers will occasionally be moved to the Sandbox archive when there are too many of them. When using them to report bugs, keep an eye on the post. You may also want to take a look at the ...
612 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
601 votes
13 answers
19k 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 ...
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  • 34.4k
580 votes
55 answers
61k views

We're switching to CommonMark

I’m Ham and I’m a developer on the Teams team here at Stack Overflow. Over the past few months, I’ve been heads down working on the way we turn Markdown into HTML when writing and editing posts across ...
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  • 11.3k
571 votes
19 answers
30k views

Change in roles for Jon Ericson (leaving SE)

It’s a bit surreal to be writing this post—not many people can say they left their dream job twice. Today is my last day as an employee of Stack Overflow. I’ll be joining College Confidential as their ...
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  • 74.9k
551 votes
63 answers
49k views

The company’s commitment to rebuilding the relationship with you, our community

My name is Teresa Dietrich. About a month ago, I joined Stack Overflow as Head of Product and Community, reporting directly to the CEO. During my years as an engineer and technology leader, I saw the ...
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  • 13.5k
547 votes
2 answers
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 ...
544 votes
17 answers
18k 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 ...
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539 votes
27 answers
10k 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 ...
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  • 10.6k
538 votes
29 answers
45k 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'...
535 votes
58 answers
97k 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 ...
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  • 5,128
528 votes
18 answers
23k 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" ...
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  • 154k
525 votes
29 answers
23k 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 ...
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  • 51.8k
523 votes
8 answers
20k views

SE Inc. Director of Public Q&A retweets bad-faith, misrepresentative tweet

As we all know, SE Inc. has engaged in highly problematic and widely criticized actions against the SE community and specific moderators. Earlier today (Oct 11th, 2019), Ms. Sara Chipps, "...
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  • 23.1k
509 votes
8 answers
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?
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498 votes
7 answers
19k views

Thank you, Geoff

It seems that after 11 years, Geoff Dalgas - "Valued Associate #00003" - has decided to hang up his hat as a developer at Stack Exchange. That deserves... Some recognition and gratitude! Let'...
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  • 432k
494 votes
15 answers
95k 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 ...
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  • 91.5k
486 votes
7 answers
11k views

To reach out: on Monica, the Lavender community, and the future of the Stack Exchange network

Over the past weeks, the uproar has been vast, spanning the new Code of Conduct, Stack Exchange's conduct over the years, and more. Gallons of internet ink have been spilled by everyone involved, ...
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  • 8,937
482 votes
5 answers
39k 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 ...
460 votes
42 answers
24k 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 ...
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455 votes
10 answers
20k views

Employee profiles are now marked with a “Staff” indicator

As of 31 July 2019, all staff member accounts have "Staff" next to their name on their user profile. It looks like this: (This is an updated image from the original one included in this ...
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  • 91.5k
442 votes
21 answers
25k views

An Update On Creative Commons Licensing

We’d like to provide you with an update to our transition to version 4.0 of the CC BY-SA license. We realize that this is something that you care deeply about, and that our response to your concerns ...
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  • 177k
437 votes
26 answers
15k 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"...
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  • 432k
424 votes
2 answers
53k views

Update on the ongoing DDoS attacks and blocking Tor exit nodes

For the past month, Stack Overflow has been hit by weekly DDoS attacks that progressively grew in size and scope. In each incident, the attacker(s) have been changing their methodology and responding ...
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  • 4,389
423 votes
9 answers
17k 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 ...
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420 votes
43 answers
58k views

My God—it's full of unicorns [closed]

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's ...
420 votes
1 answer
31k 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 sites. Stack Overflow, being the first, has by far the most users, questions, and answers. What is the reasoning for ...
420 votes
9 answers
18k 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 ...
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  • 17.2k
411 votes
17 answers
27k views

Swag is coming back! (temporarily paused)

Update May 2022 I know everyone (myself included) has been excited by the return of swag. I just wanted to give y'all a heads up that we're currently revamping our swag options and shipping process, ...
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