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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2753
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9answers
313k 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 ...
2208
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44answers
187k 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 ...
1820
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28answers
74k 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 ...
1756
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50answers
40k 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 ...
1605
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7answers
424k 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
1387
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51answers
49k 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 ...
1369
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44answers
36k views
+300

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 ...
1011
votes
2answers
296k 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 ...
987
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35answers
98k 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 ...
873
votes
54answers
15k 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 ...
819
votes
51answers
27k 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 ...
761
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16answers
38k 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 ...
718
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17answers
38k 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 ...
691
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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 ...
664
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6answers
24k 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 ...
638
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19answers
20k 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 ...
631
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3answers
39k 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,...
579
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14answers
307k 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 ...
561
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47answers
64k views

Formatting Sandbox

Note: 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. As per Jeff's suggestion in this comment: You can use ...
551
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18answers
27k 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 ...
546
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13answers
16k 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 ...
545
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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 ...
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'...
524
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58answers
89k 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 ...
523
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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 ...
522
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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 ...
507
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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?
489
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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 ...
475
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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 ...
468
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9answers
17k 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, "Director ...
461
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7answers
8k 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, ...
448
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42answers
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 ...
437
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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 ...
425
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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"...
414
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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'...
414
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9answers
16k 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 ...
403
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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 ...
401
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5answers
29k 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 ...
393
votes
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 ...
385
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11answers
6k views

Why taking responsibility for other people's feelings doesn't work

The whole kerfluffle around pronouns centers around a singular premise. This premise was first asserted in the "Stack Overflow is Not Very Welcoming, it's Time for That to Change" blog post: Too ...
375
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11answers
17k 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
38k 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
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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 ...
368
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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 ...
362
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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
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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 ...
350
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1answer
24k 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. ...
347
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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" ...