Here is one and here is another.

Apart from being a duplicate or not, are these questions a) answerable and b) on topic?

A development environment or programming language is a huge ecosystem in itself. Some people may have experience with 2 recent ones (maybe 3), and can remark on some aspects of these, but can this ever be enough to base a choice on?

If it were only up to me I'd flag them as 'too broad.'

  • And here's a third one. I've marked two of those 3 "too broad" already (including the "number 3"). Could have chosen "off topic" as well, as we don't counsel on "what programming language to use" AFAIK. But an IDE for a not named language and just a few hints on the app-to-be-developed clearly is too broad (IMHO).
    – Izzy Mod
    Jan 28, 2015 at 23:12
  • What of the poster goes into details? Must have a debugger, must have code completion, documentation of my programming languages libraries, must have a GUI, must support this version control system? Are all such question taboo, or just those that are too vague?
    – Mawg
    Feb 4, 2015 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


I think they are either too broad or become too subjective.

If you don't have requirements for your given project on a specific language anyway but are free to choose then it will come down to the major ones (all of them -> too broad) OR you specify some obscure thing that you absolutely need (e.G. config files must be code too) then you get a set of the not so major ones (and many of them -> too broad) OR you state that they must be "easy" or "hassle-free" or "intuitive" and then you have it too subjective.

There are rare exceptions to this. Sometimes you need to code something so special that there is only one language / IDE / whatever available to you (besides machine code) that does exactly that (and usually is written for this specific purpose) like writing controlling software for nuclear centrifuges - but then you already know that one or you will find out all by yourself.

So in conclusion: The questions are not special at all, its just that they will likely end up being too broad or too subjective. And most of such questions will lack the "state your problem" test: The OPs usually just look for the best language in general for criteria that they think would be useful (this is a good example of this).

  • I just came across that 'hassle free' question as well and voted it as 'too broad', but now what about this one (they are multiplyinggg!!!): softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/16983/… I have not voted yet, but consider this also too broad - I see nothing specific in the requirements that cannot be solved by many development environments (but I must confess my cross-platform experience is very limited).
    – user416
    Feb 6, 2015 at 12:26
  • @JanDoggen First this is basically "off topic". Its also (read the last paragraph) opinion based: "any other advice [...] would also be appreciated". Poor lad, typing that question did take time and effort. Feb 6, 2015 at 14:10

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