I've been using a test version of a software for a specifc task related to my job.

There are other features of that software that I have not tested, that I might be interested in for a personnal project. Since it's a software that is not free, I'd like to ask if others have used it in the way I entend to use it for my personnal needs before I pay for it.

Is this stack site appropriate to ask this kind of question, provided I carefully list the needs I'm expecting from it?

3 Answers 3


tl;dr: No, but you can make it on-topic.

It’s off-topic to ask if a specific software is suitable in a specific case. We want to answer with software recommendations, not with "yes" or "no".

But it’s fine (and encouraged!) to list specific software that you’ve found and wonder if and how it matches your requirements, and if it’s a recommended solution for your goal. Then people who answer your question may recommend (or advise against, if they can recommend an alternative) this specific software, but they may also recommend any other solution that matches your requirements.


  • describe your goal and list your requirements,
  • optionally list software you know/think is not a suitable solution for your case,
  • optionally list software you are unsure about, and
  • welcome any recommendation.

In addition to unor's answer, my additional advice to make your question great is to separate as much as possible the question itself from the solution you are thinking about.

Typically, first write your question fully, with all needed requirements. Only after you have done that, mention the solution you are wondering about, preferably as a comment.


Title: Tool to simulate sulphur distillation that supports hydrogen sulfide

I need a tool to simulate sulphur distillation [Insert perfectly valid question here]

- Supports hydrogen sulfide.
- [Requirement 2]
- [Requirement 3]

Is there such a tool?

Then add this as a comment to your question, or as a clearly separated (use ---) final appendix:

By the way, I am wondering whether SulfurSimul3000 could be used for this?


I would argue that it has to be on-topic, exactly because you can force it to be on topic by artificially asking "and are there other, better, alternatives". So - just make that implicit in any question (i.e. make it ok to give such answers) and define these questions on-topic.

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