3

The top-voted¹ answer to the discussion Is software identification on-topic? says that (some) identification questions should be on-topic.

Because of this, the question Wiki software being used by Gnome was recently reopened.

Neither the question nor the answer seem to be good according to our "old" question/answer quality guidelines, which is because identification questions follow different rules: questions don’t include any software requirements, answers consist of just a software name/link (+ possibly trivia information)².

Should the quality guidelines be updated for these kind of questions/answers (e.g., to note that the current guidelines don’t apply to them)?

How should we vote? When would down-votes be warranted? A suitable answer to an identification question would typically be deleted if it were a recommendation question.


¹ Currently 13 vs. 7 / 2 / 0 / 0

² Unless the answer suggests a different software (which is, if I understand it correctly, what the top-voted answer proposes should be possible), in which case the answer author might have to guess what OP cares about, because OP doesn’t (have to) specify any requirements.

1

I think we should just close software identifications questions. Here's why:

  • They don't have requirements
  • There can only be 1 correct answer
  • Answers which suggest similar software will just be ignored by the OP because 'that's not the one'
  • Not everyone is familiar with the compared program, reducing views, reducing possible answers

The linked meta discussion's top-voted answer says:

Some questions formulated this way, such as Wiki software being used by Gnome, or Which tool does Canonical use to build Ubuntu releases, in fact may be asking for "a tool to set up a wiki similar to Gnome wiki" or "a tool to build Ubuntu-based distributions". These seem on-topic to me, although badly formulated.

However, IMO, the Wiki software being used by Gnome question isn't asking for "a tool to set up a wiki similar to Gnome wiki" or "a tool to build Ubuntu-based distributions". The OP just wants to know what they use so they can use it. The problems with this question are in the list above.


Of course, the OP can use the other program as an example, but basing the entire question on a single program isn't right.


I think, in an over-simplistic way, guidance can be:

We need requirements.


Should the quality guidelines be updated for these kind of questions/answers (e.g., to note that the current guidelines don’t apply to them)?

I don't think so. We should not treat these questions any differently IMO.

  • To the point (+1). Such identification-questions are only on-topic if they're asking "for a software to achieve similar results" – and thus need requirements (e.g. OS used). What does it help a Windows user to know the software used by X if it only runs on Solaris, for example? That's not "in the spirit of our site" then. – Izzy Nov 22 '15 at 15:25
  • @Izzy Exactly! :) – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Nov 22 '15 at 15:29
  • @Izzy and ᔕᖺᘎᕊ: That’s my opinion, too (hence my answer to the scope question), but if I understand VicAche’s answer (which is the top-voted answer) correctly, the question should be interpreted that way even if OP is not explicitly saying it; the requirements would be "hidden". So I guess that’s why Gilles reopened the question Wiki software being used by Gnome (which doesn’t contain requirements, unless "looks really slick and clean" counts as one?). – unor Nov 22 '15 at 17:03
  • 1
    @unor mods can err as well (they're humans like us). Hidden requirements are non-existent, the question has no "issue to solve" – and "just being curious" isn't enough. I don't agree with Gilles on the re-opening. Will point him here to cross-check ;) – Izzy Nov 22 '15 at 17:09
  • @unor then we close as 'too broad,' just as we would with a normal question without requirements. I don't think we should treat these questions any differently. – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Nov 22 '15 at 17:10
  • 2
    Hi. Don't want to let down my upvoters, but I do think such questions shouldn't be protected "per se". Your arguments here or there make perfect sense to me. – VicAche Nov 24 '15 at 11:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .