Would a question about which software technology to choose for a given scenario be on topic ?

The question I need to ask somewhere is along the lines of "I'm going to write a program to communicate with another process in a scenario X with requirements Y; which Inter Process Communication technologies fit best, Sockets or DCOM or Named Pipes or Shared Memory or etc.".

Would that be off-topic ? I already found that info about asking for libraries, tutorials/resources, macros, source code and programming tools but I'm not sure about technologies.

My first thought was asking on Stack Overflow but it seems to me that these questions are off-topic there.

1 Answer 1


I'd say NO. This site recommends software, i.e. things "ready to use". While this includes libraries for developers, they again are "ready to use" (for them). Our recommendations are based on requirements given in the questions; a question as you describe it would be about finding those requirements in the first place – which is something that should happen before you post your question here.

Apart from that, I don't think the given topic is a good fit for a Q&A site anyway, but would much better be asked in a forum – where it can be discussed in depth (you may know, discussion is not amongst the things SE sites feature, apert from in the chat rooms).

  • Got it, the "not ready to use" thing makes sense. I don't get the "it would be about finding those requirements" instead, as of course I'd be the one describing the requirements, but it's true that sw technologies need to be implemented to be ready to use, so I won't post that Q here. For the record I was not aiming at "discussion" but at useful info, and I don't understand why sw technology is not a good topic for a Q&A site in general, so I'll find another Q&A site. Of course the topic can attract opinions on which technology fits best, but the same goes for any ready-to-use sw product. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 12:23
  • 1
    Questions in that area often tend to be quite broad and vague, with the "asker" not yet quite sure of the possibilities existing and thus how to "phrase it strict". Of course, given you're firm in the technology as such, such a question could be written in a way well fitting a Q&A site (just not this one ;) And yes, "ready to use" was my core argument here :)
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 12:29
  • Since the "not ready to use" point is the only part I get, and it's something reasonably objective so it's a very good and easy to use criterion to tell that a Q is off topic, may I suggest to add that concept in the What topics can I ask about here? or What types of questions should I avoid asking? pages. I'm sure the info is in many other places but those two pages are the ones I read when wondering about my Q being on-topic and IMO they are among the most likely ones to be found. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 12:42
  • Good point – like this? :)
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 12:54
  • Yep :) Looks good to me. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 13:02
  • It might be on-topic at Programmers, better ask on their meta though.
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 9:25
  • @NicolasRaoul Good idea, I just asked on their meta. Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 10:09

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