While performing reviews, I sometimes encounter questions that ask for a software tool or a website to perform a task.

Here are 3 examples:

What is the best way to handle questions like these?

1 Answer 1


They say "website" but they mean can also be called "webapp". A website to make a clipart is a webapp.

I think these questions are on-topic (at least 1st and 3rd).

The asker is looking for a software tool that will perform the task for them:

  • On their OS, as a native tool
  • Or via their browser

As a Linux user, sometimes I when I look for a particular tool I don't find it and end up using an online tool to perform what I want.

So I would say that asking for a native tool or webapp is OK.

  • 1
    I agree. Do we have a working definition that we can use for the difference between a web site and a web app? Feb 20, 2016 at 21:11
  • Actionable by the user or not, maybe? For example, a bunch of encyclopedia pages is a website. Something that allows me to search within these pages is a tool.
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Feb 22, 2016 at 2:33
  • 2
    That's a possibility. On the other hand, many websites have a search feature. For example, is this SE a tool or a website? What about Wikipedia? I'm not sure how we draw the line. Feb 22, 2016 at 4:20
  • "I am looking for an encyclopedia" is off-topic but "I am looking for a tool to search Wikipedia for a word+category" is on-topic, you will probably agree. Now, "I am looking for a 18th century philosophy encyclopedia with a search feature" is not too broad, and asks for an actionable tool, but in that case I would say off-topic because the "most difficult to fulfill" requirement is the data rather than the software.
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Feb 22, 2016 at 4:30

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