The OP of the question eCommerce opensource plattforms seems to look for software "in order to integrate with". So OP is not looking for software that they could use themselves.

Should this and similar questions be on-topic?

I think some arguments from Is looking for software as “data” within our scope? and Is asking for sample, illustrative code on-topic? can apply in such a case, too (but the mentioned discussions are not exactly about this case).
The question Is asking for lists of software welcome? may also be relevant (while OP is not explicitly asking for a list, I think a list would generally be more useful to OP than a single, even if very good, recommendation).

Update: Just to be clear, this discussion is not about asking for libraries (which is on-topic): in the case of libraries, the OP is using the recommended software. In the cases this discussion is about, OP is developing for the recommended software (e.g., creating a module for various ecommerce CMS to offer integration with their payment provider).

1 Answer 1


I don't see why this should be off-topic - why should we draw a line between "I want something to use" and "I want something for my software to use?"

In this case, he's provided a clear list of requirements. If someone asks something like this and doesn't meet our quality standards, we should close it - just like any other question.

  • "I want something for my software to use" would be like a library questions, which is of course on-topic. But unless I misunderstand OP’s question, this does not seem to be the case: OP is not using the recommended software but enhancing it (developing modules for). So an example question could be: "I’m looking for open source ecommerce CMS that can be extended with modules. I want to create modules for these CMS to offer integration with my payment service."
    – unor
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 23:54
  • Still seems on-topic to me, actually. I'm pretty sure that "I'm looking for open source ecommerce CMS that can be extended with modules" (and a few other specifications) would be perfectly on-topic - so why should we care what he wants to do with it?
    – user46
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 23:55
  • I think what these questions makes their on-topic-ness questionable to me is that OPs are not really looking for recommendations. The best answer wouldn’t be an answer recommending the "best" CMS (because OP is never going to use it) but an answer listing as many suitable CMS as possible (whether OP explicitly asks for a list, like in the mentioned question, or not). -- Of course there are other criteria that matter in such a case, which recommendations could help with (e.g., how easy it is to develop for it, and how big the user base is), but it’s still not about finding the best tool.
    – unor
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 0:27
  • 2
    That's a reasonable argument. I still lean towards the side of allowing them, though - it'd be nice if a few others would chime in.
    – user46
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 0:33

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