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I recently spent a great deal of time formulating a question that I really want an answer to. What I'm hoping to find is software, preferably on Linux, preferably Ubuntu, to solve a problem related to web server management.

So arguably the question is on-topic on Ask Ubuntu, Unix & Linux, Server Fault, Super User, and Webmasters - but ultimately it is a request for software so I felt obliged to place it here on Software Recommendations.

Now this site is really small compared to some of the others and I knew I wasn't going to get a very good response here (and indeed: 0 responses thus far). Still I posted the question here because it seemed the correct thing to do.

Now I don't want to argue the details of this particular question. It may well be a lousy question that wouldn't get a serious response anywhere.

However, I feel nearly 100% certain this question would meet with a better response on each of the other sites I mention. Even if it were ultimately rejected there, I would probably get a few real answers. But I try to be the nice guy so I try this site instead, even though I'm pretty sure it's not going to work. And this isn't the only time I'm faced with this dilemma - I face it every time I need a software recommendation.

Are you familiar with this dilemma? How do you address it? Do you post to another site anyway? What would you advise me to do? Are there established best practices regarding reposting of questions elsewhere that don't get any responses here? Am I simply mistaken about the difference in levels of response between this site and the other sites I mentioned?

I'm really unsure how to make this site work for me.

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    Yeah, have exactly this feeling each time I post a question here. It's such a pity that StackExchange doesn't allow crossposting. – user Dec 25 '16 at 20:10
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I know this feeling: Having a very particular request for software, that maybe only 1000 people in the world can answer.

I would still post it here at softwarerecs, because it is (usually) the only Stackexchange site where the question is on-topic (most others ban recommendation questions).

Then I would start searching via other means: contacting companies that might have such a product and be willing to sell it to you, ask on small mailing list that are exactly in the same field, etc.

Then if you ever find a solution, post it as an answer to your softwarerecs question.

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I agree with my colleges here, but want to offer a third way: IMHO it's perfectly fine to approach the same issue at two sites simultaneously in certain cases like this:

  • asking for software that accomplishes what you need: at Software Recommendations, of course
  • asking for "how to tackle such an issue", which approach to take: off-topic here at SR, but perfectly fitting on one of the other mentioned sites:
    • webmasters might point you to the "Google Webmaster Tools", which continuously monitor your site (and to be prepared for "false alerts", like reporting 404 errors for a page that never existed, just because some other site links to it)
    • the other four might come up with approaches of how to put a Linux/Unix link checker into a proper loop avoiding the issues you fear, or at least minimizing them

The key part is to not simply copy-paste your question across SE sites (that's what's being frowned upon massively and will put you under fire), but to tailor it to the target site. And not to overdo it, of course (e.g. posting it on AU and Unix+Linux would be overdoing it). So with your question as-is on SR (absolutely fine), asking on one of the others for technical approaches and including details like "is there a way to parallelize or otherwise speed-up processing" (to work around your first "drawback") and ways to check the first result against the second to see what has already been fixed or what is new – that shouldn't ring the "cross-post" bell.

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I can't migrate it (more than 60 days old), but you're 100% welcome to (re)post it on another site. Make sure you check that the other site allows recommendation requests.

Afterwards, it's probably best to delete the copy here.

  • I have a feeling that this should be a comment rather than an answer – Ooker Dec 20 '16 at 5:46
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    I disagree with deleting the copy here. This site cannot grow if questions are deleted here. Just add specifics to be site-appropriate in each location. – RockPaperLizard Dec 24 '16 at 5:29
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Are you familiar with this dilemma?

yes, it's a pain.

Do you post to another site anyway?

Yes from time to time: Quora, reddit, etc. It is good practice to back up one's questions since they can be silently deleted anytime on Stack Exchange.

What would you advise me to do?

Advocate for this proposal to have Stack Exchange support “crossover questions” between sites.

  • Can't you view your own question even if it's deleted? – user Dec 25 '16 at 20:35
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    @user: only if you have a link to it. – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 25 '16 at 20:47

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