A new community member (welcome!), just posted a question in which they are seeking recommendations for software to integrate into their website to add forum functionality.

Here is their question:
Looking for open source code library which can add forum functionality to a website

This appears to be a gray area for our community. They are not asking for a code-snippet. They want a complete software routine to perform this function (like a library). On the other hand, they are looking for source code, and not an executable.

I see this as a bit of a gray area. It's on-topic as much as any software library (for which we have many QA's), but it's off-topic because it's uncompiled source code. That said, you don't compile HTML/CSS/JavaScript in the typical sense of the word "compile" (technically, there are exceptions, but I'm focusing on the most common use), so such a library/package would not be delivered compiled.

I'm fine either way with considering it on-topic or off-topic. I lean towards considering it on-topic and treating it like a request for any other software library.

What would our community prefer?

1 Answer 1


As pointed out: SR is about "software meeting specific requirements" – and not about "code bases to pick snippets from to build your own software". See e.g.

So as it stands currently, the question is off-topic. A hint how to make it on-topic can be found with Questions to “get inspiration” for new software is on-topic?: Ask for free, open-source software that does what you want (i.e. software meeting specific requirements). It then either turns out there's no need anymore to write your own as a perfect match was found – or, if not, all recommendations should be open-source (as requested), so that goal was reached as a "side-effect" without the question being off-topic.


  • asking for code bases to borrow from: off-topic
  • asking for open-source apps/libraries: fully on-topic 😜

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