So I have seen this question which says no; however that question is asking "why/if I should change". My question is more regarding the differences of "free" vs "paid" versions of the same software that I am moving to.

To be specific, I am upgrading my current version of Visual Studio to a later version, and I have been recommended I use the Community version rather than the Enterprise or Professional Version. So my question is more in regards to the limitations of one vs the other (and again more specifically regarding privacy).

Is this question on-topic?

2 Answers 2


Thanks for asking, Ben! Please see: Is tool x versus tool y a fair question?. TL;DR: It's off-topic.

SR is about recommending software meeting specific requirements. And as long as requirements are met, that should not be limited to "A or B" – else it turns into Are “Can I use X for Y” questions on-topic? – which again is off-topic.

In the end, comparing A vs B you want to find out which of the two fits your needs better. Now what if there's a C fitting your needs even perfectly? By restricting it to A and B, you'd miss that (and not only you, but also other users with similar interests visiting your question and its answers would be bereft of it). So as RockPaperLz described in his answer, better make sure your list of requirements and background information is complete (see: What is required for a question to contain "enough information"?) – and be open to solutions you'd otherwise miss.


Welcome Ben.

A good way to ensure your question is on-topic is to provide a list of what you want the software to do. Optionally, you can specify what you don't want it to do. Adding in a list of *"these functions would be nice, but are not hard requirement" never hurts.

When you follow that format, you can be sure your question will be on-topic and you'll get the most helpful answers. Add in the target OS (or OS's) and price ranges (or gratis), and you've got yourself a great question.

For your question, you can write something along the lines of:

I'm looking for gratis Windows IDE for the C language that supports projects with 10-20 modules, each module having 500-8000 lines of code. I want to be able to do:

  • this
  • that
  • the other thing

It's not a requirement, but it would be nice if the software also handles performing:

  • nice feature

I don't want anything stored on the cloud for privacy reasons, nor do I want the the IDE to require any internet connections.

I'll be using this for business/personal projects.

I'll be running this on a OS version x system with yGB of RAM and an xyz processor.

Obviously, I just made all that up for you, but using this sort of template should yield good results.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask.

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