Why question with word best are considered wrong and downvoted automatically? Even if certain criteria are clear when something is the best. We are looking for best software but we can ask only for software.

From other side asking for good software is ok.

Why good is so different from best.

Sample best question, title edited after many commets to change title, few people prefer leaving best.


Questions asking for the most/best/greatest are far too often asking for data that is subjective, based in personal opinion or may be completely unquantifiable.

If your answer (It doesn't ask for a good file compressor. It is specifically asking for the best, or in the case of this question the most efficient. is true, that means superlative questions in general ("best", "most X", etc.) are off-topic. Is that a road we want to go down? (not asking you specifically, but anyone)

  • I redact good out of questions as well. So, its no different. Feb 9, 2014 at 18:04
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    What is wrong with good, if asker is looking for good software? Feb 9, 2014 at 18:05
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    Well, are there askers looking for bad software? shudder
    – Izzy Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 18:12
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    Maybe not, but it is really reason to downote whole question? With this rule we will kill many newbie on this site, not everyone knows this best rule. Feb 9, 2014 at 18:12
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    no, its a reason to edit the question, not to downvote it. Feb 9, 2014 at 18:15
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    @AngeloNeuschitzer That depends whether “best” is a bad formulation (→ edit) or a symptom of a question that doesn't specify anything else (→ close). Feb 9, 2014 at 18:20
  • @Gilles I Agree. Feb 9, 2014 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


Not speaking about the down-votes, but phrasing generally: "the best tool" is always subjective ("One man's owl is another man's nightingale"). We try to be objective: Answers given should of course meet the questioner's requirements, but also be useful for future visitors.

So avoid asking for "the best X". And as probably nobody is looking for "a bad X", asking for "a good X" is like asking for "wet water". Rather ask for an X that meets certain conditions.

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    Asking for most efficient is also not recommended? Feb 9, 2014 at 18:20
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    Depends. But most likely falls into the same category: You're looking for an efficient X, that's OK. But "most efficient" again might be subjective. And why should one recommend the "least efficient" X? Ask for water, not for wet water ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 18:23
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    @MariuszS Most likely you want a "sufficiently efficient" so just stating "efficient" should be enough. Take compression as example, if you want to have an archiver with the "most efficient" compression algorithm, no answer could be correct that does not clearly bring facts that THIS is the maximum on compression that is theoretically possible. Feb 9, 2014 at 18:24
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    This has also big side effect, users google for best tools and will never be redirected here. This is good for us? Feb 9, 2014 at 18:25
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    @MariuszS I don't believe this, how you know that googlers search for "best tool" or "good tool" instead of "tool"? Feb 9, 2014 at 18:27
  • maybe you're right, just guessing Feb 9, 2014 at 18:29

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