This is one of those seven essential meta questions of every beta and I feel it's going to result in a lot of discussion. Unlike other Stack Exchange sites, much of our documentation is probably going to be quite unique. Here is what superuser.com's documentation looks like for reference:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. …

Ask about…

  • Specific issues with computer software, hardware or networking
  • Real problems or questions that you’ve encountered

Don’t ask about…

  • Anything not directly related to computer software or computer hardware
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or require an extremely long answer
  • Videogames, consoles, or other electronic devices, unless they connect to your computer
  • Websites or web services like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress
  • Shopping, buying or product recommendations
  • Issues specific to corporate IT support and networks

I feel that we take a break from what is accepted as normal for this page with Software Recommendations, and that in addition to the sorts of questions you should ask, we should also cover the following in our documentation:

  • What sort of questions are on topic
  • What sort of questions are not on topic
  • What is required for a question to contain "enough information"?
  • How we're different from other Stack Exchange sites (I feel this should link off to a meta post discussing how recommendations are welcome here provided they meet our minimum quality level)

I do, however, think we should keep the section relatively short and punchy, to increase its impact and ensure it gets read more often than not. Any ideas on other things we should include in this section or feedback on my suggestions? - Post them as answers below.

  • 1
    I think that less than a list of bullet points, what we need here is a summary (plus link) of “how to write a good question” and “how to write a good answer”. Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 11:12
  • We can base these summaries off the final versions of "What is required for a question to contain "enough information"?" and "What is required for an answer to be high quality?" once these have been agreed by the community - linking to these posts
    – Flyk
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 11:14
  • 1
    Definitly the mentioned link to What is required for a question to contain “enough information”?! That will be something we have to look for quite often. And until it's there, I vote to make it "featured", so it can easily be found.
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 9:43
  • The link to help is dead but I don't have enough rep here to edit. Should be softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/help
    – user416
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


(edit this post as more consensuses are reached regarding what is off topic)

What sort of questions are off topic:


(edit this post as more consensuses are reached regarding what is on topic)

What sort of questions are on topic:

  • Questions asking for software recommendations containing clearly defined requirements of what the software should do

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