Should recommendations for which programming language to use be allowed on the site? For example, a few off the top of my head:

  • What programming language to use for a desktop application involving [something]? Where [something] could be image processing, networking, etc.
  • Which server-side language should I use for [a social network, data-heavy apps, etc.]?
  • Should I use C# or Java for [some purpose]?
  • @Doorknowb I'd like to make you aware of a different example: this programming language request. Do you consider it similar to the examples you posted or is it different. How would you judge on this one? Aug 31, 2021 at 18:24

4 Answers 4



If you have a question about a particular library (or lack of a library to try but you know one must exist) then you're in-scope. Recommend what language I should use to build this project is just way too broad, and firmly out of the scope that we can deal with here.

  • "I want to change the UI of my Xerox Office Printing Machine, what language do I have to use?" is sufficiently narrow scoped. I would allow such questions, although I expect a lot of them to be closed because they are too opinion based. Feb 5, 2014 at 8:26
  • 4
    @AngeloNeuschitzer I'm a little lost in your example, because your question boils down to "What language runs the UI in my copy machine?" or "Is there a SDK to modify the UI in my copy machine?" or a matter of requirement instead of preference. I'm not saying that such questions can't be narrowly scoped into good questions, but it's a bit too much of a stretch for this site.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 5, 2014 at 9:15
  • 2
    If not allowed here, Where should you ask such questions then?
    – rubo77
    Jun 18, 2014 at 19:01
  • 1
    What about "I need a scripting language that meets X specification and runs at Y speed and is embeddable in Z language while supporting Q feature natively?"
    – Jax
    Jan 4, 2016 at 16:25

I think this should only allowed if the asker can provide a very specific range of requirements which make it clear that not every programming language can make that happen without going through hell.

If it is possible with most languages then this would only be opinion-based.

  • 1
    I agree; primarily opinion based should also apply here, although not as much as SO.
    – Doorknob
    Feb 5, 2014 at 0:11

This answer is a combination of @TimPost and @juergend.

No, ...

... for all your examples, since they target a project or product. Typically you can realize any product in any general purpose programming language, so the choice is arbitrary and should rather be based on project management criteria like availability of developers, libraries etc.

Yes, ...

... if the request is solely about a programming language itself and has requirements to the programming language itself, is not about a product or project.

Example criteria:

  • does it allow object orientation or not?
  • does it have tail recursion or not?
  • does it have generics or not?
  • does it provide duck typing?

There are 2500+ programming languages, so why not specify requirements on the progamming language itself and choose one?


That is a debatable issue. Others may argue that those belong in Stack Overflow. I think that is a great suggestion, but you should also add to the first one something about the difficulty of the programming language.

  • 10
    Stack Overflow would most definitely not accept these, and would be instantly closed as "primarily opinion based" or "recommend a tool." Also, difficulty is subjective, and some people may think language X is easier than Y, while others may think the opposite.
    – Doorknob
    Feb 5, 2014 at 0:10
  • Ah, good point @DoorknobofSnow . I thought since this was programming-related that some people may think it belongs there.
    – Rajiv
    Feb 5, 2014 at 0:13
  • @Compukid Never tell people to ask on a specific SE site if you don't know its scope. Over at Android.SE we have that issue quite often with people being directed there for questions on Android development, which are strictly off-topic there. When in doubt, tell them to make sure having checked with the /help/on-topic URL first (or do so yourself before suggesting).
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 9, 2014 at 19:37

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