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Imagine I go on this Website and I ask for a mature implementation (also for a production environment) of an AOP framework which is usable in commercial projects for free and which allows me to decorate properties with attributes that allows to log property values.

I think the question could be considered a bit opinionable and maybe someone could consider it too broad. But the point is another. I think it's useful. I can discuss it using a mathematical concept called information gain. It's hard to find answers to the question using google or other website. The answer to that question are leading to a gain in the quantity and quality of information.

The question was inspired to me by the reading of this question which I also like and I would also allow on similar specific and narrow topic. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3434183/what-aspect-oriented-programming-aop-libraries-for-net-are-still-actively-dev

For narrow topic I mean that looking for - .net google gets 61.000.000 pages - Asp.net Mvc google gets 27.200.000 pages. - Aspect oriented google gets 1.100.000 pages

the ratio is 60 : 1

Would you think this kind of question should be accepted or not? Please explain the pro and cons

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  • @AngeloNeuschitzer: I completely agree with that post. It's saying the same things I wrote here. Just mathematic is objective avoid ONLY too much subjective questions. "If we can avoid conversations that are — and this is the really tricky part — too subjective". "completely subjective topics". "We never claimed that subjective questions were horrible abominations that should never be asked". "Great subjective questions". I strongly think it's saying to avoid just very very strong subjective questions. And it also explains why!! ("discussions, debates should be closed as subjective.")
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 14:22
  • Please, explain downvoting. And contribute to the conversation.
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 14:25
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"mature" can be objectified. This word describes various elements of software (good documentation, few bugs and they are quickly closed, active development community, production readyness, etc.) If your question states what measurable elements of "mature" you are looking for then its good. The import part here is that you have to state which of that elements are relevant TO YOU.

If your question just asks for "mature" without explanation than its like asking for "easy" or "simple" without explaining what that means to you.

Same goes for all subjective terms. If you describe what element of this term is the important part to you - great!

Example for "simple" because that came up in a question today: I feel that a CLI on linux is "simple". But I know that many people use it differently so when I post a question asking for a "simple" solution I will state exactly what I mean with "simple" in the context of this specific question. Same goes for "mature".

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  • Thanks for your answer. I upvoted it. But I would also try to add a point. For me mature means (good documentation, few bugs and they are quickly closed, active development community, production readyness, etc.). For you is the same thing. If we have a look to a dictionary to its definition or we ask other 20 people probably we will get many common answers. So it's really needed to make mandatory for the users to explain what they mean by saying mature?<br>The explanation of mature really lead to any information gain or simply "annoys" people?
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 10:30
  • The important part is what YOU find useful of mature. To me "active development community" is in fact not relevant at all as long as it is a) open source and has b) good documentation. So while the set of characteristics is well defined, the priority of each is what makes the difference. Feb 21 '14 at 10:32
  • I can understand the need of explaining the word best. But mature is not already acceptable? I would like to add another consideration. We are speaking of opinionability. But the science has studied this "word". Scientific experiment, statistic, mathematical logic, double blind test against placebo are the only not opinionable things. The remaining is all, in some way subjective, subjected to error. We should state the tradeoff we wanto to adopt.
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 10:33
  • I try to make an example to help you understand my point of view. You are saying that an "active development community" could be important or not for some guys. But How do you measure if a software has an "active development community" behind? What do you mean with this word? And what do you exactly mean by saying "bugs are quickly closed"? Every concept is relative, subjective and opinionable. Where do you stop to detailing and clarifying? This is the reason because normal speech is different from mathematical, scientist and lawyer speech.
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 10:38
  • @Sam (I added an example to my answer, have a look). You are right. The semantics on "objectable" differ and a lot of criteria (like "active development community") are by themselves subjective. BUT the idea here is to take a word that has a set of meanings and specify what part of this meanings is the relevant part. Feb 21 '14 at 10:39
  • I think, but it's just my opinion, we should make a strong distinguish between words like "simple" or "best" and word like "mature" or "active development community". Try to formalize in an objective way the tradeoff between what you think is acceptable and what is not and then write the pro and cons of allowing or disallowing this question in the objective of building a community which leads to easily information gain. I think this would be a good exercize that we should do in estabilishing the guidelines.
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 11:17
  • I don't think thats a useful way to spend my time (read: I won't do this). There are people who read the faq and such and of them 90% [I guess] will make it right intuitively. To them I don't need to write this. Then there are people who don't read the faq. To them I don't need to write this. This leaves about no-one to whom this semantical distinction would be valuable enough. I think learning by doing is better in this case. Wait for questions like this arise naturally and then clear them out on a case-to-case basis. Feb 21 '14 at 11:29
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    @Sam - do you agree that different people could have different meanings of "mature" in the context of software?
    – Flyk
    Feb 21 '14 at 12:07
  • @Flyk: for sure. But if you continue reading I ask to try to clarify what is "mature". Angelo says that could mean: having an "active development community" behind and "having bugs quickly closed" arguing this would not be opinionable. And I've argued that every one can give different meaning to this two phrases as well; and that everiday speaking is always subjective. And that he can read some scientific paper or the text of some laws or some mathematical theorem to try to understand what it's really not opinionable.
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:08
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    @Sam that's his point - if a term is ambiguous or subjective (ie: it can be interpreted different ways by different people) it is always better to clearly state your exact requirements to prevent any misunderstandings, even if you don't think it will cause misunderstandings.
    – Flyk
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:19
  • @Flyk: yes. But every single phrase is ambiguous. I'll show you. Let's take what you have just written: "if a term is ambiguous or subjective (ie: it can be interpreted different ways by different people) it is always better to clearly state your exact requirements to prevent any misunderstandings". This is strongly ambiguous. Would you like how a long discussion we could take trying to go deep into your adfirmation? The reality is opinionable. The rules are always opinionable. It's the reason why Judge exists. There were plenty of people speaking of this topics for millenium..
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:22
  • Linguistic, Filosoph, Psychologist, Matematicians, Engineers, Medic, Scientist, Politicians, Lawyers. This people have studied really deep what's the meaning of "subjective" and thjey have defined formalism and pattern to avoid being subjective. Look at just one mathematical theorem, law or medicine paper to understand what is not "subjective".
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:25
  • Now, that we have verified that is impossible to avoid "subjectivity" the right question is: "how do we estabilish the acceptable amount of subjectivity for a question?" or "which kind of question are we considering good?".
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:28
  • @Flyk: I think I will help more by providing example of questions that I would leave open and were closed for some reasons which I think are not going to contribute to this community in any way. But It was important to me to make people understand that many people before us studied this topics. We are just like children "playing" with the guidelines in a website compared to all them. I'm sorry if you get offended by this.. but I think we can learn by people before us.
    – Revious
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:32
  • Of course it's possible to avoid subjectivity: by clearly stating your requirements. If you say "I need a feature that inverts the colours of an image" that is not open to interpretation. If you say "I need a feature that makes pictures look like this <X>" that is subjective. Be as clear as possible at all times.
    – Flyk
    Feb 21 '14 at 13:53
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This question:

[I need] a mature implementation (also for a production environment) of an AOP framework. [It must be] usable in commercial projects for free and allows me to decorate properties with attributes that allows to log property values.

Is no good question by the definition set here. BUT for the scope of this answer I will treat it as a valid answer and go into the subjective part of it.

The basic guidelines for subjective questions were set out over three years ago on this StackOverflow Blog post and I can see nothing wrong with this, so for the scope of this post (and my future position on subjective questions) I use it as "the truth".

It gives us elements that we can now use to judge this question:

  1. Great subjective questions inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.

    This question doesn't do this. There is nothing there that invites the answerer to explain WHY his recommendation is mature or HOW it got there.

  2. Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers.

    Here the linked criteria above applies. This question can have too many answers so the likeliness of one of them to be exhaustive and detailed is low (except one happens to be the lucky receiver of one of Calebs answers or someone who has the same approach than he does).

  3. Great subjective questions have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.

    This question is far too short for this. If it would get into the details on what the OP want to do with that AOP framework and state your experiences with previous frameworks that would encourage others to share their view. This question has no tone whatsoever.

  4. Great subjective questions invite sharing experiences over opinions.

    This question doesn't do that. An answer "This library does that [link]" seems totally valid for it.

  5. Great subjective questions insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.

    This question doesn't do that. There is no requests for evidence on the maturity as it doesn't state what criteria for maturity should be evidenced. (Here my other answer comes into play where I insist that "mature" must be defined by the OP)

  6. Great subjective questions are more than just mindless social fun.

    This question fulfills this criteria.


All in all I would say that this question is bad and we shouldn't have it. It can be salvaged by the OP it after that takes great care to fulfill the 6. tenets listed here.

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