I saw some questions being put on hold as too broad because they ask for just a particular feature. How many features must the OP mention in the question? Is it OK to ask for a software having a particular feature, or do we have to list at least X features?

  • 2
    Software Recommendation scope is about precise recommendation. Unfortunately the word precise is quite subjective but during the private Beta we make an implicit agreement about the level of quality required. Now we have 100 new users every days, and the agreement is disappearing. Feb 27, 2014 at 8:10
  • @Franck, Am I mis-reading something? Shouldn't it be too narrow (as opposed to what you stated, "too broad") if they ask for just a particular feature?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 20, 2015 at 16:10
  • @Pacerier Too broad because one feature was regarded as not being enough to specify a program. Jul 20, 2015 at 17:25

4 Answers 4


If one obscure, difficult-to-find feature is enough to qualify their entire requirements list, sometimes one feature is enough to say "I can't find this software myself." We shouldn't ask folks to pad their question out unnecessarily simply to meet the {2} drink requirement minimum.

In judging the fitness of these questions, you have to consider why were are here in the first place. Even if a user were to include 20 requirements, if those features are widely available, ask yourself, "What's wrong with the myriad of solutions you can find with any Google search?" That's why we close this stuff as "too broad."

Compare these examples:

  • I need a photo editor that handles (1) .jpg, (2) red eye removal, (3) sharpness adjustments, (4) zoom features, (5) layers, (6) marquee tool selection, (7) automatic cropping, (8) corrects hue and brightness, and (9) exports to other formats — WIDELY AVAILABLE, TOO BROAD

on the other hand…

  • I need a photo editor that can extract English text and automatically edit it back in as 9th Century Bulgarian Cyrillic — THIS PERSON NEEDS HELP
  • This is all quite true, but doesn't touch on the case we've seen a lot of where one feature is requested but that one feature isn't enough to narrow the field down. Certainly one specialty need is enough to make a question out of, but one feature that any of dozens of apps can do and the OP just didn't bother checking isn't enough on which to make an informed recommendation, ergo to broad.
    – Caleb
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:30
  • 1
    @Caleb Yes, that's what the "ask yourself" acid test I put up there in bold is about. If it's widely available — close as too broad. Feb 27, 2014 at 21:34
    – DVK
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:42
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    @RobertCartaino, What does "simply to meet the {2} ̶d̶r̶i̶n̶k̶ " mean?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 20, 2015 at 16:34
  • @Pacerier Its a pun. Some bars require you to purchase a minimum amount of drinks, usually 2. Sep 1, 2015 at 9:00
  • @AngeloFuchs, Another U.S. thing Ic..
    – Pacerier
    Oct 20, 2015 at 7:26
  • @Pacerier Nope. I have seen that in Italy and Germany as well. In my experience usually some shady bars do that (in lieu of or addition to paying entrance fee) Oct 20, 2015 at 12:01

Question was reopened after an edit. As for your answers its a screenshot, and not much detail.

Everything I want to say is here really and critically

Why do you, personally, like the product? What other niche features does it have that the asker didn't even think about that make this product so great? Don't limit yourself to the constraints of the question. Remember that the question should be useful to future visitors, who may be looking at other things in addition to those criteria. Sell it to everyone.

  • I'm asking about questions, not about my answers. Feb 27, 2014 at 4:13

Not directly answering the question by word, but hopefully by intention, let me first re-phrase it a little:

What does the new version of the question have making it worth to re-open?

  • it has a user-story describing the background, which helps understanding "unnamed" requirements
  • it clearly states OP did some research on his own, and not simply used SR as "personalized Google-Pro"
  • in the comments (which I just moved to the question) it was made clear a GUI and "batch-mode" are wanted, making the question less broad by ruling out maybe 50% of otherwise matching candidates, which with the original version of the question would have made 100% valid answers without being helpful to the OP
  • it much better fits the guidelines we've set up in What is required for a question to contain "enough information"?

There's no "you must list at least X features", as that X cannot be given as "global value", but is very much case-depending. But there is a "you should describe your requirements as precise as possible", as we don't aim "quantity first," but "quality first".


The question didn't have another requirement apart of:

decent windows software ... that can analyse and identify MP3 songs BPM and automatically tag it to the file tags (ID3v2)?

How many developers have think about that idea? How can we be sure that there wouldn't be more in the future? The more constrains you put on us the better it is. Be greedy and ask for "awesomesauce".

  • OK so what are the new requirements added in the edit that they had the question to be reopened? From what I can see, the question is now much bigger but contains the same amount of requirements. So I'm still confused regarding the number of features the OP must mention in the question. Feb 27, 2014 at 4:15
  • @FranckDernoncourt ask those that reopened. I saw the same as you boiled to the bone.
    – Braiam
    Feb 27, 2014 at 4:16
  • Yep, I have just left a comment in the question regarding that matter. Feb 27, 2014 at 4:18

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