Most, but not all, SE Sites forbid Software Rec.

It appears that:

  • Ebooks SE allows Software Recommendations.
  • TeX.SE appears to, in particular this question is (by our standards) a terrible question with great answers. (TeX.SE has a big-list tag, that most of us would expect to be banned as a meta-tag tha encourages poor questions. But it seems to be working fine for them. (I would not recommend it here) ).

  • Ask Different allows software recommendations.

  • Ask Ubuntu allows limited software recommendations.

I'm sure there are others.

Since SE does not like cross posting (for good reasons), this implies that everything that has a place should be in its place. What is its place?

  • Would we prefer question that can be asked in a more specific venue be asked there?
  • If a question isn't getting answered here, are we willing to suggest it is asked on a more specific SE site (if they allow Software Rec)?
  • Or is it: If it is asked here, then it is asked here, lets ignore the rest of the SE ecosystem for this purpose. (Probably my preferred option).
  • Are we the bad people who are going to encourage cross posting? (Obviously not)

Which brings me to the second part of this question: what is out preferred action in case of cross posting? Is it to close the question, delete the question or what?

I guess this is a relative of the Super User ⊃ Unix & Linux SE ⊃ AskUbuntu issue.

  • Ask Different allows software-recommendation questions. If someone wants to edit that into the post, that would be appreciated. Also, would you entertain an answer disagreeing with "everything belongs in one place" The site I moderate has significant overlap with SU and minor overlap with SO/SF so we have lived with overlap like this for a while and not needed a black/white line for one place for a question.
    – bmike
    Mar 3, 2014 at 2:41
  • Feel free to propose the edit, and I will accept it. I've sure you can write abit about it better than me. Mar 3, 2014 at 3:25
  • I lack reputation to edit. I don't need any credit for the edit, just wanted to add to the facts / perhaps involve myself in the discussion and be available to answer questions.
    – bmike
    Mar 3, 2014 at 3:26
  • Huh, i guess i had the rep limit wrong Mar 3, 2014 at 4:40
  • There are no suggested edits on per-site metas. You can either edit a post yourself due to full edit privileges or you can't participate in edits. Comment or answer, but no editing until you rep up.
    – bmike
    Mar 3, 2014 at 5:27
  • The more you know. Thanks bmike Mar 3, 2014 at 5:42
  • On Travel we allow recommendations, including software recommendations, only when the questions are very specific. So pretty similar to the rules here. We have also adopted the Stack Exchange position regarding cross-posting. That is don't simply crosspost but asking about the same thing with a separate question tailored to each site comes under the "peewee herman rule". Mar 12, 2014 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I'm an SU regular, and fairly familiar with SF - and once we get out of beta, chances are we'll have some informal channels to handle that sort of thing. While we can migrate stuff, its probably a better idea to avoid that until beta is over.

Lets start with the most obvious thing - that while there's a lot of overlap, how you ask a product-rec-in-disguise question on those sites would be very different. You'd be asking on how to solve a problem, rather than putting forth the constraints and preferences on the software you want to use to solve the problem - it may be the very same question, but the 'ideal' SU question and the 'ideal' SR question would be written very differently. Where to post a question really is as subjective as it gets - I'd say the best place to ask is where its on topic and you think there's a better chance to get an answer. The former may be true in both cases, but the latter is really where you need to make a decision. It'll probably an easier choice in future, once we've become the place for quality software recommendations ;)

As for moving/migrating - If its sat here a while, you want to move it, and the other site wants it, you can always flag it (for now) or VTM (once the training wheels are off). No promises whether it'll get migrated though.

We discourage crossposting. Any crossposted questions that get migrated here will likely get thrown back over the wall with a polite note to why. Whether or not that question gets deleted will likely depend on the quality of the question and its answers more than anything else - we're likely to treat it like any other question.

On the other hand, I rather doubt we will be trawling SU/AU/SF/UL/etc.se for cross site dupes - its a matter of politeness more than anything else, and trawling the site actively for those is not really a good use of time. So.. we'll likely treat it like any other question.(You see a pattern here).

So in general, while its not cricket, its not something that ought to keep you up at night.

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