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I am asking if it will be alright on this site to ask questions, such as "what is the best library for image rendering in C#?", or similar questions.

I understand that this website is for software that is "completed" and serves a purpose for an end-user, so those questions should be moved to stackoverflow.com.

Nevertheless, asking for software tools (i.e. what is the best free tool for reporting development that integrates with SQL Server?) that will be used to complement a software development should be allowed on this site.

What do you think?

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"what is the best library for image rendering in C#?"

Would be a horrible question because it is completely unclear what you're looking for. A particular image rendering library might be perfect for one person's needs and useless to the proverbial next man.

However, if you list the exact features you need and a few more details, this would a perfectly valid question. For instance,

"Image rendering library in C# that is very fast and can output in .png, .gif, and .jpg formats"

Might be better. As a general rule, I see no reason to prohibit any one category of software, programming libraries included (except for software intended for illegal operations that the community has deemed to be unethical). As I said in the comments, code libraries are just software that happens to be used to create more software.

  • Thank you for your response, and I agree with you about making specific questions. What I wanted to point out is if such technical questions, of tools that are not exactly a software that can be consumed by an end-user, will be allowed here. – scubaFun Feb 4 '14 at 21:12
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    I would consider software libraries no different from any other software. Their purpose just happens to be writing more software. – ApproachingDarknessFish Feb 4 '14 at 21:14
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    Programmers are end-users of certain kinds of software. They should be served by this site, too. I agree that questions about tools should contain specifics. "What is the best X" for some noun X can only produce opinionated answers, unless the request includes a lot of verifiable properties of X. – Ira Baxter Feb 5 '14 at 4:17
  • @IraBaxter, even with lots of "verifiable properties", what's stopping answers from being opinionated? And why would we want answers without opinions? Are you saying that no one should write in an answer that program X is easier to use than program Y without some kind of citation of a meta-review of replicated scientific research? That seems too be far too steep of a criterion for acceptable answers. – Kenny Evitt Feb 12 '14 at 17:53
  • I don't mind opinionated answers which also provide verifiable properties. But "best" isn't verifiable. – Ira Baxter Feb 12 '14 at 21:48
  • The link in this answer suggests that such an exception actually does not exist: the accepted + most upvoted answer imo comes down to "It is not our place to determine what someone is going to do with a piece of software they ask about. Unless the [question] specifically states, "I plan to use [the] software to violate [...] laws," we should apply an innocent until proven guilty approach." – Jeroen Mar 20 '14 at 15:18
  • @Jeroen Added clarification in link text. – ApproachingDarknessFish Mar 20 '14 at 21:27
  • About "software intended for illegal operations": We have some related discussions here on this Meta (our old Area51 discussions are not necessarily relevant), tagged with ethics. – unor Aug 27 '14 at 11:49
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At first I was against this, as I didn't want to risk the site becoming dominated by questions that would turn off casual users. Then I remembered that StackExchange aims to attract experts as building a community of experts will inevitably draw more casual users. The people who care about these questions are likely to know a lot about other software too, so we should definitely keep these questions in

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