23

It's a pretty simple checklist to ask a good, narrowly-scoped recommendation question. I'll make a rough outline here, I'm currently revising this (which is based on the original ground rules that I posted pre-launch). 1. Straight to the point, succinct title Don't use words like 'best' or 'good' - just tell us what you want. We're not going to recommend the ...


15

Well, it's pretty normal that testing recommended solutions is not done "ad-hoc". On some SE sites, I've marked questions accepted several months after they've been given: if evaluation takes time, it takes time. So don't feel pushed just because of that. On the other hand, if you think you might have found an answer being the solution, you can also go ...


14

The problem with terms like "best" is that they're meaningless on their own, kind of like meta tags. What is best? Is what's best for you the same as what's best for me? The best Linux distro for someone who's always used Windows and is trying Linux for the first time probably isn't the same as the best Linux distro for someone who's worked with numerous ...


10

I don't need help with this software. I need to know if you would recommend it to me! "Can you recommend me product XXX [ for this task ]" is not the type of question in our scope. You've put the cart in front of the horse1. Taking a look at all the other questions around here, it get's pretty clear which questions are "processed" on this site: "What ...


9

Support for required tags exists in the engine (on meta sites, all questions must have one of the tags discussion, support, bug or feature-request. However no main site currently has such a restriction. I don't see how we could force a platform tag on this site. Not all questions are about a specific operating system. Library requests are often OS-agnostic ...


6

This is tooting my own horn, but This is what a good answer looks like, It isn't perfect, and answers that are less good will no doubt be acceptable, but we should aim high. The level of detail, and style of answer on the LaTeX IDE question on Tex.SE (particularly on the first few pages), is another good example


5

It's going to take practice. For all of us. Each member of the community will need to revisit their habits, their kneejerk reactions to questions, their judgments, etc. if they have prior experience on SE. All I can say is practice, pretty much, and see what feedback you get from the community. If you get negative feedback, see if they will tell you why. If ...


5

I think that if we're going to go through the effort of making our answers as detailed as possible, then askers should respect it in turn with similar efforts in specifying what they need. What exactly a software does is, quite frankly, an important asset to finding alternatives to that software. Even if you give a list of the requirements, those primarily ...


4

We shouldn't disallow the word "best", but I would downvote any question that used it without elaborating. "What is the best Linux distro for everyday use on my old G4 PowerBook" I don't know. What would make it better/best for you? Speed? Stability? Some arbitrary weighted average of said factors? I wouldn't mind seeing "best"...


3

In addition to Izzy's answer, I would say that in some cases you might also edit an answer. Not to change the spirit of the answer, but just to add details like: License information Price For each criteria of the original question, whether the proposed solution fits or not. It is a way to make answers better, thus making the whole page more valuable to ...


3

I would rather not see this type of pre-populated template in the Question box. By auto-entering a pre-populated template into the Question box, you are essentially forcing all the questions to look the same. Lots of questions won't fit whatever template that we end up with, and they will read very awkwardly. Also, when every question looks the same, it ...


2

Following @Izzy's comment (that it might not be feasible to adjust the number of input boxes etc) I thought I'd suggest a simple text template (I'm guessing that this would be easier to implement). I'm sure some improvement could be made but it gives an idea. This text would pre-populate the "ask question" box . Guidance notes are provided with html ...


2

A question should be written, as if you expect there to be one and exactly one answer. So you don't ask for the best, and you don't ask for a list. That is my own personal mantra when it comes to asking questions. Your awareness of the fact that there many be multiple solutions is given by your Must/Should/Ideally requirements. Make me an example of a ...


2

I would avoid using "best" unless it can be objectively measured - examples of what I mean: Good use of "best": Q:Which is the best linux OS for installing in the smallest footprint possible? A: X OS uses only 11.2 mb when installed, which is less than Y OS which needs 15.4 mb bad use of "best": Q: Which is the best linux OS for a person who wants to ...


2

Yes, best is all bad. A good question defines all the requirements. And a good answers mentions software that meets that requirement.


2

I think it is acceptable. We're always looking for the best software anyway, so why not say it explicitly? This site is quite a bit different than the rest of the network. I would say that if a question here is acceptable without 'best', it's acceptable with 'best'. And anyway, it's a whole lot better than saying "What is the most goodest Linux distro,&...


1

Just replace I'm creating a new software and the features will be with I am looking for a software with these features. Then just look at it: if that makes a good question, then don't hesitate to ask it :-) Of course, telling us you want to create an app like this is OK, but we should not need that information to give you an answer. So, if you ask us for ...


1

This question was downvoted, because I have asked for best tool. I can't understand why it is so wrong, because I'm looking for best tool and I'm asking for recommendations. The best tool would be selected by comparison with specific criteria. I will check all proposition myself on sample files, equals for all tools and accept the best (with smallest ...


1

It doesn't ask for a good file compressor. It is specifically asking for the best, or in the case of this question the most efficient. That doesn't give answers much room to move. I would have posted 7-zip as an answer. I find it to be a great file compression utility that otherwise fits every point brought up in the question except that I don't, and ...


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