This site is all but ready to move on to public beta, but we tend to agree — we're giving this site another week to shore up the core community before launch.
You have set up a strong foundation of what works on this site, but this extra week will help you put some of that dialog into action… and to let it all soak in so the core community is ...
"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 ...
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I would like to nominate Undo, as he seems very helpful and not obnoxious even though he has a lot of reputation.
A software recommendation question has two essential components: a goal to
accomplish, and a set of requirements. The goal establishes the setting and
explains in broad terms what you want to do with that software. The
requirements put specific constraints that the software must satisfy.
Think of your task as a picture puzzle. The goal is an overall ...
I'd like to nominate Gilles.
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He's been very active on Meta, and all his answers are quite well thought out. He's also quite experienced on the network, and already a moderator on several sites (which is quite important on ...
I agree with the general sentiment, but not with all your recommendations.
How does it meet the needs of the asker? Don't just say "it has these features" or "it meets all of your needs" - who cares? Describe the features in more detail.
Why do you, personally, like the product? What other niche features does it have ...
A good recommendation question has precise requirements and a goal.
“Alternative to X” is not a precise requirement. You need to say which features of X matter. Otherwise the question is not clear enough, and you may get answers which propose an alternative that does not have the features you rely on most.
Furthermore, as usual on Stack Exchange, questions ...
I don't see why web services would be off-topic.
This is a software recommendation site. Whether the software runs on your phone, on your laptop, on your home server, on your rented cloud instance, on your company server or on someone else's servers doesn't change the on-topicness of the question.
Hosting, however, is off-topic. For a web service:
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 ...
What is expected of an answer on this site?
An answer needs to be tailored to the question. Answers that consist solely of a product name or link and generic information copied from the product description or other promotional material may be summarily deleted.
Good questions describe a task and list requirements. Good answers:
explain how to accomplish ...
For the voting system to mean anything, we need to employ the system of using one recommendation per answer. Allowing multiple recommendations in a single answer introduces ambiguity into the voting since it's not obvious which recommendation is being voted for.
This use of the Stack Exchange engine is similar to the way the gathering of questions for the Q&...
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I'm self nominating myself, primarily cause I suspect the SU/Root Access crowd would do it anyway (or will nag me till I do). I'm just starting to get warmed up on obtaining mad reputation getting into things here, ...
No, this is not a valid question.
Why you should switch or not can only you decide. And if you seek a recommendation you need to be very specific what you need from that really big software solution and why you consider switching in the first place.
Do you have requirements your current software does not fulfill? Name them. Be specific.
I believe that we should treat these questions just like we would any others. They aren't really special, and jailbreaking/rooting is not illegal (at least in the US). I don't see a need to make a special case for these.
We aren't really in a position to judge the legality of a motive. That's the job of posters, not us.
A vast majority of the recommendation questions asked on other Stack Exchange sites are crap and we don't want them.
When the site started, we asked moderators on other Stack Exchange sites not to migrate anything to SR.SE until they got a green light from the SR moderators. We wanted to first establish our quality standards and have enough of a moderating ...
Indeed, a Linux distribution is software.
“This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a Linux distribution and not about software” doesn't make sense.
This question is very opinion-based (“good community support” is not an objective criterion, and “excellent support” is inviting debate). But it is definitely not off-topic.
Let me stress ...
Saying "that software/solution does not exist" is a perfectly acceptable answer to a question asked in good faith — that is assuming you can say so authoritatively.
Conversely, it is not reasonable to require a user to know for certain there is a solution to a problem before they ask it. Of course, if you believe a user is intentionally asking ...
I think open-source is good.
For people who look for "free" (as in free beer) software we would need a different tag.
I suggest gratis.
Improvement from comments (Nicolas Raoul):
When someone starts typing "free", we should display "Do you mean gratis? If not, please use tag open source"
The problem with this type of question is commensurate on the number of possible differences. If program 1 is only marginally different than program 2, then the question isn't by definition too broad. If one could spend all day enumerating the differences between the two, then you do venture into the 'too broad' territory quickly when it comes to our format.
No to websites; Yes to webapps.
I think the main difference between websites and software is their purpose.
Websites are about content. You read / write / look at or listen to content. Hopefully, the site has features that allow that.
Software is functional. You interact with it and want content to change through your interaction.
While some websites ...
Yes. The fact that some software may be intended to work around a limitation in some other software is irrelevant.
Most “cracker” software have legitimate uses. Technical limitations in software are often more restrictive than the corresponding license, and even limitations in licenses may not be valid in all jurisdictions. In any case it is not up to us to ...
A question asking how to accomplish a task with some specific software, as opposed to looking for some software to accomplish that task, would be off-topic. Such questions would typically be on-topic for Super User for end-user software and for Stack Overflow for programming questions.
It may happen, sometimes, that the asker already has the software that ...
This was completely my fault, I should have seen that. A community manager has unmerged it. Thanks for reporting it!
And I'll be a whole lot more careful in the future. Much like Santa, checking lists twice.
Our Area 51 stats look fairly decent, but they're mostly a red herring in this sort of thing. If they're all red, we need to sit up and take notice, but having all/most of them green doesn't mean we're on the fast track to graduation. I've mentioned before why I think that the relatively low % Answered isn't anything to worry too much about.
There are sites ...
Successfully executing this site's vision will be a matter of raising the bar of quality on this site for both questions and answers. By that I mean, the quality of answers that will be acceptable on this site, in order for it to graduate from beta, will have to exceed the typical level of quality that we have come to expect on other sites.
Posts like this ...
If you don't, that's almost the very definition of spam. Make sure you reveal your association with the software up front, openly, and clearly.
Of course, also make sure that you aren't trying to oversell your product, and fairly state the pros and cons of it. And it's a good idea to make sure your software actually does what's asked for in the ...