We need to come up with "things specific to webapps that need to be mentioned in the faq. [...] [The] most relevant thing to focus on is that topmost section of the [faq]." [Jeff Attwood]

If you look at Super User's FAQ, you will notice that it lists things that are on topic and things that are off topic.

Here's an example of the template we might use:

{site-name} is for expert and advanced users of web applications. If you have a question about …

  • {on-topic-examples}

and it is not about …

  • {off-topic-examples}

Please submit suggestions for things to be listed in the {on-topic-examples} and {off-topic-examples} sections above.

Vote up based on whether or not you agree with the example.
For example, if someone writes "This site is not about computer software" and you agree, vote it up (not down), since "is not" was used. Conversely, if someone wrote "this site is about computer software" and you don't agree with it, then you should vote it down.

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Enter a single bullet you would like to see in the FAQ per answer. This will help the voting process.
  • Specify if your suggestion is on-topic or off-topic.
  • This isn't the same as the Area 51 on-topic/off-topic questions. It should be more like what you see in the SuperUser.com FAQ (e.g. "This site is not about videogames or consoles").

Vote on other site attributes

See Also: How is the FAQ page going to get written?

  • Maybe I'm missing something here - there already is an FAQ here webapps.stackexchange.com/faq that seems to cover it all pretty well. – scunliffe Jul 3 '10 at 12:11
  • @scunliffe: I don't understand it fully either yet... I'm still waiting for a clarification from Robert. See the other page, How is the FAQ page going to get written?, for the discussion so far. – Senseful Jul 3 '10 at 22:11
  • Since this is CW, it shouldn't require 30 different answers when it's about trying to fix up the FAQ. – Eight Days of Malaise Jul 10 '10 at 6:13
  • Should each site FAQ also link to a factored-out common FAQ on the stackexchange platform? "You may ask yourself, how do I work this?" – moioci Jul 13 '10 at 1:11

15 Answers 15

{off-topic-example}

This site is not about developing web applications.

{off-topic-example}

Questions about web applications with adult content are not allowed.

See Jeff's answer to this question

{on-topic-example}

This site is about using web applications

  • While I completely agree with this, many of the current questions are "recommend me a web app for x" or "is there a good alternative for x". I think this is something that need clarifying as I can't help but feel that the current direction of the site puts it towards becoming "This site is about recommending and using web applications" – nobody Jul 10 '10 at 8:41
  • 2
    As was discussed here (meta.webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/54/…) the recommendation posts are not encouraged, but tolerated as long as they are not too popular. In that case, I think we should not mention that this site is about recommending web applications (although, maybe we could put a note about recommendations). – mbillard Jul 10 '10 at 12:16

{off-topic-example}

This site is not about scripts (e.g. Wordpress.org, phpbb, etc.)

  • 1
    Good point, although we should specify that questions about hosted wordpress ([...].wordpress.com) are valid. – mbillard Jul 10 '10 at 12:18

I don't have a way to word it because I don't have a firm opinion on it. That said, however the community decides to handle (CW / closed for off-topic, etc?) "List of " questions should be explicitly stated in the FAQ.

  • I think this should be a global stackexchange FAQ. – Senseful Jul 13 '10 at 20:41

{on-topic-example}

This site is about bookmarklets.

{off-topic-example}

This site is not about managing self-hosted web applications (wordpress.org) although if you have a [...].wordpress.com account, ask away.

  • Might need some rewording :) – mbillard Jul 11 '10 at 13:10

{off-topic-example}

This site is not about computer software.

  • well, except that we use the inverse of that definition on SU and people argue with us that "websites are software too man!" – Jeff Atwood Jul 10 '10 at 10:14
  • 1
    Although it is valid to ask for software which helps using web apps. – neo Jul 11 '10 at 11:19

{on-topic-example}

This site is about "is there a webapp that..." type of questions.

See this thread for the discussion, and my (Ben Gartner's) answer here.

{on-topic example}

Questions about browsers are on-topic as long as they are related to the usage of a web application (Greasemonkey, other plugins and extensions, Google Chrome's application shortcut feature, etc.)

Discussion about it here

{policies}

  • It is OK to answer a question by providing a non web-based solution as long as the user did not specify that the solution had to be web-based.

Discussion that spawned this suggestion here

  • You're correct, though I wouldn't want every answer to be: use this desktop tool it's much more powerful – Ivo Flipse Jul 15 '10 at 6:53

I propose a new section in the FAQ called policies which give best practices about using the website (how to answer, comment, etc.). It is related to the on/off-topic discussion, but relates to other things than just questions.

Alternative section name:

  • best practices

Mark your suggestions as {policies} for now (until we settle on a name).

Maybe we could add a link to the "Define 'web application'" question and settle down on an answer (here's my proposal). That way users will better know about which websites they can ask questions.

{off-topic-example}

This site is not about "is there a webapp that..." type of questions.

See this thread for the discussion, and my (Will M's) answer here.

{off-topic example}

This site is not about browsers and their features (plugins, extensions, etc.).

Answers that require the use of a particular extension or browser feature are encouraged.

See discussion about this in this thread.

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