I would like this post to be a compilation for the FAQ of what is off-topic for this Web Apps site. With the purpose to prevent a lot of discussion early on, about what we do or don't want to see. Off course, the community has to decide what it should be, but it does make a difference if the early examples leave out things we would want to be off-topic!

For me there are several grey areas and points to discuss:

  1. What makes a website a Web App? Is IMDB also a Web App? Or is basically any website in essence a Web App?

  2. If the Triology is a Web App, should questions be asked here or on Meta.Stackoverflow.com?

  3. Are questions about Web Apps or their interface? Examples: How do I download pics from Picasa Web Albums to Picasa desktop? Why doesn't Youtube play any video's under Internet Explorer 6? Why doesn't Hulu Plus work on my Android phone?

  4. When do you stop being a Web Apps user (SU) and become a Web Master (SF)? Examples: How do I add social features to my Wordpress blog? How do I prevent spam on my Windows Live blog? How do I backup my Blogger blog? How do I change the background color of my blog?

  5. What to do with legal question, such as: Is it legal to use Grooveshark? Is it illegal to visit the Pirate Bay?

Any thoughts?

  • Is "How to use Wikipedia" on-topic here? – Pacerier Oct 20 '15 at 4:18

What makes a website a Web App? Is IMDB also a Web App? Or is basically any website in essence a Web App?

Perhaps the big question here should be about whether it is a one-way flow of data from the site to the user, or if there's some two-way exchange going on. If it lets you put your own data up, then it's a web app. If it's just a static assemblage of HTML, it's not.

If the Triology is a Web App, should questions be asked here or on Meta.Stackoverflow.com?

Since meta is more specific, I think it'd be best to move them to meta. It's not that they're off-topic, per se - but they're better suited for meta.

Are questions about Web Apps or their interface? Examples: How do I download pics from Picasa Web Albums to Picasa desktop? Why doesn't Youtube play any video's under Internet Explorer 6? Why doesn't Hulu Plus work on my Android phone?

I think those are all reasonable - except possibly the picasa desktop question, which is more a question about the desktop app. Hmm.

When do you stop being a Web Apps user (SU) and become a Web Master (SF)? Examples: How do I add social features to my Wordpress blog? How do I prevent spam on my Windows Live blog? How do I backup my Blogger blog? How do I change the background color of my blog?

I'll have to punt on that one. It's quite hard to draw the line there :)

What to do with legal question, such as: Is it legal to use Grooveshark? Is it illegal to visit the Pirate Bay?

Sounds like a job for a different stack exchange family site.

  • you wanted blockquote not code.. – Jeff Atwood Jun 30 '10 at 20:45
  • Ah, indeed. Wasn't aware of that markup feature - thanks :) – bdonlan Jun 30 '10 at 20:57

Re: difference between app user and app master/developer should be straight forward (unless I'm missing some semantic subtlety).

If you're asking questions about the backend development of some public facing service, then it's best left for SO or SF.

If the feature you're asking about was meant for an enduser to manipulate, then it's better suited for here.

(Could it be that simple?)

  • The problem is not that you wouldn't know the difference, but all the random people who stumble on this site ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 1 '10 at 7:21
  • 2
    Sounds like the domains of WebApps and SuperUser have a largish crosssection. OT: Probably going to be a huge problem as the Area51 initiative starts to grow. – Michael Jul 1 '10 at 13:25
  • How so? Web Apps is supposed to cover a scope explicitly made off-topic on Super User. Where's the largish crossover? – Robert Cartaino Jul 1 '10 at 21:47
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    Superuser is geared toward computers users who want to work better/smarter. Many tools and tips this group would use might also exist as popular webapps (GMail for instance). I'm just wondering what will happen as the ecosystem expands and a user is not clear on the best destination to post their question or do their search (aside from using google, which still doesn't allow you to target the entire ecosystem of SO-type sites). This concern exists for MANY other topics as well. – Michael Jul 2 '10 at 17:55
  • I think this question illustrates this point: webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/117/… – Michael Jul 2 '10 at 17:59

I would say that questions about hosted WordPress sites (e.g. wordpress.com) belong here, and questions about WordPress would belong on the WordPress Answers site.

  • Regarding Wordpress questions I agree. – Drake Jul 2 '10 at 17:36
  • I disagree, I think all Wordpress questions should be on this site, and there shouldn't even be a Wordpress-specific site. (If it's a wordpress development question, it should be on stack overflow...) I think there will be too much fragmentation and confusion if you allow certain types of questions here, and others there. If you're going to direct hosted wordpress questions to a Wordpress site, I think you should go ahead and disallow all Wordpress questions here. – Andy White Jul 4 '10 at 5:07
  • A bit unreasonable to ask users to wait until a wordpress specific site is created and the hosted/self hosted difference is pretty artificial (most or all?) WP questions would apply equally to a hosted and self hosted instance of WP. It's much the same code base. – MatthewMartin Jul 4 '10 at 14:57
  • The current stance I am taking is to allow all wordpress questions. If the majority of the community likes it then it should not be a problem. – phwd Aug 5 '10 at 19:46
  • Wordpress development questions rarely get answers on SO. – Arlen Beiler Aug 5 '10 at 21:28
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    @AndyWhite, It's too late already. Wordpress already has their own site which is actually bigger than webapps.SE. It's better to send all wordpress questions to the dedicated forum there. – Pacerier Oct 20 '15 at 4:20

What makes a website a Web App? Is IMDB also a Web App? Or is basically any website in essence a Web App?

  • As discussed here, I wouldn't want to exclude website from web apps. Websites tend to be static and therefore should produce only few questions. However, we should strive for good questions, so if website questions tend to suck: kill them (for the right reasons).

If the Triology is a Web App, should questions be asked here or on Meta.Stackoverflow.com?

  • As mentioned by Robert: Any questions about the Network or the engine should be redirected to http://meta.stackoverflow.com. Given that all Stack Exchange websites behave alike and Meta is our 'official' help forum, I believe all SE-related questions should be asked there.

Are questions about Web Apps or their interface? Examples: How do I download pics from Picasa Web Albums to Picasa desktop? Why doesn't Youtube play any video's under Internet Explorer 6? Why doesn't Hulu Plus work on my Android phone?

  • Questions regarding the functionality of Web Apps on electronic gadgets should be asked on the gadgets SE-site.
  • Questions regarding browser-side problems should be asked on Super User, when the problem is on the Web App side, they should be asked here. This requires some moderating, since often users will ask a question that goes in both directions, these should be separated and asked on the right site.

When do you stop being a Web Apps user (SU) and become a Web Master (SF)? Examples: How do I add social features to my Wordpress blog? How do I prevent spam on my Windows Live blog? How do I backup my Blogger blog? How do I change the background color of my blog?

  • I would make the same distinction as we have between SU and SF: if you're hosting your own website on a non-professional basis, it belongs on the Web Apps site. Else it belongs on the pro-webmasters site. This will need properly moderated migration though!

What to do with legal question, such as: Is it legal to use Grooveshark? Is it illegal to visit the Pirate Bay?

  • Avoid these questions as much as possible, perhaps closing them as too localized or off-topic.

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