Although the description of webapps.stackexchange.com specifies that its for:

power users of web applications

it really does a great job in being the place where people go when they have extremely basic questions about web applications, like 'How to change Facebook username?', to some fairly complex questions like 'How do I download subtitles from a YouTube video?'

Personally I have not used it so far however I can potentially see myself and others (who haven't as yet) make great use of it.

There is just one issue I see about it, and that is the naming, we are in a world where popular services like YouTube has both a web application and a mobile application, terminology wise since these services do have a web backend (http/https) they both could still be termed as web applications. However even to amateur developers and journalists it would seem as 2 different terms, google returns more than 2.1 million hits for 'difference between web app and native app'. Tomorrow when wearable technologies like Google Glass and the future Samsung and Apple smart watches gather popularity, applications on them would probably be termed as 'google glass application' and 'smart watch application' respectively. Users should not have to think twice before using a great and resourceful site like webapps.stackexchange.com just because there is a confusion of terminologies, terminologies which aren't in the hands of developers but instead of the media and the public as a whole. Ask some of your non computer science educated friends the difference between 'world wide web' and 'internet' and you'd be surprised to find out how many of them can actually distinguish the two.

Having a more generic name of applications or apps would reduce the confusion created with the current name of webapps. Although these names too have their cons.

What do you think of this issue? If you are adept with computer science please think of it in the perspective of someone who wants to change their password on one of their iPad apps as opposed to the user of stackoverflow.com in which case would be an amateur/seasoned developer.


1 Answer 1


Google Glass is based on Android. Why wouldn't we discuss it at Android Enthusiasts?

Issues with an Apple smartwatch would be best served at Ask Different.

The issues you might encounter with Facebook are going to be quite different depending on whether you're using the desktop browser version or the Android app or the iPhone app.

Then what about PC applications? Aren't those well-served at Super User?

No, I think the scope of this site (and those others) is pretty well-defined. It's seldom the case where a question will be equally valid on both Web Apps and Think Different (for instance) and, when it does happen, the question is fine in either location. In cases where we have a good question that just happens to be on the wrong site, we have tools to move it to the right place so it gets the attention it deserves.

The key is that the sites have focus. Ever since the advent of the Area 51 process for creating new sites, Stack Exchange has been quite successful in shepherding sites on new topics to be excellent resources (like this one), but a lack of focus equals doom.

For instance, one of the early sites in Stack Exchange to graduate from Area 51 was "Gadgets". The idea was to have an umbrella site for all of your non-computer gadgets that you carry with you: smart phones, feature phones, smart watches, etc. Basically anything that ran on batteries and (usually) had a LCD/LED screen for you to see some information. It failed because it was trying to cover too much. (More information at Pruning Season on the Stack Exchange blog, if you're interested.)

So, no, I don't think we need a rename or a change of description, and certainly not a change of scope.

  • 2
    "After the initial trilogy..." You're not suggesting that the trilogy sites lack focus, are you? I disagree with that. I think they are all quite sharply focused. Granted, programming is an inherently large topic domain, but it is often the same group of experts. The same thing is true for Super User and Server Fault, and many of the SE 2.0 sites like Philosophy, History, Politics, Mathematics, etc.
    – user45859
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 3:52
  • 1
    @Cody: No, no, not at all. I was talking about the Area 51 site creation process, which came after the initial trilogy of sites was set up. I'll try to clarify my language.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 12:17
  • You have made good points Al Everett. Do you mean to say that Google Glass applications can be discussed on the Android stackexchange, and Apple smartwatch applications be discussed on the Apple stackexchange? Commented Aug 24, 2013 at 8:50
  • Yes, although asking questions about them before they are generally available won't be very fruitful.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 24, 2013 at 11:27

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