10

Maybe it's time to be final and state that any and all recommendation questions are just off topic and out of scope with the site.

The current close reason listed reads:

Questions seeking application recommendations are off-topic unless they detail what has already been tried and rejected. Describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve

This still ends up where users will ask questions and list apps or websites that don't meet a criteria instead of actually using one for a time and trying to ask about that web app or website specifically.

A clearer, more exact and concise close reason could be:

Application/website recommendations are off-topic and out of scope. It is better instead to use a particular web app or website and ask for help in any issues you have with it specifically.

This would remove the "prior research" angle and instead be direct about the question and the scope of questions preferred on this site.

It would be more helpful, and many-user applicable, to target an active issue (configuring/fixing/hacking a particular app) than it is to satisfy a list of requirements (recommendations).

  • 3
    I'm for this. Also, there's a new SE site getting prepped for launch which is dedicated to software recommendations – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 28 '14 at 13:39
  • 1
    @Sathya: That thing is going to be pounded with migrations. – ale Jan 29 '14 at 20:22
  • @Sathya Does it include web service recommendation? – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 11 '14 at 15:33
  • @FranckDernoncourt yes – Sathyajith Bhat Feb 11 '14 at 19:48
  • I sometimes stumble upon old questions in this category, some have accepted answers, most don't. Should I flag these, too, as off-topic? Or do we let them live? – Vidar S. Ramdal Feb 13 '14 at 9:53
  • 2
    If you see a question that should be closed, vote or flag as necessary, even if it has an accepted answer @vid – Eight Days of Malaise Feb 15 '14 at 19:39
4

OK so the help center has been updated.

Please note that the following subjects are considered off-topic here:

[...]

  • Web application recommendations

The offtopic close reason has not yet been updated, will do in a bit..

  • 2
    Is it also possible to add Software Recommendations.se to the list of migration options? – Vidar S. Ramdal Feb 4 '14 at 15:09
  • @vidar not any time soon – Sathyajith Bhat Feb 4 '14 at 15:10
  • 1
    Dear all: If you'd like to view the help-center article which Sathya updated, click here. – tealhill Jul 21 '16 at 4:54
4

I'm all for this.

I like the idea of being able to recommend something to someone after they've tried something else, but no one ever seemed to follow through with that advice. Even with a decent recommendation question (where they list out their requirements) it would, at best, attract one-line answers (sometimes without even links).

As for the wording in the Help Center, et al., I think we should direct people to describe the problem they're trying to solve. Like some of the advice from Super User: How do I ask a question that may require recommending software?

2

I am against this:

  1. It takes a lot of time to seek a service corresponding to one's need, so to me it makes sense to ask for a recommendation even if we didn't look carefully at a existing solutions.
  2. Often the user's needs can change depending on the existing solutions (e.g. when the user has no idea that such thing existed).
  3. Users' feedback on their experience using a product is valuable.
  4. Sometimes it's tough to find the right services when you don't know how to call them. (e.g. "Clipboad manager")

I would prefer to use a policy similar to SuperUser linked in AI E.'s answer.

  • 2
    "Users' feedback on their experience using a product is valuable." I agree, but it almost never happens. Someone asks for a recommendation and all that they get is a bunch of one-line answers, often without even a link. – ale Feb 11 '14 at 20:58
2

I agree with making recommendations off-topic here, because Software Recommendations is now doing great (as many questions per day as webapps)

See Software Recommendations's webapp recommendations tag.

Like Vidar said, recommendation questions should be migrated there. It is the most logical thing to do. If there is a rule against such migrations, let's break the rule. Software Recommendations has already broken many rules, and it won't be the last.

At the strict minimum, let's insert a link to http://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com when closing such questions.

  • 1
    +1; Breaking rules is very difficult. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Sep 17 '14 at 9:45
  • 1
    By long-standing policy, beta sites are not added to a site's migration paths. We'll have to wait until it graduates. – ale Sep 18 '14 at 3:00
  • 1
    Questions should also follow SR guidelines, which they usually don't, so migrations usually end up creating messes unless they're already a good fit and format – Eight Days of Malaise Sep 22 '14 at 2:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .