A significant percentage of the questions we get every day are still about web application development, even though this site has never been about that.

I can kind of understand. This site is obviously in the same vein as Stack Overflow, possibly the best programming resource on the web, and this one is specifically about web applications, so it follows that this is the place for web application development questions.

We try to educate people, but considering all of the drive-by Askers, no one is interested in spending even a couple of minutes confirming that they're correct. I mean, it's "obvious" that this is Stack Overflow for Web Apps.

Maybe a name change would help. "Web Apps" just isn't descriptive enough.

I think a simple title change like

Web Apps for Users


Using Web Applications

would shortcut a significant number of those questions. It probably won't get rid of all of them ("Android Enthusiasts" doesn't sound like a site about programming, and they still get plenty of programming questions) but it should get rid of a lot.

Also, I've seen people ask on Meta Stack Exchange where they should ask their web apps usage questions, because they thought that Web Apps was for programming.

I'm not convinced that that's the best name, but I think it would help a lot if the official name of the site could convey that it's not about programming.

Do note that I'm not suggesting changing the scope or the domain name, just making the title of the site less ambiguous.

Note also that this is not a duplicate of Should webapps.stackexchange.com be renamed?

That question was asking for a change in the site's scope, broadening it to be about more than web applications.


Considering that Meta Stack Exchange also gets development questions daily, I'm not optimistic the name change would help. I think it's more important for users to remember that questions with the score of -4 or less are hidden from the front page of the site, and to hand out downvotes generously. Once a question is dropped from the home page, it's no longer much of an issue.

I sometimes see development questions with 4 close votes but only 1-2 downvotes; considering that downvotes require only 125 reputations to cast (vs 3000 for closevote) it's clear that there is potential for much more.

  • 3
    I've long been vocal about the lack of voting here. And no, I don't think it's a perfect solution, but if it were to cut down on the number of programming questions by even half it would be worth it (in my estimation).
    – ale
    Feb 27 '17 at 19:38

At Vegetarianism SE, we have a slightly more specific placeholder for the question title input field:

What's your vegan or vegetarian lifestyle question? Be specific.

It was designed to prevent questions we deem undesirable, such as are vegans better than omnivores? (it's not about lifestyle). Maybe it would help if this site's placeholder could change to something similar to

What's your web applications utilization question? Be specific.

  • 3
    I think I'm going to make that a feature request. (I don't think the Moderators can change that text.)
    – ale
    Mar 1 '17 at 14:30

The Android site gets Android development questions too. The problem isn't the name, it's the users who when they can't ask on Stack Overflow, search around for somewhere else. Some land on Meta, others land on Software Engineering and some here. Even with a change of name we'd still get them.

The answer is to down vote and close. This will feed into the low quality questions filter and they'll be blocked sooner rather than later.

  • 3
    "The answer is to down vote and close" I do, but I often feel like the only person piling up the sandbags against the flood. And I'm not convinced it's always people who are post banned on SO. Anyway, I'm not suggesting that a name tweak will fix the problem, only that it might help.
    – ale
    Feb 28 '17 at 14:00

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