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Proposal: Software Recommendations

I can imagine that there'll be a lot of opportunity to give a simply one-liners in response to questions seeking software recommendations. Given a question "What is the best program to do ...", one can just say "Program X".

Are those kind of answers going to be accepted or will they be off-topic? Is the site going to require some explanation and/or justification of the recommendation?

I guess that would be helpful or otherwise the site may turn into a series of links which one could find googling anyway.

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We should follow the examples set by other sites. Answers that contain one line or contain just a link are unacceptable. Someone coming to us wants a reason for the recommendation.

One line answers don't give a reason. Although we must be careful not to turn into just a clone of a shopping review site.

Simple link answers don't actually give an answer. They are also prone to spamming.

We want this site to provide intelligent discussion of the relative merits of possible solutions. This, once again, raises a question asked elsewhere - it will be challenging to moderate.

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I think that answers should not only state what product they recommend, but also contain a motivation for why the product satisfies the requirements stated by the original poster.

Advantages:

  • Will both stop "XYZ is great!" spam
  • Make the answers more useful
  • Provides a useful heuristic for questions, namely: Does this question have enough requirements that an answer can be motivated concisely and specifically?

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