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Proposal: Software Recommendations

As answers to several of the other discussions have pointed out the normal stack overflow reputation model doesn't really work for recommendations - it is likely to come down to who gets in first rather than who presents the best argument. However there is clearly a desire for somewhere for people to ask such questions given the number that crop up on other sites in the SE network.

Why not rank suggestions by the total reputation of those who made and endorse, (plus) the recommended tool less the reputation of those who minus the recommendation with the reputation coming from the other software related SE sites.

Possibly some other method needs to be used to "reward" participants possibly medals based but given the number of people who are here to help others rather than just to gain reputation hopefully there would still be significant participation.

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I think the first point is that there is not necessarily anything wrong with the current rank or points system that can't be addressed otherwise.

In fact, I think what was used on Skeptics can be used somewhat here. Instead of encouraging an answer, or the first answer the voting system should be used to encourage complete, thorough and well researched answers and discourage purely anecdotal short answers.

Example: I need an application that will help me with HDR

Answer 1: Photoshop can do it, you just need the right filters or plugins or do XYZ manually.

Answer 2: Look at Photomatix, its $99 and you can get a photoshop plugin. It is intuitive, versatile and allows many small adjustments to the final image. You can go from slight highlighting to completely burned images.

It is also very popular, and regularly makes top 10 picks.

Photomatix Pro – Honest Opinion: Since Photomatix is the HDR software I use most, it’s the one I recommend above all else.


The site just needs to establish early a high degree of detail for a good answer, and discourage simple link / name of software only answers.

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I think you will have great trouble getting this idea approved by the SE staff.

  • The reputation model is the same on all sites. Proposals made on other sites for changed models haven't materialised.
  • Other sites also have the issue that the first to answer often gets the most kudos. The test of the answer is in the eye of the questioner.

I can see this site, if it gets off the ground, being full of Community Wiki questions which have lists as answers. Then there is no reputation gain for adding to the answers.

  • Fair points - I am however trying to address a real issue as every day I see several posts along the lines of what tool is available for.... and it has been pointed out that with the normal SO reputation model it would just be first past the post. – Steve Barnes Dec 15 '13 at 20:27
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    Reputation model is different on: Metas, Area51, discuss.area51. That would mean this is doable. Besides, it's not like the existing reputation system would break this site or vice versa. It would just be useless here. – SF. Jan 1 '14 at 18:09

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