"Software Recommendations" is pretty broad; there's a lot of software in the world.

Would an app for programming Android be on-topic?

Would an app that gave you steps to make a cheese sandwich be on-topic?

If the site is to be only about programming tools, then its name should be "Software Engineering Tools Recommendations" or "Programming Tools Recommendations".

[Is there a written description somewhere, other than the title, that says what this site should be about???]

Proposal: Software Recommendations

2 Answers 2


As long as you define a reasonable purpose that you want to full fill with the software you are seeking and give enough context information, I think everything goes.

In that terms I think the later of your examples is even better

an app that gave you steps to make a cheese sandwich

There you are seeking something specific and one can understand rather quick what you want.

The second about Android programming

an app for programming Android

I would consider this as too broad and lacking context.

  • Are you searching for an IDE?
  • What is your target language? Native (Java) or HTML5?
  • To develop what? Business Apps or Marekt Apps that generate revenue?
  • Are you developing alone at home as a enthusiast or as professional in a company?
  • My concern with allowing "cheese sandwich making apps" is that you fundamentally open this up to any software system ever created or imaginable; the whole point of software is to "help you get something done". IMHO, anything so broad I think would fail to attract enough attention.
    – Ira Baxter
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 15:48
  • Regard "programing Android" types of questions, if a user asks too broad a question, one can always close it, or ask the OP to clarify by modifying the question itself.
    – Ira Baxter
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 15:50
  • I've just proposed a site specifically for programmers looking for APIs or recommendations on what they should use. area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/63349/api-seek Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 20:53

Most forms of recommendation would be on-topic.

As with any SE site, once it graduates it will have a written policy for what is on-topic and what is not. Also, it will have a Meta site through which the topic limits will evolve.

The purpose of the example questions on Area51 is for the community to come to a consensus of where the lines are drawn. Post example questions and use your votes to have your say in the matter.

All such contributions are welcome.

  • 1
    I'm astonished that a written policy (with discussion of course) of what is on-topic isn't a requirement for submission of a site proposal. How is one to decide from just 100 questions what the topic is? (I see SO questions of the form, "If I give a program a bunch of samples, can it learn a (arbitrary) function?" The answer is NO, and I wouldn't expect that to change (or get easier just because humans do it) just because what is submitted are sample site questions. Let's try something simpler: What's the value of n given the sequence 1,2,3,4,5,n?
    – Ira Baxter
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 15:52
  • I believe there should be a policy to start the site going. That policy will evolve in time as the site matures. As mentioned elsewhere, this site will be difficult to moderate.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 16:29
  • 1
    I agree with that, the policy should be also something to be proposed with the site proposal itself. Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 20:55

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