Proposal: Software Recommendations

I asked this because people on this proposed site could recommend software that in fact could be a malicious one, and harm the other users of this site. This could be bad for the website.

3 Answers 3


Not at all.

You're free to give crappy programming advice on Stack Overflow. You just get down-voted in to oblivion.

I would expect good answers on this site to give reasoned arguments and example cases as to why a recommendation is a good one.

The only way other users of this site will be harmed is if we all down-vote without reading things thoroughly. Which i hope you have no intention of doing :) sure, we all have our favourite libraries and software packages. We should not downvote just because we disagree. We should down-vote if the answer is patently false to the OPs question.

  • We should not downvote just because we disagree. I disagree with this statement (but I resisted the urge to downvote); we should be well within our rights to downvote a recommendation if we feel strongly enough that the recommendation is a bad one. Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 21:10
  • @LittleBobbyTables, perhaps I didn't word myself right - I think we should downvote if the answer doesn't give a good reason for being a good answer (and I guess this is why SO disallows the questions in the first place). If you're after something, I should be able to convince you according to your needs and not by some marketing bullcrap. I should be able to convince based on what you want. If someone comes along and says "Ignore all that crap, I use boost" without a good reason? Yeah, down-vote that answer to oblivion :)
    – Moo-Juice
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 21:24

If someone recommends software, that is doing something malicious, like spying on user, stealing data, or installing viren, it should be flagged as offensive or spam.

If the software is simply so crappy it slows down the whole system, it should be downvoted.

If the software doesn't match the criteria in obvious way, like commercial software, when someone has clearly said, he want free software, or Windows software for Linux question, or too resource-consuming software for weak laptop, downvote.

Upvote when the software matches OP's criteria.


Maybe it would be inappropriate to recommend software you are personally involved in developing or distributing or otherwise your answer would be seen as an advertisement. This perhaps brings this additional discussion, when the question regards free/open-source software, and the software matches the users' criteria.

If the software that is recommended is malicious, has known problems and/or is otherwise not expected to work for the OP configuration, and that is obvious, then we should prevent such recommendations. The same is applicable if the OP's specific configuration would be problematic for the recommended software, while in general the software is OK. Rejecting/downvoting answers in this category, I believe, must be well explained in the answer's comments section.

Note: Ironically, I personally have included a link to a discussion topic that I have started (thus promoting it). This is all for the sake of that topic itself, as it is relevant enough and I did not see it directly addressed.

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