18

Proposal: DevOps

One of the reasons for the DevOps proposal is to have a common place for asking a variety of kinds of questions which as a whole wouldn't be on-topic for related sites like StackOverflow, SuperUser, etc.

SW recommendations would normally go to softwarerecs.stackexchange.com, but would it be acceptable to have them on DevOps as well (if they are DevOps-related, of course)? IMHO yes, for the same reason.

To clarify, quality criteria similar to those on softwarerecs.stackexchange.com would apply, for both questions and answers (eventually updated as needed for Devops-specific scope, if needed).

12

The problem with software recommendations is that they attract answers like “I use software X and I am very happy with it” and while it is certainly possible to build a community culture on this site to encourage people to post more documented and more interesting answers, it is maybe better to reformulate the questions so that they invite more interesting answers.

IMHO it is almost possible possible to rephrase a question like “Can anybody recommend a software to do X?” as “How can I do X?”, the latter inviting people willing to answer to actually suggest a software and describe how to use it to solve problem X.

  • 1
    same (or just similar/tweaked if needed) off-topic criteria/policies as on softwarerecs could be used to discourage the undesired ones - they're quite effective IMHO. – Dan Cornilescu Apr 28 '16 at 12:45
  • I agree that answers like “I use software X and I am very happy with it” are not very productive. Any answer should be well-written and conform to a standard (TBD). Well formulated questions (I need to do -this-. Here are my requirements - reqA, reqB, reqC. etc. etc) will bring equally well formulated answers where one can discuss why or how a particular software is applicable and what makes it so great compared to others for that use case! – Alexandre Feb 8 '17 at 17:57
6

So long as there is an explanation of how to do "X" with software package "Y", then I don't see a problem with software recommendations. I agree that "content free" replies are undesirable.

3

I find software recommendations one of the most useful parts of any Q&A site - while they can be opinion-based, the same applies to some design/coding answers, and I think it's possible to encourage fact / experience based answers rather than pure opinions.

1

I appreciate software reccomendations I see, as long as they come with details on how to solve whatever the original issue is using said tool.

-3

Recommendations for specific software (or other resources) tend to attract spam from all over. In addition, they don't age well - every few years, you get answers that say "the previous answers are out of date; now you should use Foo" (https://stackoverflow.com/q/1456269/120999 is a good example of this, although it was also closed for being primarily opinion-based). These two attributes combine to make it even worse: you end up with questions full of answers about software that only ever reached an 0.1 release and hasn't been touched in three years.

IMO, Stack Exchange is well-suited to questions where the answers don't change frequently. It is designed around surfacing canonical answers to common questions. When you find yourself thinking "this has already been asked, but I want to know what the answer is now", that's a sign that you're better off suited to a discussion forum like reddit, where posts are heavily weighted by recency.

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    In case of DevOps, I slightly disagree, an answer may age and be superseded but that doesn't mean we can' have factual answers based on features at time of writing. Obviously questions have to be reasonably scoped ("Best tool for managing Windows ?" is not IMO). All in all, "Primarily Opinion based" and "too broad" will be valid close reasons, banning any tool recommendation sounds not a valid idea. – Tensibai Jan 16 '17 at 12:47
  • The field of DevOps is still very fresh and this space should account for that. – Alexandre Feb 8 '17 at 17:53

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