To keep getting one-off pings by users about if my proposal is a dup of SO is not productive in my opinion.

The first time this happened, I replied via meta, got some feedback, and was basically told I believe:

"It is possible it is not a dup, but you've got to prove it."

That's fine, though after requesting:

  • how others have done this, and
  • how my proposal's users should do this,

It's my understanding that I never got a super clear reply other than the suggestion to "post questions that prove it"; which is fine, though my announcement stating that this be done was deleted by a SE mod, which is confusing to me.

Basically at this point, I still do not get the feeling that even if I was to move forward after getting clear guidelines, that I would never reach a point were SE and the greater community committed to a position.


2 Answers 2


The proposal is still there, so I'm not entirely sure what you are asking. With over 800 questions on Stack Overflow, some folks feel you are duplicating a subject already supported on that site. Stack Overflow is the literally the largest, most-highly regarded and complete resources for programmers on the web. I think you are going to have a very difficult time making your case.

The job of the proposal followers is to define the scope of this site by asking example questions they would ask on this site. If there is sufficient content to show it is not a duplicate of Stack Overflow, you've made your case.

  • Just to follow up on Robert's answer. It is possible to make the case that a particular technology needs its own site. I invite you to look at the example questions for the Mathematica proposal. We explicitly set out to show that there was a lot of Mathematica questions that didn't fit in SO and were not a good fit for SuperUser either. It helped that we got rapid build-up of support and broke through the defintion stage in about a week.
    – Verbeia
    May 6, 2012 at 4:47
  • @Robert Cartaino: In my opinion, support for a topic is meaningless unless that support is matched by the appropriate performance within the domain of the proposal. Based on my analysis, Stack Overflow's performance appears to be poor relative to competing Q&A sites within the same domain; or for that matter, the performance expected of a proposal to leave public-beta. As a result, it's unclear why the existence of 800 questions would do anything other than make the case for why a successful Stack Exchange site is needed, not why it is not needed. What are your thought on the matter?
    – blunders
    May 6, 2012 at 19:51
  • @blunders: Your assumption is that SO is somehow holding questions back, that people would ask at a dedicated site but those same people are warded off from SO. Where is your evidence for this? May 6, 2012 at 23:07
  • @Nicol Bolas: The whole point of Area 51 is to provide evidence that a community is able to support a dedicated site that will meet the requirements to leave public-beta. If you have reason to believe Stack Overflow's performance within the domain will improve in a meaningful way, please state why; otherwise I will assume you agree Stack Overflow's performance is very poor relative to (1) the competing Q&A sites within the same domain, and (2) the performance expected of a proposal to leave public-beta.
    – blunders
    May 7, 2012 at 1:55
  • 2
    @blunders: It doesn't matter if SO is not doing as well as you think that a dedicated site could. SO could be doing as well as a dedicated site if the time and effort you spent building momentum for a dedicated site were instead spent getting such people over on SO. You have to get out of this mentality that if it's not segregated in its own special box with its own special title, then it's not doing well. If SO is not serving the needs of this domain, then help it serve them. Whatever effort you want to expend building a dedicated site should go to building up the SO community instead. May 7, 2012 at 2:16
  • @blunders: As to the whole point of Area 51, that's only part of the point. The other part of the point is to screen out sites that are inappropriate or would otherwise exist solely to draw traffic away from other, already established, sites. SE is not the wild west; there are rules. And one of the rules is that, all things being equal, a site doesn't get to exist if every question that is asked there would be perfectly legitimate on SO. May 7, 2012 at 2:18
  • @Nicol Bolas: "the point is to screen out sites that would otherwise exist solely to draw traffic away from other, already established, sites" - please reread what you said, then read: "Stack Overflow's performance is very poor relative to (1) the competing Q&A sites within the same domain, and (2) the performance expected of a proposal to leave public-beta." My proposal will never even come close to being able to exist because of "drawing traffic away from SO". If you believe I will ever have any interest in building a community on Stack Overflow for this niche, you're wrong.
    – blunders
    May 7, 2012 at 2:48

If you believe I will ever have any interest in building a community on Stack Overflow for this niche, you're wrong.

It's your way or the highway? If you don't get a dedicated site for Appcelerator, then you're not going to even try to build a community for it on SO? That's sad and unfortunate.

I'm glad all the C++, Java, Python, JavaScript, PHP, etc programmers didn't agree with you. Otherwise SO would have just been a glorified C# site.

The solution to Stack Overflow not having drawn enough of a community around a certain API is not to create an alternative site. The solution is to work to build that community yourself. The solution is to get Appcelerator developers to ask and answer questions on Stack Overflow.

If you do not like that solution, then it is unfortunate. But that's the solution we offer. We have one site for answering programming questions; it's called Stack Overflow. We don't segregate people off into their own little APIs/Languages/etc; that's what tags are for. If you feel that you need that segregation, that again is unfortunate. And if Appcelerator developers truly believe that Stack Overflow cannot work for them (not simply "doesn't yet work", which is where things are now, but can never work), then again, that is unfortunate.

The evidence shows that SO can serve large and small concerns alike. That's how SO was built. That's how SO grew. We serve many smaller communities, from languages like Lua and Go to communities built around single APIs or technologies like Boost and OpenGL.

We welcome your participation on Stack Overflow with open arms. But we are not going to change how we do things to satisfy your sensibilities or your beliefs in what your community needs. Appcelerator is not special; it can flourish just fine on SO if you try and encourage others to do so.

  • @blunders: I would never frequent a Lua-only Stack Exchange site. But I do answer Lua questions on SO, because I know Lua and I frequent SO. Many of the smaller, more niche elements work this way. So while you don't get the branding of a specific site for every bit of programming technology, you do get cross-tech users who use their broad knowledge to good effect. I'd say that the later is far better than the former. May 7, 2012 at 17:00
  • @blunders: Your assumption ultimately is that the less frequented parts of SO would be better off as independent sites. Why? Because they'd have branding? Because they'd have the technology in the site name? Consider what you're saying: if Appcelerator isn't strong enough to stand on its own, what then? If SO didn't exist and Appcelerator couldn't sustain a site, then there would be no Q&A solution for Appcelerator. May 7, 2012 at 17:02
  • @blunders: We are not going to break programming bits into smaller and smaller pieces. Technology comes and goes. Appcelerator may be dead in 3 years. We don't want SE sites that exist only to eventually die. Whatever programming technology people use, it will still be programming, and Stack Overflow will provide that. May 7, 2012 at 17:04
  • @blunders: Every large tag on SO was small at one point. I'm not going to scrub SO's data dumps for frequency of question information on various tags so I can point out places where certain community participation on SO swelled. The fact is this: we don't allow duplicate sites. If all questions for a site would be legal SO questions, we want them on Stack Overflow, not on another site. If you want more Appcelerator questions on SE, bring those users to SO. May 7, 2012 at 17:21
  • @blunders: "For me to match the benefits of having a "dedicated" within a "sub" community I'd have to deploy another website off of SE and recreate those features." Are you saying that the only way to attract Appcelerator developers to SO is to put a special "Appcelerator" front-end on Stack Overflow? Again, that's sad and unfortunate, but I seriously doubt that you represent the entire Appcelerator community. So where is your evidence that this is necessary? May 7, 2012 at 17:28
  • @blunders: So you want SE to help you build a community within SO for a particular technology. While I'm not against that in principle, that's not what Area51 is for. Area51 is for creating valid SE sites. And personally, developing communities is what users are for. If you want to develop the Appcelerator community on SO, then you should actually do that. May 7, 2012 at 17:50
  • let us continue this discussion in chat
    – blunders
    May 7, 2012 at 20:15

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