- February 6, 2014
When you are programming something (whatever that may be), you will inevitably come across a problem that you can't solve. That's where forums and Q&A sites come in. These sites often have a group of experts going around helping newbies. That's great, but not good enough. So in 2008, Stack Overflow was born.
Stackoverflow is sort of like the anti-experts-exchange (minus the nausea-inducing sleaze and quasi-legal search engine gaming) meets wikipedia meets programming reddit. It is by programmers, for programmers, with the ultimate intent of collectively increasing the sum total of good programming knowledge in the world. No matter what programming language you use, or what operating system you call home. Better programming is our goal.
- Clear Q&A: There are questions, answers, and comments: nothing about opinion, discussion, or polls (unlike forums). The questions have to be clear and easily answerable.
- Moderation: If your post doesn't belong, it will simply be removed. SO's great moderation raised the quality level high above the usual forum.
- Editing: Everything is a wiki. Anybody can (with peer-review) submit an edit to improve a post.
- Volume: Most of the time, your question was asked by someone else and already has an answer.
- Newbies: There are many rules and guidelines on Stack Overflow. It takes a long time to learn it all. When users first join, they will not know anything about the site. There are a lot of low-quality posts from new users, just because they don't know better.
- Inflexibility: You can ask good, detailed, non-opinionated, on-topic, nicely-worded questions. But what if you want feedback for a project? How about a poll? A discussion? Stackoverflow will not tolerate these things. That's for good reason: the system was not built for it.
I'm developing it. :)