StackOverflow culture

Is StackOverflow really that bad?! I never actually use it myself… o.O

EDIT: Moved to a new topic. ^.^


It depends on moderator’s mood. Stackoverflow is the place where you can ask a very “precise questions” about something (eg. I have a problem with “X” when I do “Y” it throws “Z”). When You ask a more general question, eg. “What is best practice …” / “How to do something using…” - it always ends with:

[Closed] Answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.


Moreover, your reputation can be decreased for using polite expressions, making typos etc.
It’s not a cool place as used to be.


Any sufficiently large group of humans online is that bad… The trick is to surf the changing platforms as they grow and know when to leave. Moderating generally creates as many problems as it solves.

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


Well, that sounds… yeah… >.>

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I’ve found that it really depends on what you ask a question about.

Most of the time I am very happy with the responses I get on the different StackExchange sites (but the kind of questions I ask are often very specific, so they tend to only have a small group of knowledgeable people that results either in a few high-quality answers or in no answer at all).

However, sometimes things don’t work very well. There are some people who tend to read an opinionated answer and believe it fully, even if it does not contain any sources, references or scientific arguments. There are also people that might downvote an answer ‘because the other answers are better’. This is what happened to me when I asked about the difference between parser combinators and parser generators a few weeks back.

Nevertheless StackExchange is an amazing piece of software that has helped me on numerous occasions :D!


This reminds me of the detailed writeup (2015) of the problems with Stack Overflow: The Decline of Stack Overflow - How trolls have taken over your favorite programming Q&A site. It’s a bit of a cesspool but useful sometimes.

I think @bbense has hit the mark with the quote from Douglas Adams.


From my experience, the smaller Stack Exchange sites are way friendlier and less trollish than the bigger ones, although SO seems to be the worst.


I read SO, that is all I do on that platform.

If it comes to asking a question, I am better of asking it on IRC or here (if it’s FP related).

It’s strange how SO loves this notion of questions being asked in an “wrong” way. There is no such thing.
Look at Quora how well it does and I have yet to see any kind of toxicity there.


I second this. Posting in SO seems too high a hurdle to get over :slight_smile:

Oh, but there actually is something like that in Quora :smiley: Probably not as apparent as SO, but there are a fair share of “Quora elitists” that loathes new users who ask ridiculous (as per their view) questions. You might be interested in the answers to this question, for example: What are the most annoying types of questions on Quora?

Quora has its own drama too, and thanks to it having quite a big number of non-tech related content, the issue is more diverse.


We all elixir community really lucky to have this forum. Thanks to @AstonJ we dont need stackoverflow. Some of us dont know but that is really big thing for elixir community :+1: