6

I mean questions like:

  • Why did work stop on project X?
  • Why was project X coded this way?
  • Why was project X packaged this way?

I feel these can only be answered by the original developers 99% of the time, with a few exceptions of celebrity and famous projects. Do you think they should be ontopic?

  • I wanted to upvote this Question for its usefulness, but you already express the side you've chosen: I feel these can only be answered by the original developers 99% of the time :( – tshepang Dec 17 '10 at 16:21
3

I don't think they should be on-topic. They are sometimes interesting, but unless the site gets much more popular (such that there are devs from most projects here), anyone who answers the question is basically doing homework for the asker.

  • even if the dev is here, it seems like the kind of question for an interview, not a Q&A site – xenoterracide Dec 16 '10 at 16:03
3
  • Why did work stop on project X?
  • Why was project X coded this way?
  • Why was project X packaged this way?

These are only useful in the sense that they teach people how to figure out the state of a project themselves.

Which also implies they could be closed as duplicates of a master "here's how to figure out details about random project.." question.

  • "here's how to figure out details about random project.." and that root question wouldn't necessarily be ontopic here... I wouldn't allow the question "how do I determine the state of a project" this just doesn't seem the place, imo – xenoterracide Dec 17 '10 at 13:03
  • @xeno of course that's up to you guys, I was just pointing out the only way to make such questions acceptable – Jeff Atwood Dec 17 '10 at 14:32
3

I know I can just go email the developers themselves, but then:

  • Someone else might be interested in that info, other than me (objection to ask the developers yourself)
  • In many cases, death is declared in public (objection only the developer knows)
  • This is a better place to ask questions, and the responses are faster
  • A project might not be celebrity-like to you, but some community somewhere would consider it important (objection to random project)

Also:

  • There is a proposed site (update: failed proposal) for these kinds of questions, so these can get migrated once that site launches
  • There's been only ~3 (out of a thousand!) Questions of this sort so far; it's not like someone went and asked 100 questions, on 100 random projects, soiling this site
  • "in many cases, death is declared in public (objection only the developer knows)" a different developer will know than the dead one likely. yes but 3 sets precedence that it's ok... which I guess after some debate, and some unsureness from all, we've decided, that it's not. – xenoterracide Dec 17 '10 at 16:26
  • @xeno By dead, I meant death of the project, not of the developer. – tshepang Dec 17 '10 at 16:29
  • @tshepang sorry my misinterpretation... – xenoterracide Dec 17 '10 at 16:32
  • @tshepang projects die due to death, time, interest, difference of opinion, cutbacks. What more info do you need on that? is it really important to know which? What more can we say? – xenoterracide Dec 17 '10 at 16:40
  • 1
    @xeno I don't want to guess, and say maybe it died because the developer lost interest for example. It could also be instructive, so you can see the signs of a dying project. That info is quite helpful, and Google tends to be a pain BTW. This site is way better. – tshepang Dec 17 '10 at 16:47
  • 1
    @tshepang how to see the signs of a dying project would be a good question for programmers IMO. It's not that these are all bad horrible evil questions. I just don't think they belong here. – xenoterracide Dec 17 '10 at 16:52
  • @xeno Didn't think of that one. Good idea. – tshepang Dec 17 '10 at 16:56
1

No

I feel these can only be answered by the original developers 99% of the time

This is the part I keep coming back to; besides not being very useful in the first place, these are largely unanswerable questions for the entire userbase. They belong on a project mailing list

0

I don't think they should be on-topic this place is for people who need help. These kinds of questions very rarely contribute anything to the greater whole of the community.

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