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A few days ago, I voted to migrate an off-topic question about Jenkins to Stack Overflow. The question was certainly off-topic for U&L, but ultimately it was migrated to Super User instead of SO.

This bothers me. There's a lot of overlap among IT/tech/programming/software SE sites, so there are multiple SE sites where Jenkins questions would be appropriate. I follow the Jenkins tags on all of them, but Jenkins questions on Super User receive essentially no attention compared to other SE sites that also have a Jenkins tag. As far as I was concerned, migrating the question to SU was basically consigning it to a future of zero views, zero votes, and zero answers.

I maintain my position that SO is a more appropriate place for this question than SU. The Jenkins community on SO is far, far more active than the community on SU:

The reason for migrating the question to SU instead of SO appears to be because the question wasn't directly about programming:

This is a user question, and has nothing to do with programming.  If it’s not specific to Unix&Linux, it belongs on Super User.

I don't think this is a valid reason for choosing SU over SO.

First, many existing questions in the Jenkins tag on SO, including the highest-voted non-closed questions of all time (1 2 3 4 5) have absolutely nothing to do with programming per se, so based on existing questions, whether the question is about programming or not doesn't appear to be a good criterion for whether or not the question is appropriate for SO.

Second, it's explicitly the case that SO isn't only a place for programming questions; it's also a place for questions about tools for programmers and developers. Even if Jenkins questions don't have much to do with programming, Jenkins is still a software development tool, and SO's own help pages state that questions about software development tools are still appropriate for SO. From the SO help topic "What questions can I asked about here?", questions on the following topic are considered appropriate for SO:

software tools commonly used by programmers

For the sake of comparison, Git is another better-known software development tool that has a very active community on SO even though many of the questions and answers about Git on SO aren't necessarily about programming.

Finally, I would like to point to an existing near-identical question on SO with multiple upvotes and answers as evidence that the question is appropriate for SO.

So, in conclusion: The aforementioned question was more appropriate for SO than for SU, would've received more attention on SO, and should not have been migrated to SU.

I'm guessing that, since the aforementioned question has already been migrated to SU, there's nothing U&L can do to reverse that change. If that's the case, then this meta U&L question is just about whether to migrate future off-topic questions in the Jenkins tag to SO instead of SU (of course, ultimately these will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis, but my position is that SU is a really poor destination for Jenkins questions in general). Since the question is technically on-topic for SU, I suspect it will remain there, even though it's very unlikely to get the attention that it deserves there. If that's not the case, and we can undo the migration, than this question is also about whether the aforementioned question can be re-migrated to SO.

  • Seems reasonable; couldn’t that question still be migrated from SU to SO? Assuming the asker hasn’t by then lost track of it. – Jeff Schaller Jul 5 '18 at 19:29
  • I would imagine it could still be migrated from SU to SO, but that would probably have to be approved by SU users who have the privilege to approve migrations. I'm not very active on SU so I have no idea if that's plausible or not according to their rules. – jayhendren Jul 5 '18 at 19:56
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IMHO this meta is the wrong place to discuss whether Jenkins is more suited to SU or SO. That is a question for their metas. Once discussed there, this meta should simply have an announcement post about the appropriate destination.

  • The problem is that there is so much overlap between sites like U&L, SU, and SO, such that there isn't necessarily only one place where questions like this are on topic. I doubt that all overlap will ever be eliminated. Therefore, I believe the onus is on the migrator to choose the best destination when there are multiple candidate destination sites where a question could be on topic. In this case I think the destination was poorly chosen even though technically the question is on topic for the chosen destination site. – jayhendren Jul 6 '18 at 6:30
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    @jayhendren I didn't say it would be on-topic on only on place. The point is to ask the communities concerned what would be on-topic where, instead of unilaterally deciding for them and playing migration-pass-the-buck. See, for example, meta.stackoverflow.com/q/271279/2072269 posted on MSO, with an answer from an SF mod. – muru Jul 6 '18 at 6:43
  • I guess I don't understand. I'm interpreting your position as: by asking other the communities on other sites, we can come away with a decision as to which site is canonical for a particular topic. Am I misunderstanding? If not, then I don't think that is likely to ever happen. There is just too much overlap. There are at least 5 SE network sites where I've seen Jenkins questions receive attention, and I don't think that's likely to change. – jayhendren Jul 6 '18 at 7:19
  • That being said, I still think it's worthwhile to extend the discussion to SU and SO and other sites with active Jenkins tags. I'm just skeptical that this will be fruitful. – jayhendren Jul 6 '18 at 7:22
  • @jayhendren if, after asking there, we don't get any consensus, sure, we'd be within rights to decide for ourselves which site would be most suitable. But not without asking them first. – muru Jul 6 '18 at 7:25

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