This isn't a site for asking programming questions. It's well understood that pure programming questions should be moved to stackoverflow.com.
There does seem to be an exception for bash, even where those questions are purely about bash (eg: bash syntax) and not the *nix shell at large (eg: interaction between other commands).
When asking questions, it's clear enough that questions about
sed are accepted as appropriate on unix.stackexchange.com. I'd personally vote-off-topic any pure
python or C question if they weren't about interaction with the wider OS. But I wouldn't be so sure about perl or expect.
Then when giving answers I'm even less certain. For example I see occasional how-to questions which (IMO) are ridiculously complex in
sed, etc. but trivial in python, (<10 lines, no non-standard libraries). On such questions I wait and see if other answers are forthcoming. But if they get no answers, I'm not sure if I should give my 10 lines of python or not.
Is there any list of which languages / tools we should stick to when offering answers. And, if bash questions are on topic, which other languages should we regard as on-topic?
This isn't a site for asking programming questions. Yet we have made exceptions for a (fuzzy?) set of programming languages. See scope page:
If your question is a programming question, requiring knowledge of programming languages other than Unix shell scripting languages, ask on Stack Overflow.
Even our scope page implies these are programming questions (which they are). In practice I don't know a competent Linux user who doesn't know a little programming. And specifically shell scripting is largely mandatory for all but the casual user.
Where this starts to come unstuck is with tags like text-processing, where there are many questions asking how to perform some programming task "in a shell script". I don't think this was the intended purpose of including shell-script-programming questions in our scope. This doesn't feel in keeping with the purpose of the site. It seems to have wedged open our scope further. Yet I see no easy fix.
My purpose for asking the question was to flag that (I feel) stuck between three options:
- Acknowledge programmer questions for what they are and vote to close / migrate them even if they were about shell scripting.
- Acknowledge programmer questions for what they are and wede the scope further by offering a programmer's answer. One written in a proper programming language. Trollish tone NOT intended.
- Write an answer that's not as good as I'd give a colleague, but is written in