« first day (2198 days earlier)      last day (1703 days later) » 

11:22 AM
I see most of the questions that are important for real life are closed saying that it doesn't have a sure shot answer!
If we support only sure-shot-answer type questions, they are also found elsewhere too. I think, then the question if of type true-false or information based question.
At the same time answering these type of question is often easy.
if we only support these type of question, don't we feel, stackoverflow would be like a objective question-answer sheet?
True that a discussion doesn't reach at a conclusion point. But do you feel all of the discussion goes in vain if we won't finally reach at a conclusion?
I think, the discussion itself is the conclusion, where we see our answer like...if so and so is the condition, we do this, if so and so is the condition we do that etc...
Isn't it?
Not sure why almost everybody takes their face away from non-objctive type question... Is it in fear that we won't get reputation not being correct?
or we have some bigger thoughts behind it?
11:50 AM
Q: On discussions and why they don't make good questions

user40980I'll start off with the irony of this question being tagged with a discussion and point out that meta is different. Why don't discussion questions work in Stack Exchange? What is it about the software and the format that leads to people closing these questions as primarily opinion? or rejecting ...

12:08 PM
Many thanks gnat. Good to read the question and answer.
Ok. We have defined our site to be this way. No more questions! I shall be careful next time before thinking about asking a design question. :-)
1:01 PM
Is it reasonable to quit a fortune 500 if I can't get admin rights or a visual studio license?
what are you there to do?
@TomasZubiri Most large companies have restrictions on admin rights. Even my current small company doesn't let people have unfettered admin anymore. It's often tied to regulatory requirements, so that's a terrible reason.
As for a Visual Studio license...do you do .NET development?
Trying to.
Then I'd say no. If you don't need Visual Studio to do your job, why should it be installed on your work computer?
is that dev work for personal use?
1:08 PM
Nono. I'm developing a com object So it can be used in php and vba.
I am going to have to switch to monodevelop or something I guess
If you need Visual Studio to do tasking at work, it should be provided.
But Visual Studio is relatively expensive and it is another license to manage. Again, I don't know what industry you're in, but your company may be subject to audits, which could include the management of purchased software.
Noted. Might not be as bad as I thought
1:26 PM
weird, why do I have a new icon...
hmm, not when I type?
yeah, a fortune 500 still using php and vba is probably a worse sign...
@Telastyn I think all gravitars got regenned...
1:44 PM
and #blamecaching for the mix of old and new icons that you are seeing
1:56 PM
@Telastyn thank you. They are planning to deploy apache on employees machines to run php code.
Not sure whether to keep on pushing .net or just quit.
2:11 PM
also consider people that will take over after you leave (now or in the future) think about what they would prefer; a mix of dotnet (COM, vba) and php or just pure php
Maybe deploying to users machines via svn isn't So bad I Guess.
1 hour later…
3:32 PM
@ThomasOwens @RobertHarvey Got time in a couple hours to pick up the name change conversation?
3:46 PM
@Ana In a couple hours, I think so.
I'm at my desk from 2-4, so I can have something open.
2-4 Eastern, I mean.
@Ana Sure, I'll be here.
@ThomasOwens NASA had two networks: one for normal business stuff (that had access to the Internet), and a development intranet (that did not). Everyone's machine on the development network had admin rights.
It's hard to imagine how any developer could be in any way productive on a locked down machine.
@RobertHarvey Things are moving in that direction, yes.
4:03 PM
so if they needed to get onto the internet they had to use a different machine?
This question would be more appropriate in programmers.stackexchange.com. — Mick Sharpe 25 secs ago
4:32 PM
This question is better suited for Programmers SE. — Igor 24 secs ago
@ThomasOwens ^
5:24 PM
@maple_shaft Blame Hitler.
He is right, but I'm going to err on the side of caution for people who could be offended. It's not like I suspended him. But then again: please blame Hitler.
5:41 PM
Greetings, @Ana.
Been following meta conversations closely since we last spoke, and I think the community's been surfacing a lot of the right questions. Honestly, it's been great to see folks getting involved. When we last spoke, we came to consensus on why we're doing any of this in the first place, and then got clear on the new site name and tagline, represented here:
Today, I'd like get back to figuring out the bullets for /on-topic and just generally make sure we keep being on the same page. Anything you all want to bring up after this past month's conversations?
Oh and FYI Shog is out so he won't be joining us, but I didn't want to keep you waiting any longer.
There's one up voted proposal that doesn't use Systems Development Life Cycle that I've seen. It's at +12 / -1 now.
I don't think that should hold us up, but we should probably look at that before we finalize everything.
The image tagline would probably be something like "Q&A site where you can ask and answer questions about software development processes, methodology, and achieving quality attributes, but not code troubleshooting." A few people have mentioned they don't like SDLC, but he's the only one to actually propose wording that doesn't use it and back it up with good reasoning and references.
5:51 PM
I don't think it needs to hold us up from going forward and finishing the other stuff.
Once we finish everything you'll need, Maybe we can put forward two options and let the community decide on those two with voting.
Honestly I recommend we stick with the tagline we have. Mention of the SDLC is the one thing, in our long, laborious conversations that got us on the same page. It's not perfect, it will not encapsulate everything while rooting around all edge cases, but it gets us most of the way there and provides clarity for most of the people whom you want to attract.
I agree with that. Just wanted to point it out and make sure everyone saw it.
I would hate to ignore a good idea.
So, bullet points are next on the list?
5:56 PM
Okay, so we're good on the new name and the new tagline. Anything else on your mind before we dig into bullets on /on-topic?
Not that I've seen, and I've scanned the last meta post again.
Cool. I recognize that this was a sticky one when we last brought it up, though I've continued to be rather partial to the proposal Shog laid out here because it seems to communicate the most impactful information most quickly.
To review:
> On topic

- software architecture and design
- algorithms and data structures
- quality assurance and testing
- configuration, build and release management

Off topic

- troubleshooting or debugging code
- requests for code
- what to read, learn, buy or use.
- legal advice
How does that sit with you at this stage?
I'm concerned that there's no method of "process and methods" or "requirements engineering" in the on-topic list. Especially process and methods, since that overlaps with PM and we don't often have a lot of those questions floating on the homepage.
Ah, yeah. Overlap with PM.SE is something I want to think about a bit more actually...but one thing at a time. I see what you mean about 'process and methods', and why leaving that out might be riding the line in failing to convey the site's purpose.
Agile is our 22nd tag. Other top tags in this category include development-process (9 this month), scrum (5 this month, 45 this year), extreme-programing (3 this year). These are the kind of things that we'll get a few dozen of in a year. It's a big part of what software engineering is.
Requirements engineering is closely related to architecture and design. It's also a non-insigificant tag. The has 242 questions with 13 this year and has 51 with 8 this year. Then you get into things like and .
I think part of the numbers of low volume here may be our name. The name Programmers may be turning off people who don't dig deeper into our site to see that these are on-topic. They aren't usually done by people who program.
I know that Shog has always been about 4 bullet points. But I don't think that 6 is a problem. Especially if we can move the off-topic bullets to the /help/dont-ask page.
6:12 PM
Can we decide on either 'process and methods' or 'requirements engineering' to add? Figure out which one we think gets us most bang for our buck?
@Ana Since there's a really close relationship between requirements and architecture and design, could we add one and make the next line "requirements, architecture, and design"?
Otherwise, I'd want to look at the comments, but I think "software development methods and practices" was the preferred one.
@ThomasOwens You mean like this?
> On topic
- software requirements, architecture, and design
- algorithms and data structures
- quality assurance and testing
- configuration, build and release management

Off topic
- troubleshooting or debugging code
- requests for code
- what to read, learn, buy or use.
- legal advice
@Ana Yeah. Someone also proposed removing "algorithms and data structures", but that had mixed response. I could make a strong argument that it is really part of software design.
yeah, I think that works
On topic would also add "software development methods and practices" and hopefully move those off-topic things off the /help/on-topic page.
If you wanted 4, I'd want to take another look at removing algorithms and data structures. Given their popularity in terms of tags and their inclusion inside of "software design", I'm not personally convinced they need their own line item when there are more important things to cover.
I think @RobertHarvey may have been one of the people arguing for leaving algorithms and data structures in, though.
6:19 PM
show me what you mean for each, would you?
> On topic
- software development methods and practices
- software requirements, architecture, and design
- algorithms and data structures
- quality assurance and testing
- configuration, build and release management
That, but with algorithms and data structures on the bubble is my take.
And for off-topic, exactly what you already have.
It depends on what you see the help center being. If you wanted a comprehensive list of what is on topic, I'm pretty sure it's those 5 bullets. If you also want to take into consideration the kinds of questions that you are likely to find via Google or hitting the homepage, then you can probably drop algorithms and data structures because it's redundant with design and they are very common questions.
Then it seems we should be inviting those same questions under the umbrella of design, rather than algorithms and data structures.
That's my personal take.
I highly oppose any notion to remove Algorithms and Data Structures from being on topic
Can you elaborate on why it's not design?
Also, they aren't going to be off-topic.
They just...won't be explicitly listed.
I think that making algorithm and data structures questions off-topic is a huge disservice to this community. There's a big gap between the algorithms and data structures questions on Computer Science and what a practitioner actually cares about.
But if you want to get the list of things down to 4 items, I think we can say that the algorithm and data structures questions we take actually fall into this umbrella of software design. This makes room for the development process and methods questions to appear in the list.
6:29 PM
Hmmm... if the goal is to widdle to 4 items then I guess we could reason it is design
I am having trouble thinking of how to justify this though
Algorithms are something that software engineers may employ to realize or implement a design
Other than "it is design"? The first sentence of the Wikipedia article on software design is: "Software design is the process by which an agent creates a specification of a software artifact, intended to accomplish goals, using a set of primitive components and subject to constraints."
or specified
The "primitive components" could be algorithms and data structures.
a component has some instrinsic value outside of "algorithm"
6:32 PM
An Algorithm or data structure may be a property unique to the design of a sofwtare component however
Hm. Yes, I agree with that.
@ThomasOwens No Algorithm Design is a completely seperate topic more in line with Computer Science
@maple_shaft Yeah. I agree more with your statement that the selection of algorithms and data structures for a component is a design activity. But how you said it more.
If someone wanted a component that contained logic to find shortest path... a design for that component might specify, A* as a specified algorithm to meet requirements
@maple_shaft Given that algorithms are something software engineers may employ to implement a design, doesn't it stand to reason that the folks you want participating would be able to deduce that themselves?
6:34 PM
@Ana Yes
Like Thomas said, those questions wouldn't be off-topic, they just wouldn't have a place-holder there for 'em.
@Ana Yeah. I also associate the more hard core algorithm and data structure questions with Computer Science.
As do I.
Another example...
I want to design a component that handles delivery and persistence of confidential information like passwords and credentials... I specify my design should utilize a PBE scheme with SHA1 Digest algorithm and Triple DES Encryption Algorithm....
This demonstrates some overlap with Information Security as well, but is pertinent to software engineering as well
Those are the kinds of questions we want here. And not necessarily how to find the big-o of something.
So, I think that's it. Our four on-topic bullet points:
> On topic
- software development methods and practices
- software requirements, architecture, and design
- quality assurance and testing
- configuration, build and release management
That right there is also the full life cycle. Except for disposition. But maybe that's in configuration management, too.
6:41 PM
Looks solid.
What would you think about...
> On topic
- development methods and practices
- software requirements, architecture, and design
- quality assurance and testing
- configuration, build and release management
You could probably get rid of "software" in the second bullet point, too.
But I'm OK with that. The name is Software Engineering, so I think there's an implication that everything should be about software.
it's true
> On topic
- development methods and practices
- requirements, architecture, and design
- quality assurance and testing
- configuration, build and release management
Can I unstar that, so I can star it more?
As a novice programmer who wants to be a good programmer, if I show up here and read that, I know from those 4 bullets exactly what I should and shouldn't ask.
I think so, yes.
6:49 PM
That c# code has to be running, ie hosted by something. Otherwise its nothing but a dll/exe file on disk somewhere. So you can run it as a windows service, as a console app, host it in IIS, etc. Then you can modify that code to listen over something (TCP, HTTP, whatever), then you can figure out how to call it. You can kind of tell the final answer will be fairly broad and will differ widely depending on the implementer. As such this question is not well suited for SO, I if you need more general help post it on Programmers SE or narrow your question down to a specific detail. — Igor 38 secs ago
@Ana I agree 95% with your statement..
But never underestimate the "novice-ness" of the most Novice programmers that come here
Or, it is very clear to them, but they feel entitled to help for their question anyway and hope to fly under the radar undetected
We're never going to be rid of those people. But a better name and a cleaner /help/on-topic should discourage more people than are being discouraged now.
I mean, I'm speaking purely for myself, as an actual novice programmer. And hopefully there are at least a few others out there who could be trusted to pick up on the same sensibilities when faced with that list.
Yeah. It won't be 100% effective. But it should give most reasonable people a chance to stop and think before clicking post.
I'm not too worried about the unreasonable people. They'll just keep on being unreasonable until a question ban kicks in.
Reminds me...gnat's meta post about what should be done when debugging questions inevitably do show up was a little premature, but it's still the right conversation.
6:54 PM
Exactly what Shog told us to do, and the same thing on Meta.SE: Delete with haste.
@Ana Don't put too much stock in it. He can be a little dramatic
@ThomasOwens Indeed.
@maple_shaft you're kidding :p
I think we're handing things the right way. I've been quicker to delete after Shog pretty much said it was OK.
if the world were as him and other active members of the community see it, we are in constant attack by hordes of plz teh codez zombies at every turn
the statistics don't match up with his dire worries
Surprisingly, there have really been no Meta complaints about that.
6:59 PM
ya know I've been thinking on this, and I'm pretty excited about this direction for you all (yes, I know it's an articulation of that which has already taking place, but bare with me). there are more new developers than ever, more new frameworks and libraries being pushed at them from every direction, and almost no one anywhere to advise them on the craftsmenship of software
And I think that's what we want to be.
That place.
Also, I think the off-topic list is good. I was trying to find the list of closed questions, though, and I can't find it.
We need people who want to not just build stuff, but who want to build stuff well.
I have to step out but @Thomas, want to threw a new meta post up there with the latest, and we can see what bubbles up and speak again next week?
@Ana Sure.
7:03 PM
cool. happy weekend folks!
7:23 PM
Q: Follow-Up 3: New Site Name and Help Center Discussions

Thomas OwensChat Transcript: http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/32212512#32212512 Previous Discussion: Follow-Up 2: New Site Name and Scope Proposals Ana stopped by (Shog was not available today), and maple_shaft was around. Here's a summary of what we talked about: Ana looked at the only ...

well I'd say it's 100% certain that I'll be teaching Python this Fall.
I'm really excited.
@AaronHall I was just about to ask if that was a good thing.
beams Thank you! :)
On a related note, I will be teaching a Python this fall
how to take a thawed dead rat on a stick
You should teach the dead rat Python.
7:35 PM
Dead Rats despise tab sensitive programming languages
have a good weekend folks
@AaronHall Congrats btw
Yeah, I gotta rewrite the syllabus, and probably the final, by Monday, I'll have a nice long weekend...
Thanks! :)
@DVK-in-exile welcome? Why are you in exile?
@ThomasOwens - I just ran into the site name/scope proposal change. My main criticism at the moment has nothing to do with the substance, but the content of the Meta post: It lacks the delta. I would deeply appreciate - and suspect it wouldn't be just myself - adding a section describing the differences between the current and new scope, not just what the new scope is.
@DVK-in-exile There is no scope change.
The only thing changing is the presentation of the scope by changing the site name and presentation in the Help Center. Any question that you can ask today, you can ask after the change. Any question that is off-topic today will be off-topic after the change.
@ThomasOwens - Hm. There seems to definitely be scope change from when I was (somewhat) active back when... guess I'm more behind the times than I thought :)
@DVK-in-exile Some things aren't being mentioned explicitly anymore, but yeah, no actual scope change. Just making things cleaner.
7:43 PM
@ThomasOwens - The title of Meta post ("New Site Name and Scope Proposals") kinda led my brain thinking there was a change :)
@DVK-in-exile Yeah. It's a new site name and tagline. The scope is just being presented differently.
Compare the four on-topic bullet points to the 7 or so that are on /help/on-topic now.
For the record, as an infrequent user, I find the proposed name and scope totally non-objectionable (I'd be more glowing but as an infrequent user I don't feel qualified enough to deem them "Good" even if they objectively are). Not much of a content to leave a reply on Meta but probably worth expressing in chat :)
Still don't quite understand why we're taking a perfectly good, industry-standard scope description that is 95% in line with the site's actual scope, and replacing it with four arbitrary and incomplete subject matter bullets.
@AaronHall - search for "exile" on Meta.SciFi.SE for explanation ;) SFF is the site I used last so the username kinda follows me around chat, that's the way SE chat software works
Or why the magic number is four.
7:47 PM
@RobertHarvey What "industry-standard scope description" is changing?
Software Development Life Cycle
That's staying.
Meh, I don't know why I care. Nobody reads those pages anyway.
Actually, we're using Systems Development Life Cycle in the image link, /tour, and /help/on-topic first paragraph.
I don't know where it says we aren't.
Then just omit the four bullet points. At best they're incomplete. At worst, they're confusing.
7:49 PM
How are they incomplete?
I find them to be incredibly complete.
Everything there fits into one bullet point.
What do you think doesn't?
Then just use the one.
The idea is to expand and make it more complete
Um, which bullet point is the Systems Development Life Cycle one?
7:51 PM
All of them.
Four stages of SDLC: #1: (25% of time) Get buy-in from st(e)akholders. (25% of time) Get approval from management; #3 (20% of time) analysis, design, implementation, test and release; #4 (25%+5% of time): get release authorization from change approval process (25%) and release (5%)
@ThomasOwens You mean all of them, except the ones that are missing?
@RobertHarvey No. Everything in the SDLC is represented by those four bullets.
Then how come they don't map cleanly to the picture?
Because SE demanded four bullets.
7:53 PM
I can accept that, only because, since nobody actually reads those pages anyway, they are entirely inconsequential to our rebranding effort.
development methods and practices -> initiation, planning, "best practices" across the life cycle
requirements, architecture, and design -> concept development, requirements analysis, design
quality assurance and testing -> integration and test, some aspects of development and implementation
configuration, build and release management -> implementation, operations and maintenance, disposition, some aspects of requirements, design, development, integration and test, and implementation.
Don't put lipstick on a pig.
Try to explain that mapping to someone who's asking an off-topic question.
I wouldn't explain the mapping.
I would explain why their question doesn't fall into one of the four bullets.
Good luck with that.
Impact of name change: 90%
Impact of new tag line: 9%
Impact of Tour and Help/About bullets: 1%
@Ana These are fine.
@ThomasOwens Just put the mapping into a Meta post.
8:41 PM
Q: Is your current site name of "Electrical Engineering" responsible for an uptick in question quality?

Robert HarveyI was around when this site used to be called Electronics, and I also remember when it was originally called ChipHacker. During this time, I've noticed that the character of the questions being asked has changed with each name change. In the beginning, it was mostly hobbyist questions. With th...

1 hour later…
9:46 PM
I think this question belongs on programmers.stackexchange.com instead. — Midnightas 26 secs ago

« first day (2198 days earlier)      last day (1703 days later) »