Related: How to run the Software Recommendation tag?

Given the existence of Software Recommendations Stack Exchange, is there any need/justification for the tag here any more?

  • Three downvotes, one explanation. Seems like this site is no different than the others on S.E :-)
    – Mawg
    Jul 25, 2018 at 12:59
  • 3
    If I had downvoted in this case, I wouldn't have offered any explanation either. But that's just because I completely agree with Zanna's answer (I would downvote this post if this gets tagged as a feature request). I don't believe it's fair to ask for an explanation from every downvote. You will end up with lots of "me too".
    – Dan
    Jul 25, 2018 at 20:42
  • Well, at least there was an explanation, although no mention that it involved downvoting. I am just sick fed up of seeing some poor new guy get 6 or 8 downvotes with zero indication as to why. I suspect that a lot of it is "drive-by me too downvoting" where someone barely glances at a question, sees a negative vote tally and knee-jerk adds to it, without really thinking of it. I am not saying this happened here, and have enough rep on the sites I frequent not to care, but this is my pet peeve about S.O in particular and some other S.E sites. Thanks' for your comment
    – Mawg
    Jul 26, 2018 at 6:22
  • @Mawg FYI, Meta doesn't affect your rep score. Jul 26, 2018 at 6:25
  • Well, I know that Meta doesn't, but I really don't care about rep anyway, even if it did. I just think it must be disheartening for new guys. Thanks for explaining.
    – Mawg
    Jul 26, 2018 at 6:28
  • 2
    On meta, downvoting usually indicates disagreement, i.e. in this case "I don't think what you're proposing is a good idea". But maybe interpreting this question as advocating/proposing killing the tag is unfair - it's actually a good question to ask. So I reversed my vote.
    – Zanna Mod
    Jul 26, 2018 at 18:32
  • "On meta, downvoting usually indicates disagreement" - I see. That is, of course, highly frowned upon on non-meta sites. As I am not so active on meta, I wasn't aware of that; thanks. Thanks for the reverse, but I really don't care about points :-) It is always good to exhange ideas & understand how others think, so thanks for that.
    – Mawg
    Jul 26, 2018 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Overlap in scope between Stack Exchange sites is not generally considered a problem. Literally every (on-topic) question on our site would be on topic on Unix and Linux Stack Exchange, for instance. Should U&L remove their tag and direct everyone who asks about Ubuntu here?

To me such an action seems like it would be an artificial narrowing of scope, and I feel the same way about the occasional attacks on the tag here. Removing the tag would leave many perfectly on-topic questions without an appropriate tag. There are over 2700 questions with this tag, many highly upvoted and with highly upvoted answers, and they aren't going anywhere any time soon.

If there are objections to software recommendation questions on the grounds that they are often poor quality, can be targets for spam and so on, then aside from the fact that we have considered these questions on topic and answered them throughout the life of the site and we are not going to delete those >2700 questions which have been viewed by millions of visitors, my response is that we should continue to take lessons from the Software Recommendations Stack Exchange and continue to improve and moderate these questions carefully.

  • It's tricky, though - " an artificial narrowing of scope" - I am very active on S/W recs but only saw question here because it made it to the "Hot Questions" list. Nothing you can do about it, I guess, just like the overlap between IoT and h/w recommendations. Although at least s/w recs don't seem welcome on S.O anymore.
    – Mawg
    Jul 25, 2018 at 12:58
  • 2
    @Mawg when I say artificial, I mean that a question shouldn't suddenly be off topic just because there's another stack exchange site where it's on topic. If software rec questions were on topic here before there was an SE for software recs, it doesn't make sense for them to be no longer on topic. Though I like to keep the scope edges tidy (I'm for zero-tolerance on questions about other distros), I'm somewhat biased towards expansive scope - the idea that we should think about what topics our community can and should welcome rather than what more can be excluded.
    – Zanna Mod
    Jul 25, 2018 at 13:08

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