@BeastOfCaerbannog and I were having a chat discussion today debating the role of "general" programming questions here on Ask Ubuntu. The current on-topic help text includes:
Questions you may ask:
- Development on Ubuntu.
There's also this older Meta post from @Oli who mentioned:
Development is on-topic here unless it really has nothing to do with Ubuntu.
I wouldn't object to Python questions here but you might get better service on Stack Overflow which is really all about programming. If your questions involve Ubuntu peculiarities or packaging a Python application, then we're probably the best bet. But again, this is on-topic on both sites.
... As well as several others (links below in footnote).
That's pretty open, and the help text indicates that any development being done on Ubuntu is on-topic, even if the development is not unique to (or about) Ubuntu. Under this guidance, I've typically supported not "Closing" questions about programming, as long as they have some relevance to Ubuntu (even if the developer is just using Ubuntu as their target platform).
@BeastOfCaerbannog felt that questions that were "general programming" should be closed.
And I'm fully supportive of that, assuming we officially update the help-text. The reasons, as @BeastOfCaerbannog and I both agree is that "General programming questions":
... are not "about Ubuntu" and don't require Ubuntu expertise (unless the question specifically is about how to do something on Ubuntu).
... are more appropriate on Stack Overflow.
... will typically receive a faster response on Stack Overflow due to its more active developer user-base.
... will typically receive higher-quality responses on Stack Overflow due to its more active developer user-base.
... should not be cross-posted (as with any question) to more than one Stack Exchange site at a time.
As such, it's really in the OP's best interest that the question be closed or migrated as quickly as possible, so that they can repost (if needed) on Stack Overflow.
If the community is in agreement with this, what changes should we make to the "on-topic" wording to clarify this?
If, however, you don't agree that a change is warranted, then please provide feedback on this proposal as well.
Footnote: Additional Meta links