This question stems from a comment by F'x on this question of mine. He said

in its current wording, this is a poll question (“how do people manage…”)

I fully agree with his comment, but I think I disagree with the idea that all poll type question are "off-topic". To me a poll question like "which software should I use to do X" is a poll question that likely will generate a big list of answers of software specifically designed for a task and are unlikely to have a "correct" answer.

I feel many questions on AC.SE, including the one in question, are "how do I manage X" where there are not any/many canned solutions. So while the questions are in essence performing a poll, I don't think they are big list type questions and may actually have a "correct" answer. Are these questions on topic?

1 Answer 1


I'll explain in a bit more detail what I meant by my comment. All questions ask for answers, and many questions asks for solutions, procedures, software, etc. These are fine questions to have. To me, a question becomes a poll question when it asks people what they are doing, to measure popularity of various solutions. Then, you'll have one “I use git” answer, with 12 “+1” comments, one “I use svn” answer, with 7 “+1”, one “I use a flat directory structure with date-based file naming” answer, etc.

It's not only about software, mind you. “What process do you use to do X” is also a poll question. It's asking for people's own usage, which is highly subjective. I believe it would be much better to frame such questions as “Here's how I am currently doing that thing, what are the pros and cons of my method and what modifications can you suggest?”.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .