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This help page is not very informative at the moment:

https://sitecore.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic

From what I understand, this Stack Exchange site should welcome questions about everything that is related to Sitecore development and usage, such as:

  • Code issues, best practices, debugging, optimization, etc.;
  • Tools and modules;
  • Configuration;
  • Administration;
  • Security;
  • Deployments;
  • Marketing features;
  • User interface;
  • Integration with other platforms and technologies;
  • etc.

It would be highly beneficial to clearly define what should and what shouldn't be asked on this site, as well as update the above mentioned help page to reflect all that.

This could prevent questions like this one from being closed as off-topic.

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5

I stand with Mark Cassidy's comments in Slack on this. If it has anything to do with Sitecore at all, it should be allowed to be asked here. This could lend itself to some interpretation though. For example, if someone were to ask "How do I populate a List object?". This person is using Sitecore and probably working with items, but his direct question is about how to use .NET List(). That is an example of a question that probably shouldn't be on here.

But maybe he MEANT to say, "How to I populate a List() with Sitecore items from a query?" Well, now we're talking about an answer where maybe using a IEnumerable converted from an ItemCollection would be the answer, and is very Sitecore relevant.

To be honest, so far, the only question I felt questionable thus far on the posts that have been proposed as Closed Voting, was the one talking about SOLR Indexes. SOLR itself is probably not something we want to dive into. But what if it's talking about the Sitecore Content Search API and using SOLR? Then that probably should be on here.

At the end of the day, though, I don't want this to be a community where members feel bad about asking "too-broad" of questions. Sitecore is a huge Yak that can be shaved in a multitude of ways depending on what you are doing. There are best practices, then there are BEST practices, then there are Worst practices.

I say let the debate occur here, even if it is too broad or opinion based.

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3

It worth having a looking through the StackExchange intro tour which includes information on the kind of questions that could be asked.

Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do.

Ask about...

  • Specific issues with Sitecore CMS and multichannel marketing software
  • Real problems or questions that you’ve encountered

Like-wise, questions that are not a good fit for StackExchange:

Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

Don't ask about...

  • Anything not directly related to Sitecore CMS and multichannel marketing software
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer

So anything directly Sitecore related is on-topic, and it does not have to be directly programming related. But questions need to be specific and trying to solve a specific problem. Asking open-ended questions, duplicate questions or not having tried anything (I need to do X, please provide code) should all be considered off-topic and trigger close votes.

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  • Hmm, but do we really want this site to follow the normal Stack Exchange format so strictly? I think that opinion-based answers may be of more use here than on SO. Personally, I would try to loosen up the common rules and allow discussions to a degree. Not only would that give more value to the users, but it would also differentiate this site further from the regular Stack Overflow. – Dmytro Shevchenko Sep 26 '16 at 16:55
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    Whilst I agree, none of the StackExchange sites are a forum. This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat. Open ended questions tend to attract a lot of chatter. But that's not to say a question cannot have multiple different answers that may, in the opinion of the person answering, solve the problem. – jammykam Sep 26 '16 at 17:39
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    But "Best practices" questions, especially at architecture level are frequently open-ended and opinion based, yet vital to the Sitecore community. Two examples: 1) "Should we source control Sitecore modules?" - very specific, but a good question that brought out various responses that were opinion based, backed up in concrete practice. Whereas "How to implement multiple developer teams (vendor branches) in Sitecore" is on hold as opinion based (yes, it is opinion based, but could provide fantastic answers detailing the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches). And yes, it is mine. – James Walford Sep 29 '16 at 12:52
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Questions should be well researched, and pushed to the point where the author could not do a specific thing. Not because "Can I get feedback on this approach?" is inherently terrible, but because allowing this type of question deprives the author of the chance to write a truly useful question. Maintaining standards raises everyone's game, in the same way that chairing a meeting with a defined agenda leads to a much more productive use of everyone's time than winging it with a "So what's on peoples minds?"

I do feel that tightly defined questions that are directly pertinent to our community, but not strictly technical, e.g. this one on changing one's email address, should be allowed. This comes up for everyone that changes jobs, is not well documented, and so is a logical service this site can perform. I would even allow a question like, "What is the most effective way to get an issue addressed by Sitecore Support?", because it is well focused, and could provide a lot of useful content in the responses.

The key idea is that sharply focused questions produce much higher quality answers.

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