Yet another question about what is on-topic. This question, to me, appears to not be a black-and-white violation of the definition of topicality. Hotplugging Joysticks And Gamepads On OSX was closed unilaterally and followed by a long string of comments.

Stay tuned for my related meta posts, How to encourage posters of closed questions to improve them rather than reacting defensively. and Why do people get on meta and gripe about moderation instead of actually asking about their closed question?

Is this really a "which tech to use" question?


2 Answers 2


I believe it is not a "which-tech" question and that it is answerable. I explained so in comments there after voting to reopen.

My understanding of the spirit of the "which tech" close reason is that it can't be answered in the general case; it can only be answered on a per-project basis. The specific requirements of a given game, as well as design decisions, will dictate what is best to use. So there is no singular correct answer. Anything that attempts to give a general answer would need to answer innumerable questions simultaneously, for all the possible different scenarios. For reasons of limited space, any answer which attempts to do that would only give several weak answers to a handful of considerations. That is no good.

But that doesn't mean that specific problems can't be solved by the judicious application of the right library. For some problems, picking the right tool is the best answer. The trick is to start with the problem, and then define what constitutes a solution, and then locate it. If that solution happens to be "use library X" (with justification), that's a good answer. And specific questions that have good answers should be on-tpoic, IMO.

So, I think this question is an instance of the second case. Specific problem, asking for preexisting solutions. Barring that, why does this problem exist, and can it be resolved.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think without this part: "Are there any cross platform C++ libraries (or even just OSX only libraries) that offer hotplug joystick detection on a Mac?" The post would be on topic. (And an answer explaining why, while also providing information about a 3rd party library that does that, would be fine). \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 1:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's gotten a few edits since I closed it, and that bit you highlighted is the big reason I think it should stay closed. Removing it would remove the majority of my objection to the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ That said, I will note that another aspect of why "which technology" is bad (in the general case) is that it is also implicitly a "list of" question. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 1:08
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I wish you'd just close the question. You've applied more thought to it's applicability than you have to the question itself. What an awful culture for a Q&A website!!! I've solved the issue btw. Not sure if it's an elegant solution, but it might well be. If this was Stackoverflow, I may have just answered the question myself, and leave a valid breadcrumb for someone else. I'll share the solution elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – Charlie
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 9:55
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Boards that are justly administered don't usually have such problems... Consider Byte56's idea - 'I think without this part: "Are there any cross platform C++ libraries (or even just OSX only libraries) that offer hotplug joystick detection on a Mac?" The post would be on topic.' - Any good potential technical answer should address the state of the art, and the tools available. That's why a lot of technical questions do address lateral projects and ideas. Do you not agree with that? The sum of my objection to the quality of the moderation here is spot on, I think. So vote as you will. \$\endgroup\$
    – Charlie
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 10:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This event makes me wonder if the mod is just fond of clicking buttons, rather than actually "making the Internet a better place". Maybe clicking some virtual cows would be a better idea than closing legit questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – o0'.
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 11:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lohoris that comment isn't constructive or fair. The question deserved to be closed when Josh voted. Then the question was improved, and now it's reopened. The process worked as intended. All Josh did was expedite the closing part. The OP took it really hard, but that's their issue, not a moderation problem. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 14:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops, nevermind, it's at only 4 reopen votes. It will be reopened shortly, I suspect. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 14:25

I'm in agreeance with Seth.

I think sometimes we take things a bit too far here. In this case, I think that is the case. This question has a clear intent. It wants to support hotplugging under OSX and is looking for an option to do that. This is a tightly defined criteria. It is not very loose like What game engine should I use? or What can I use to make graphics?. I think when the request is formulated in a very specific way and not targeted towards a specific user, we should answer these.

Knowing where to find libraries that support the operation this user has requested is useful. Even if it's a list. There is no bias in the criteria, as there is an objective desire.

I think that's important to differentiate.


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