On the main StackOverflow site there is a specific close reason:

Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it.

What is the GDSE's position on this subject, questions where asker knows what technology he wants to use. Should we keep and encourage that kind of questions here?

For example:

If those are off-topic, should they be closed under this reason?

Questions about "how to get started," "what to learn next," or "which technology to use" ...


I would close such questions as "which technology" questions, generally, if there is no other more concrete problem in the question.

As for the specific questions you linked, I think all of them should be closed except the L-systems question, which is not asking about a tool or specific L-systems library but rather for an explanation of what L-systems are. I left that one alone.

The book recommendation question I closed as "too broad," since it felt like it made more sense than "which technology" (books may or may not fit into your definition of "technology" after all, but the question is certainly a list-generator and thus too broad). Everything else I closed as off-topic due to "which technology."


I suggest to expand the existing close reason:

Questions about "how to get started", "what to learn next", "which technology to use" or "searching for tool/implementation" are discussion-oriented questions which involve answers that are either based on opinion, or which are all equally valid. Those kinds of questions are outside the scope of this site. Visit our help center for more information.

Another solution would be to rework close reasons and borrow some good ideas from StackOverflow.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a discussion, if you downvote, please care to explain why. \$\endgroup\$ – Kromster Oct 22 '14 at 5:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Downvotes on meta generally mean "I disagree with this," just like upvotes generally mean "I agree with this," I wouldn't worry about it too much. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Oct 22 '14 at 16:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ For myself, I don't see that the bolded addition you are proposing is necessary. A tool is a kind of technology, so "which tool" is equivalent to "which technology," (and is in fact partly the reason why we chose that term). Your follow-up ("rework close reasons and borrow from SO") isn't actionable -- rework them how? Borrow what? Remember we have a fixed number of close reasons to customize (and we are at capacity). \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Oct 22 '14 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshPetrie: Ah, I did not knew that. Thanks for the info and editing the question! :) \$\endgroup\$ – Kromster Oct 22 '14 at 16:40

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