The question, Audio programming resources, was recently closed. Should it instead be reopened as a community wiki? And "reopening as community wiki" even a thing?

I originally answered it since I love audio and audio doesn't get much love. But then I checked back and saw that Byte56 had rightly voted to close since it's unanswerable, and so I made my answer community wiki and voted to close.

The thing is, I've favorited that question because there's a lot of useful information in the answers, such as book recommendations, Zolomon's GPG table of contents, the FFT articles, and FMOD tutorials.

A closed question discourages users, including those who may have valuable knowledge to share, from contributing. We normally want that. But in some of these cases, it's useful to have some semblance of a wiki that accrues more information about the topic over time. Yes, SE is not a wiki site, and there's GPWiki and others for that, but I'm frustrated by the by how milk-toast the information on those sites are.

What makes SE great is the fact that (even if an answer is marked commuinty wiki) a single individual "owns" an answer. What they write in that answer is based on their experience and what has worked for them given their circumstances (hopefully aligning with the OP's circumstances, but still useful for future readers nonetheless). Valuable perspectives are things that are often out of reach for most wiki-like sites. There can often a little bit of opinion mixed up in a GDSE answer, and that's a good thing.

I realize this can set a dangerous trend for allowing "getting started" questions to flood the site (not to suggest they aren't here already though :P). But isn't the whole point of SE to have one-stop answers for everything? If someone googles "game audio programming," GDSE should be near the top of the results with some sort of "getting started with audio" post. Google is how I found this site in the first place!

Besides, there's already a bunch of questions about graphics, voxels, and components that are essentially this exact same format of question, but are allowed to remain open or have been wikified. I can count the number of audio programming fundamentals questions on one-and-a-half fingers.

The question is definitely "not constructive" by the usual definition, but it's also not useless. If community wiki is out of the question, can we at least say, "Let's not reopen this, but let's also not delete it."

Here's a bunch of questions that are essentially wiki questions that are not closed:

Here's a bunch that have been wikified:

And these two, incredibly useful, are closed:


1 Answer 1



In general, if a question feels like it should be a community wiki, in the old definition of the word, then it's a bad question. That's not to say that it isn't useful, but it doesn't fit the form or purpose of SE sites. Namely, to provide expert answers to specific questions.

The content that community wiki type questions generate are better relegated to other sources that are not SE sites. What's the overlap between the results in the closed audio question compared to the first page or two of a relevant Google search?

If you want precedence on other sites, see this question on SO: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/194812/list-of-freely-available-programming-books Specifically, the lock notice:

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed.

The underlying question implied by your list of questions on the main site that are in varying status of being closed or not is simply due to the fact that the moderators and users have shifted stances over the 2+ years this site has been active, and we just haven't gone through and closed questions that haven't cropped back up to the top of the active list for whatever reason.

In other words, to answer your title question: no.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually read that SO blog post before writing this question. If you look in the comments, Grace Note writes, "Nevertheless, it’s understood that sometimes, community wiki is something to be used. It’s a specialty tool, not something to be universally avoided or loathed." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ My real implied question, is why can't we maintain some canonical posts about some subjects that better fit CW. Say someone posts yet another get-started-with-iOS question, we can say "read this other question to get started on that. If the new question reveals that the older question needs clarification in the answers, or is out of date, we should go edit that older question." This also leaves room for new users with valuable knowledge to discover these older CW questions and edit the question's answers with the goal of increasing their quality. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Grace Note goes into more detail here: meta.stackexchange.com/a/103419/149294 Specifically, "Your example questions, are polls, not questions, and even for a subjective site, that's not all that useful. A more pertinent blog post for this is Real Questions Have Answers, which can be applied even to a subjective site." The way that I've been taking that is that any "resources to do X" or "what's the best Y" are off topic questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetrad
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ That being said, the canonical example of a "good" CW question is this one on SU: superuser.com/questions/100360/… But even so, I think that CW is kind of pointless now that anybody can propose an edit. Good questions and good answers deserve reputation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetrad
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, relevant discussion on a different SE site: meta.apple.stackexchange.com/questions/697/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetrad
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the links, after some reading and following more links, I'm convinced and grok why CW is mostly useless. (This one drove it home with the "can it be transformed?" test: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/1617/…) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 0:46

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