Do you use it? Do you like it? If you don’t like it, do you think it can be improved sufficiently or should it ideally be replaced with something else?

What do you think of the broader StackExchange community as a whole?


Mixed feelings for me.

I obvi don’t like that its not open source or self-hostable, and that it isn’t easy to start a new stackexchange type site. I also really dislike the gamification / reputation system, because it leads to a few power users being really overly domineering about questions and answers.

IMO here or reddit make for a better answer system, especially one where discussion / answers isn’t just a single flat node, but in a whole tree. Also why should there ever be a checkmark for “answered”, just use your answer ranking system. So many questions, especially in constantly evolving languages like javascript, have a 2014 answer, a 2018 answer, a 2019 answer…

The one thing I really like about stackoverflow tho, that makes it really great, is the de-duping of questions: I don’t have to search through 10 threads of people asking the same question, because they’ve been closed in favor of other questions. The power users don’t always get that right (they sometimes close questions that are not the same as the others), but it is nice in that the same questions don’t get asked 10 times each week like they do on reddit 101 communities.


I really think that a comment tree is a must for support communities. It’s really hard to parse a long list of comments with everyone talking over each other.


Yeah its really strange when platforms decide, “okay we’re gonna have comment depth limited to 1 maximum!”


I think it might be an optimization decision. I imagine recursively loading comment trees takes a toll if your website gets really big.

Another problem I see is the same that happens to Wikipedia: having a unique source of truth is convinient


Reading this question I noticed that I have barely never used stackoverflow since starting Rust. The error messages are just very useful (and I read the docs of course). As an Android developer, I constantly had to search how to do this thing or that thing, and copy weird solutions.

i use rust btw


Do you not search up Rust errors? I’m just starting out with Rust and I have to search them up all the time, and usually Stackoverflow is the first result.


Theres definitely a steep learning curve, it took me almost a year to really understand it. But at the end its very much worth it.


It can be helpful, but I’m expecting it to be bought by Microsoft, Google, Facebook or Amazon any day now, so I would very much like to see the alternatives grow.

There do seem to be a whole host of webpages which just mirror the content, so maybe that is good enough, but I’d rather not rely on those continuing to exist…

Say what you want about overzealous moderators, it is an incredibly useful resource. It’s easy to take it for granted but I remember the days before SO and it was much harder to find good answers to programming questions.

In theory it could be replaced with something else but good moderation and a very product-oriented leadership (mostly programmers, not MBA types) is what made SO what it is. These intangible “soft” qualities are the hard part - it would be easy to duplicate its technology.


the only good thing comes with SO is absolutely their community. nothing else is really special.

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