Status of Stack Overflow [was: Closing the door on Stack Overflow]

Continuing the discussion from Stackoverflow Documentations (Beta) Feature:

There have been fewer and fewer of us even visiting Stack Overflow. Only a few hardy souls are kindly continuing to answer questions there: @alert @ida @iebkes @keul @maethu

In light of that, Stack Overflow is no longer mentioned in

This forum is the best place to ask Plone questions, and it is a centralized place for everything else related to Plone discussion.

I look forward to your comments :slight_smile:


"The world use a JavaScript library called jQuery"

"Cool! Let's use our walled garden solution: KSS!"


Seriously... SO works really well for QA. Let' forget all of the fancy point/badges system: it works.

  • you find just answers... no discussions, no flames, no too technical internal discussions.
  • you can answer your own question (something I really like)
  • you can see (and upvote) lot of useful comments, that sometimes guides you to side answers of tricks.

I'm participating to another (very small) JavaScript community that use Discourse as we do for general/meta discussion, but "technical questions" are answered on SO. Why we are different?

So in my opinion this is another wrong choice this community is doing.

On the other hand if you nobody looks at it (I really don't understand why... subscribing to a tag for receiving email like we are doing there it's easy and with low frequency), it can give the wrong feeling that there's not support.

From my personal point of view: I don't care. To be honest I'm still replying to some discussions on SO just because I always forget to disable notifications (let's do it now) and because for me Plone is more or less as the first love but I'm not an active Plone developer anymore.

But you are right, apart few of us (BTW: we all deserve @maethu a beer for the high level of answers he drop there, a couple of time he saved my ass too) nobody maintain that channel.

My only concern: are you able to stop other people to drop questions there? There's a way to permanently disable a tag? I hope so.

Final disclaimer: I like this forum, don't misinterpret me; I think we gained a lot by dropping all of the different mailing lists we had in the past and grouping discussion here.


My 2 cents: I warned already some years ago that moving technical questions to SO would lead to a further fragmentation of the more and more shrinking Plone community. Keep resources together instead of moving always into new channels that are not helpful for keeping the size of the community at a reasonable level. And again: Plone is not growing, it's an endangered species.


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Thanks @keul and @zopyx for your responses.

That was my observation and concern, that with so few people going in there to respond it was already looking there like Plone isn't supported.

I agree that it's not hard to set up email notifications when there's activity there, but, using me as an example, it never occurred to me to do that, and there was no concerted effort or reminders that we should all do that.

However, given how busy everybody is, and how much work and time it took to get everyone to accept this Discourse forum as the place for our community discussion, I think it is also a good option for us to continue that consolidation.

But is it possible to get Stack Overflow notifications/activity to be reflected in here somehow? (I'm reminded of how we seem to have "solved" the IRC / Slack / Gitter debate, by having a bridge between them).

It took a bit of hunting to subscribe to Stack Overflow email notifications!

First, log in, then search for the "plone" tag, then:

In my case I've just subscribed so it's labeled "unsubscribe" but that's the thing you should click on:

I do not like it much. Essentially because I still much prefer the single email/nntp entry point over the distributed entry points of web forums AND because the email integration here is still unreliable. As an example, I got a notification from this response but not for the initial post.

Replying to posts via email is still disabled - apparently, because it, too, does not work reliably.

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It has been problematic for us, and our admins are strapped for time (@martior did try valiantly to figure out the issues). Unless someone else is willing to try again (and put in the time to figure out the problem and monitor it) we might just have to chalk it up to the cost of wanting to run it ourselves as opposed to using the hosted Discourse service ($$$).

Thanks for the ping, but I prefer SO because in contrary to this forum:

  • Trolls are banned.
  • A broader base of moderators makes me feel comfortable to flag micro-aggressions and makes it more likely slurs are not overseen, besides I've never seen any there, anyways.
  • I can inject a user-script in my browser to filter out users I don't want to read about.
  • If a thread interests me a lot, it's possible to save the whole HTML-doc (Strg+S) and be able to read it offline, when I want.
  • One can save a doc to the Internet-Archive, if it should become necessary.

I don't follow the conversations here and turned notifications off, because it hurts to see how some people were treated here (no: not talking about myself or the digital threats I've gotten).

I only land here, when a search-result about a programming-related question leads to this forum or – as now – I get pinged.

Well, I don't think it is a good idea to not support StackOverflow.

It does not hurt us, it does not cost us money or time for infrastructure.

SO is an important place for support of programmers. Maybe the most importantn.

Not supporting SO is a big mistake.

I agree with you @jensens that we should be in Stack Overflow answering questions but that is in an ideal world. Take a look yourself to see how many questions and answers have been there since the start of the year, and look at how many people have answered questions or commented on them. What I'm saying about closing the door on Stack Overflow is the reality... it's done because we simply have not been in there. At least, that is my take on it.

Going forward, the only way for us to be active in SO is for everyone reading this to enable email notification there AND to go in there and answer & comment actively.

I will keep an eye on questions there and add a comment to suggest the poster come here to ask their question if it looks like there is no answer or comments on their SO question, but it would be good for there to be more people doing that or answering the questions.

Failing that, we should maybe reflect all SO question notifications out to this forum or to something that more of us see... but again we have to act on those notifications.

+1 for staying active on SO, but what @tkimnguyen was suggesting is not, that we should not answering questions there. It's about should we recommend this place to get answers.

And I kind of think the same, if we don't have enough active people there, we should promote this forum more. But we should not hide SO, so maybe let's have it on the list but recommend this forum to ask questions, because it's likely more active.

It doesn't look like a lot of people are yet actively going to Stack Overflow to answer questions :wink: so I'll try to post links to those questions here and see if that helps. Yet another not-really-sustainable effort by yours truly...

Unless someone else wants to make that part of their regular Plone community service?

In all recent SO questions I've added the comment "You generally will have better luck asking questions in"

I can restore the SO page in but it will say "You're much likelier to get [good] answers by posting in the forum".

SO gets now fewer than 1 Plone question per day so in fact I think we should leave as is, as long as we add a comment to SO Plone questions about asking in the forum. (It's only as an experiment that I will post links here to SO questions... we will see if everyone who thinks we should continue to be in SO also goes in there to answer the questions :wink: )

+1 for keeping stackoverflow. IMO this forum isn't very well suited for technical questions. I have just subscribed to the Plone SO tag, so let's see.

@thet thanks for subscribing to the Plone SO tag

I think this forum is fine "enough" for asking technical questions AND has the benefit of showing everyone who's interested where there are pain points, and we can act on those. If we leave technical questions isolated on SO where not everyone (e.g. documentation people, trainers, community organizers) sees them, we lose out on possibilities for improvement.

I don't mind if SO questions are automatically reposted here via some RSS ITTT or something method.

I still get email notifications from Stack Overflow and I think it is important to be active there. I do not reply on every question, but at least on the ones that I think I can answer easily. Just my 2c.

If you or someone knows how that can be done please do so or let us know!

if there is/will be an official decision whether to close the plone tag on stackoverflow or not you might consider to remove the hint "questions should be asked on stackoverflow" for the topic addon-development

I'll update the topic, thanks!

I don't think we can "close" a tag on SO, even if we wanted to, and perhaps for now it's ok that we are steering people here (that's where they mostly are coming too) and when SO questions with the "plone" tag show up I or others can post links to them here.