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Preamble

I have read the META and the WIKI product of it and then followed by the self answered META so just wanted to make clear I am not asking this question lightly or without extensive reading and research of existing discussion. I just feel that some valuable (however subtle) perspective is missing in the decision to generalize discussion on this subject due possibly to the lack of actual development experience or participation in the evolution of the HIY. Either of these would make it clear that while many might be lazy players who are shopping for "cool" things to check out and play with, there are those who legitimately want to learn about their device, explore its capabilities and expand on them if possible. We should be focused on the latter and not deprive more in depth discussion for fear of the "shoppers" as they have been called. The benefit far outweighs any sinister abuse which can be easily moderated out.

Argument

I believe that there is a very legitimate case to be made for allowing more than cursory discussion on custom ROMs this community is dedicated to Android and part of that is the open source and customization nature of it. This means that people try to expand functionality, remove limitations and all in all try to develop a better experience. While as professionals we might argue that general sources are sufficient to decide for one's self what to do and how to go about exploring the options, what happens to the more novice members who look to a community such as this for insight, expertise, shared experience knowledge and assistance.

Why not allow a user to say, I am using Device X from Provider Y and I would like to find a ROM that allows me to remove the bloatware that was installed on there and expand functionality, GUI, tweaks, and so on; what would work best with my setup? People who can apply their general knowledge to help narrow the sea of ROMs and suggest a few can help. Those who own the same device and have experimented with various ROMs can share their experiences first hand and make suggestions and give notes and warnings. Those who own the device but were too green or unaware of a way to expand functionality can benefit by learning from the discussion. It can serve as a truly great way to engage the masses and while some devices might be extremely localized and limited in scope, others will be useful to a much greater range of people. Either way, it will make this community a beacon of knowledge that has been amassed and shared. Who does it hurt to discuss specifics? For every 1 person who is active in the discussion there are 100's if not more who are benefiting from reading and referencing the discussion. Long after it has been resolved for the OP, the discussion will remain for any future seeker who find it and resolves their problem, living up to the goal of such a community.

Isn't that what we want? I don't understand sometimes the elitist approach taken to what question is allowed and what is not. If it relates to Android, however broad or narrow, its relevant and should be allowed, as long as it is not abusive, offensive, illegal, or promotion. Thoughts?

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    The best way to attract downvotes is to put "please don't downvote" in the post. – ale Dec 8 '13 at 5:30
  • What makes me wonder more is that there are so less upvotes. Although the question text is quite long, it's a perfectly fine question. Please down downvote meta questions if you don't agree. – Flow Dec 10 '13 at 10:11
  • If people are so ignorant and petty as to use the solicitation they participate rather than downvote and run as a reason to downvote, then so be it, trolls shall be trolls. – GµårÐïåñ Dec 11 '13 at 23:53
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Custom ROMs aren't a special topic: they're relevant to Android, so a question on custom ROMs is allowable and encouraged, as long as it fits the other criteria. One of those is that it should be a specific question answerable with facts. Questions that solicit discussion or opinions are discouraged simply because they don't fit well with the question-and-answer format of a Stack Exchange site.

The example you gave, "What would work best with my setup?" is a perfect example of a question that asks for opinions. What's the best option is usually different for each person. The question would end up with dozens of answers, "I tried this ROM and I liked such-and-such but this-and-that didn't work for me." That wouldn't be a beacon of knowledge, it'd be an unreadable mess.

The key word in your post is "discussion". You say several times that you want to encourage discussion. If you stick around for a while, you'll quickly see that SE sites just don't work well for discussion. It's not a question of "elitism", it's just a question of what the SE format can handle and what it can't. If you really want to understand why, you'll find a fuller reasoning of why this is so, based on other sites' experience (but applicable to any SE site) on metaso.

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    This is excellently written and entirely correct. One thing I will note is that it's important to remember that we are not trying to be the only resource for Android knowledge on the Internet. There are lots of websites that allow you to discuss Android, and they are frankly better equipped for that discussion than we are. Stack Exchange sites are intended to serve one specific piece of that knowledge puzzle: providing expert answers to discrete, answerable questions. We serve that need because nobody else does, but it doesn't mean we can (or should) try to serve all needs. – eldarerathis Dec 7 '13 at 15:32
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    What you call a mess is called a community knowledge sharing and helpful to the person who asks it and the countless people in the same boat needing the same information, you guys are being extremely narrow minded and elitist in your idea of question/answer. A question is a question and the answers to it are answers, there shouldn't be a precondition on how complicated or "messy" it might get, otherwise, if everything allowed is only what can be answered with one answer, then we are not running a community, we are running a one on one consulting. – GµårÐïåñ Dec 8 '13 at 4:42
  • i agree with eldarerathis at 100%. Stackexchange is a specific knolowedge with a fast ask/answer format, without the personal things as possible (discussion). Anyway, i wont blame you. There's no dumb questions except the dumb ones. – erm3nda Jan 18 '14 at 20:41

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