I'd like to reword the Android.SE FAQ a bit to clarify what kind questions should be asked and what kind of questions should NOT be asked. I'd like to follow Superuser's FAQs format. This thread is for discussion on how we should articulate what questions are inappropriate.

I think one suggestion per answer is a good way to proceed:


5 Answers 5


Phone availability or such speculation on when a phone might be released (it's usually rumors anyways). Example. However, I'm fine with Android availability such as this question on Froyo.

  • 3
    I would add App Availability. "When will {hot new iOS app} be ported to Android?" should be disallowed.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:35

Questions about Android Development

This one's already there, and it should stay.

  • 1
    It should be moved under the right heading though. I like SO's clear list of "For X, ask on Y" Dec 29, 2010 at 20:44
  • Do we regularly refer people to any other sites other than SO?
    – Matt
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:52
  • Occasionally Programmers.SE. Several times to WebApps. Very seldom to anywhere else.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:56
  • What about non-programming, "marketing" type questions, like where one should upload one's app? I'd say those are just as off-topic.
    – ale
    Jan 4, 2011 at 13:55
  • I'd like to seea certain subset of Android-specific development questions here. Obviously just because you write program in Android should not automatically render the question on-topic, but I think questions about Android-specific architecture (Intents, Dalvik, etc) or Android-specific development processes (e.g. how to do X on Market, etc) should be acceptable here; those questions are likely to be only very tangentially related on SO or P.SE.
    – Lie Ryan
    Jan 21, 2011 at 21:12
  • 1
    @Lie Ryan: I'm not sure where I stand on this but it is an important point. There are questions that we tell people to ask over at SO and then the SO people tell them to come over here. I think this merits it's own discussion into the scope of android.se.
    – Matt
    Jan 21, 2011 at 21:41

Shopping Recommendations or Advice

  • Can you expand on that? That's awfully broad and I think a lot of people are going to have different definitions.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:36
  • Before I do, are there any examples of Shopping Rec questions that are appropriate?
    – Matt
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:50
  • "I need an app that does X" is on the border, I think.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:57
  • 1
    Yeah, that's almost a different issue. Phrasing. Those questions could usually be better phrased as a "How do I..." question.
    – Matt
    Dec 29, 2010 at 22:09
  • Yes, exactly.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 22:21
  • Can you expand on this? For instance, repair parts for <my phone> was closed but I could perfectly phrase it in the "how to solve my problem?" style: "How can I fix the button which is broken?"
    – rds
    Nov 25, 2011 at 15:49

Duplicate Questions

Searching will save you time and rep!

  • This one goes without saying, though.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:34
  • 2
    It should go without saying :( Dec 29, 2010 at 21:38
  • 2
    @Matthew Read: True, but that particular bugaboo is not unique to Android. The whole StackExchange family suffers from that. I wish more non-mod users would flag duplicates so we can deal with them.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:43
  • 4
    It's amazing. You don't even have to search, similar posts just popup when you start typing your title and people still post redundant questions.
    – Matt
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:48
  • @Al Good point. Dec 29, 2010 at 21:54
  • 5
    @Matt: People don't read on the Internet.
    – ale
    Dec 29, 2010 at 22:05
  • see: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/…
    – Louis Rhys
    Dec 30, 2010 at 2:41

Some good answers here already. I'll contribute by offering generic question titles that don't belong:

  • When will {device} be available in {geographic area}?
  • Where can I find a website that tells me {some information about Android devices/apps}?
  • Is there an app that does {some desired function}?
  • Is {OS version} available for {my device}?
  • Which is better: {device X} or {device Y}?
  • Why does {company} do {whatever the company has done to annoy the asker}?

That's what I have for a start.

Related to my answer on the other question, maybe it's simply "if you can't phrase it as a 'How' question, it probably doesn't belong". "When" and "Why", I'd say, are especially problematic.

  • In regards to "Is there an app that does {some desired function}?" I would say this isn't necessarily a "no-no". I think that asking for an app that performs a specific function or set of functions that can't easily be answered by searching the Market is appropriate. If it's a lazy question that should have been resolved by searching the market, the community should vote it down. This may need further discussion.
    – Matt
    Jan 16, 2011 at 18:50
  • That's reasonable. I am afraid, though, that "enough detail" is subjective and going to be hard to manage.
    – ale
    Jan 18, 2011 at 14:06

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