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:


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.

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    I would add App Availability. "When will {hot new iOS app} be ported to Android?" should be disallowed. – ale Dec 29 '10 at 21:35

Questions about Android Development

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

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    It should be moved under the right heading though. I like SO's clear list of "For X, ask on Y" – Matthew Read Dec 29 '10 at 20:44
  • Do we regularly refer people to any other sites other than SO? – Matt Dec 29 '10 at 21:52
  • Occasionally Programmers.SE. Several times to WebApps. Very seldom to anywhere else. – ale Dec 29 '10 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 '11 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 '11 at 21:12
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    @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 '11 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 '10 at 21:36
  • Before I do, are there any examples of Shopping Rec questions that are appropriate? – Matt Dec 29 '10 at 21:50
  • "I need an app that does X" is on the border, I think. – ale Dec 29 '10 at 21:57
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    Yeah, that's almost a different issue. Phrasing. Those questions could usually be better phrased as a "How do I..." question. – Matt Dec 29 '10 at 22:09
  • Yes, exactly. – ale Dec 29 '10 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 '11 at 15:49

Duplicate Questions

Searching will save you time and rep!

  • This one goes without saying, though. – ale Dec 29 '10 at 21:34
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    It should go without saying :( – Matthew Read Dec 29 '10 at 21:38
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    @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 '10 at 21:43
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    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 '10 at 21:48
  • @Al Good point. – Matthew Read Dec 29 '10 at 21:54
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    @Matt: People don't read on the Internet. – ale Dec 29 '10 at 22:05
  • see: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/… – Louis Rhys Dec 30 '10 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 '11 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 '11 at 14:06

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