This is a followup to Matt's question Questions that are on the fence between development and power use In that question, there is a general agreement that we "keep a big tent" and allow some types of Android development questions. This meta question seeks to establish a line between Android Development questions that should be accepted here and questions which are definitely off topic.

It has been acknowledged from time to time that certain development questions are best fit in Android.SE than StackOverflow or Programmers.SE; when we closed those sort of questions here and send it to SO, they often get closed again on SO and get sent back to us. Getting ping-ponged like that feels just like those crappy customer service (we can do better than those poor guys, can't we?). Additionally, as Matt pointed in Questions that are on the fence between development and power use, developers are often very well suited to answer certain definitely-on-topic questions, so it is best for A.SE to attract some Android developers. However, we also do not want this to be a full-fledged developer site.

Here's what I think:

Development Question to keep at Android.SE:

  • How do I upload apps to Market?
  • What programming/scripting languages can I use to program for Android?
  • When is Android x.x SDK going to be released? (as GAThrawn pointed out, this question is speculative since Google usually do not announces their SDK release dates)
  • What API Level/SDK version is feature X introduced?
  • How to use developer tool X (e.g. ADB) for non-developer use Y (e.g. side-loading apps)
  • How to use {Android-specific shell command (e.g. pm, am)}?
  • How to change X in custom ROM Y?

Borderline (determine on case-by-case basis):

  • Why does program X, which says it received Intent Y, is not receiving my Intent Y?
  • Why is my GPS application not getting good location in Android X, though it worked perfectly in Android Y?

Development Question to migrate to somewhere else:

  • Help me figure out how to write this algorithm for my Android app (off-topic to Stackoverflow)
  • How do I write {syntax X} in my Java Android program (off-topic to Stackoverflow)
  • Which is the better UI (off-topic to UI.SE)
  • How to use {linux shell command (e.g. toolbox/busybox commands)}? (Unix.SE)

Bad SE question:

  • As Android users, what do you think of application doing X or doing Y? (market research, close and suggest discussion forums or reddits)

What do you think? Anything you disagree with?

  • Pretty sure that any "When is XXX going to be released?" questions would be closed on the basis that they're pure speculation. When was the last time Google released anything like SDK versions to a timetable? Have a longer answer for the rest, will post later.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 0:51
  • @GAThrawn: Good point, now that I think backwards, Google never announces its SDK announcement date.
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 1:25
  • This is a pretty good set of guidelines.
    – ale
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


This is a fine set of guidelines.

I suspect only very lightweight development topics, those that can be answered by an android enthusiast and not necessarily an android programmer should be kept here.

That said, I am sure there is overlap in audiences, but let's keep the site goals in mind.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .