The "Ask a Question" page currently has the following notice on the right side near the question box:

How to Ask

Is your question about Android?

We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed.

Provide details. Share your research.

If your question is about this website, ask it on meta instead.

read the faq »

Being that there's a seemingly nontrivial number of development questions asked here which are summarily migrated, I think it would be helpful to have another heading in the dialog. My thought is that it would go below the current one, but above the read the faq >> link, and would say something like the following:

Is your question about developing Android apps?

If so, please ask it on Stackoverflow, and add the android tag.

I don't know if this would help, but it would make the off-topic nature of dev questions a bit more visible. Currently we rely on the fact that people will read the FAQ, which (from what I've seen), new users often don't do. Other than the FAQ, there's no real indication that AE is for users rather than development. "Enthusiasts and power users" is how the site is described in the banner, but I see both of them as being a little fuzzy.

Thoughts? Comments? Witty sayings?

Edit: Any other feedback on this? I still think this is a good idea (shameless bump in a way, but I guess you can't set bounties on child Meta sites). I know this won't solve the problem completely but the extra exposure seems like it couldn't hurt.

  • Well, all the people who voted it up think this is a good idea. It'd be up to the devs to say "yea" or "nay". I think they'd be more interested in features that would be applicable for the entire network of sites.
    – ale
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 18:25
  • 5
    The number of development questions still hasn't slowed down. Devs, please re-visit.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 0:09
  • 1
    How do other non-stackoverflow Stackexchange sites handle this problem? Some should face the same problem.
    – Flow
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 11:09
  • 1
    Bump bump bump bump bump
    – Bryan Denny Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


First, we apologize for the embarrassingly long time that it took for an official reply to this. We do, in fact, make a point of reviewing feature requests on all sites weekly and escalating ones that we think are good ideas and easily implemented to the developers. Please don't think your request fell on deaf ears.

While this looks like it would be something that would be relatively easily done, it's actually not.The site specific text in the sidebar does come from the database, but only the 'Android' part.

To implement this, we'd either have to make just your page different from the rest of the network (not good), or there would have to be an additional site setting and content area which would mean rolling out a change to every site on the network.

I did look at your closed and deleted questions when I discussed this with the rest of the team and you do get your fair share of off topic programming questions. However, we really doubt that the additional text would slow them down. The thing is, frankly, when people ask a question prior to even looking around, they generally don't read beyond what they must in order to ask.

If it were clear that this would put a major dent in the noise, we'd probably consider it more, we understand how annoying noise like that can be. We just don't think this would make enough of a difference to warrant the work it would take.

  • 1
    Though I'm a little disappointed, I can understand this decision given the amount of work it sounds like it would require. Since people just plain don't read things on the Internet, I would agree that the benefit would be pretty small, and sounds like it wouldn't justify the time investment. Thanks for giving us an official response. Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 15:50
  • As a sort of secondary follow-up, is the "Android" text for that page pulled from the DB for use elsewhere in the site, or might it be feasible to change just that snippet of text to "using Android", for example? It's a subtle difference to be sure, but it would still add a bit of clarity (IMHO). Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 15:53
  • @eldarerathis It's used elsewhere. If it wasn't, then it would prevent us from using it elsewhere in the future. I thought of that, I was hoping to find a way to make it work.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 16:00
  • Maybe an addition to the Android Enthusiasts Title Bar, ` Android Enthusiasts, Where Development Questions Are Off-Topic [grrr]`
    – moonbutt74
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 0:59

StackOverflow is for programmers' question only, but developing not only programming.

I think developing should be change to programming.

  • 2
    I would opine that they're close enough to be interchangeable in this scenario. The FAQ currently uses both phrasings: Android - Stack Exchange is not for programming questions. Please ask your developer questions on StackOverflow. I'd think that "developing" is pretty clear, but I'll admit that I'm generally indifferent. Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 13:07

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