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Are general questions (hopefully resulting in comprehensive, 'canonical' answers) in scope

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Co I'm a database/desktop dev venturing into programming web apps using Angular and I've been informed 'functional reactive programming' is something I should be aware of.

Some other site has a general question on FRP, but a) it is locked - off-topic but has historical significance, b) it is over 12 years old (which may or may not be a problem, but I don't know) and c) the language of the top answer is described in a 212-vote comment as requiring a doctorate in computational mathematics to understand.

I want to know if a general, 'what's it all about?' question would be on-top in scope. I know that the initial response will be 'look in up on Wikipedia', followed by 'didja try google?', but in the case of the former I'm looking for FRP information from a programmer's POV, not for the general audience that Wikipedia serves and for the latter, well I'm hoping that this site becomes the place that googling sends others to.

I checked the What type of questions can I ask here? page and this type of question doesn't seem to be in either the on or off topic list. I also looked through the other codidact sites and didn't see a match.

Question: Is it in scope to ask for a general explanation in programming related topics (eg: FRP, OOP, regex, ML, blockchain, decentralised vs centralised CVS etc) or is that more suited to a new community request?

As an aside, I envisage similar 'concept explanation' type questions could be asked on other community sites, eg: LFS, systemd, unix philosophy, the whole unix/freebsd/linux situation on Linux Systems, sautéing, sous-vide, curry science, how gluten works, leavening in Cooking, ISO values, under/over exposure, SLR/DSLR & mirrorless technology, camera motion (pan, zoom, tilt, truck, dolly) in Photography & Video etc.

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I think that questions about programming paradigms fall under the umbrella of "questions about software design or software architecture" and are thus on topic.

There have also been several questions about OOP that remain open, including a very conceptual one. Granted, that last question met with a mixed reception, because (according to comments) it had failed to consult readily available information sources. I think it is good practice to briefly show your research, so we know what you already understand and can identify the missing link efficiently.

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Generally these questions are fine, though they should come with specific examples, so that they become clearer and can get narrowed-down. I've done a lot of self-answered Q&A here and the hardest part is often to ask a sensible question.

  • Overly broad questions like "what is OOP?" isn't likely to be well-received.
  • If you can narrow it down to a specific feature then it might be better, such as "what is private encapsulation?"
  • Or even better, when it turns even more specific: "What are setter/getter functions and when do I use them? Is this correct use [code example in language x]?"

The first bullet is IMO a bad question, the second is half-decent and the third is a good question.

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"Correct" invites religious wars (1 comment)
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This sounds like useful content to me. I defer to the community on how best to achieve that; I'm here to offer another option from the platform side, in case it's useful.

Codidact support articles in addition to questions and answers. An article is a top-level post type that doesn't have children. (A question is a top-level post type that does have children.) You can see articles in use in EE papers, the Code Golf sandbox, and the Meta blog.

In all of the linked examples, articles are in their own category, separate from Q&A. It is possible to mix articles and questions, but it means that each time you create a post you need to choose the type. That's fine for Collab, our small community focused on developing the Codidact platform, but is probably not what you want here, when most people aren't deeply familiar with platform features and just want to ask a question. (Maybe we should add a default post type and have some way for people to say "no, I want this other one", but we haven't thought that through yet.)

If this community wants to build a body of posts explaining key concepts, tutorials, deep dives, or whatever, and they don't fit the Q&A format well, we could set up another category for you and configure it for articles. Please ping me if this is something y'all want to explore. I'm happy to answer questions.

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