Should we have a Code Review Section / category?


As discussed on Meta, should Software.codidact allow reviewing working code as a question?

Traffic is probably not high enough to warrant it's own Codereview community. The existing communities out there for reviewing code are not well known. New users may even view this as a new idea & it differentiates software.codidact from other software communities.

Why should this post be closed?


3 answers


I agree and I think it should be a separate category, with separate posting rules. There are several examples of how the rules for each category would likely be fundamentally different:

Main Q&A category

  1. Encourages minimal examples to reproduce the problem, particularly when asking for debug help.
  2. It is fine to post questions seeking help to fix code which isn't working.
  3. Allows theoretical or big picture questions such as algorithm theory or program design.
  4. Can ask what code written by others does/works.

Code review category

  1. Encourages posting the complete code as-is, with no modifications.
  2. All code must be compiled and tested, with no known bugs.
  3. Must contain code.
  4. The poster should be the author of the code and describe what it does as part of the question.


I kind of think a new site for just CR might be better. IMO, 1) you need new close reasons, and most of the existing ones shouldn't be used (e.g., dupe close shouldn't happen), 2) research effort should probably not be a downvote reason (otherwise it might turn into "-1 because you didn't read / don't agree with Joe's blog about code style"), 3) CRs shouldn't generally be required to be useful for future visitors, though they might end up being useful. ‭jrh‭ 19 days ago

@jrh I would agree that a site of its own would be ideal, when we can gather the user base for it. Which we can't currently, we can't even gather enough for general programming Q&A. We shouldn't open up ghost town communities, so the idea is to host code review as a category here for now, then let it spawn off into a community of its own when/if it gets enough users to support it. ‭Lundin‭ 19 days ago

@‭jrh‭ As for close reasons, maybe we should bring that up on general meta as a feature request and discuss a close vote mechanism that gives category-specific reasons? So that when you close vote a post in the Code review category, you get Code review-specific close reasons only. ‭Lundin‭ 19 days ago

Right now close reasons are per-community, not per-community-per-category. We could adopt a convention like "[CR] reason" and "[Q&A] reason" for the ones that are unique to a category, until category-specific reasons are possible. ‭Monica Cellio‭ 18 days ago


I would definitely allow code review questions (requests) as they are an important part of any professional software developer.

A special category might make sense, although a designated special tag (code-review) might be enough if it also results in a special highlight for at least for the tag.


A category can define tags that get special styling, like bug/discussion/feature-request/support here on meta. (It's one special style, not different styles for different groups of tags.) So Q&A could make code-review stand out like that, along with any other future tags that should be treated specially. // A new category can share a tag set with Q&A, meaning that searching by tags would show posts from both categories. But different categories means different question lists. ‭Monica Cellio‭ 19 days ago

@Monica Cellio Can each category get custom close reasons? See the discussion in comments below my posted answer. ‭Lundin‭ 19 days ago

I agree. I think code review questions should not be in their own site, they belong right with all the other software development questions unless it should prove to be completely unworkable. ‭President James K. Polk‭ 18 days ago

Tangent, but I don't have another way to contact you: Alexei, you're pretty active here, so I want to make sure you're aware of Interested? ‭Monica Cellio‭ 15 days ago

For what it's worth, while it looks reasonable at first glance, my experience is that at least Somewhere Else, using tags to segregate types of content (specifically in the case I have in mind, different requirements placed on answers) has worked poorly in practice. A separate category seems likely to work out better, even (or maybe especially) if it is low traffic. ‭Canina‭ 11 days ago


Proposal, based on the feedback here so far: because code-review questions have special rules, create a category. This allows (and we would need proposed text from the community for):

  • Category description: that short text at the top of the posts list; can contain links.

  • Posting guidance: you know that text you see about the first textbox when you click on "ask question"? That text can be fully customized. Summarize the rules for code-review posts (like that the code must already work). If it requires more explanation than fits reasonably in that block, summarize there and add a help topic.

  • (Optional) help topic, per the previous bullet. Or not.

  • (Optional) any changes/additions to close reasons that you need to support this. We can't do per-category close reasons, but we can include the scope in the reasons at least.


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