There are many questions where the OP is seeking for a software recommendation. I notice that these are often flagged as off-topic (almost always by John Conde ♦). However, I think it'd be better to move these questions to the Software Recommendations.SE site. If there's a dedicated SE site for that, we should use it!

3 Answers 3


We added a default close reason for questions seeking software recommendations that points to the Software Recommendations site versus migrating questions there, since as Stephen points out, there was a complaint from their moderators early-on. The close reason states:

Questions seeking software recommendations are off-topic because they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. However, they are permitted at Software Recommendations. Be sure to read their quality guidelines before posting.

This should be enough information for users seeking software recommendations to know where to go and what to review first.

Initially, the Software Recommendations site was very specific as to what they considered on-topic since it was a new site and they wanted to ensure the quality of questions and answers being posted there. I think they've become slightly more open since however.

If I see a question that seems to fit within their guidelines well, I'll consider migrating it there. Otherwise, the above close reason should be sufficient. Flagging questions seeking software recommendations is helpful in either case.

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    We haven't relaxed our quality expectations (I hope). But we now do accept migrations; initially we didn't want them because we didn't have the means to enforce them (mods, flaggers, voters). Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 6:56
  • @Gilles By open I was referring to migration rather than quality. I personally wouldn't migrate questions that are low in quality anywhere - the cruft stops here ;-) Glad to know that we can migrate decent questions there now.
    – dan Mod
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 1:43

Please note that not every question is suitable for Software Recommendations. SR.SE has question quality guidelines, and we do enforce them. In a nutshell, we require that a question have both a use case or user story (what I want it for), and precise requirements (what it must do).

You're welcome to migrate questions that satisfy these guidelines. It's better not to migrate questions that don't meet the guidelines, because they would be closed on SR, which would reject the migration and bounce the question back here. A rejected migration is a bad experience because if the asker edits the question after it gets closed, the edited version will be on the on the original site. If you aren't sure whether the question is suitable, it's better to close it in situ, and leave a comment suggesting that the asker repost on Software Recommendations after reading the quality guidelines and ensuring that they are met.

Migration is primarily useful for a question that has useful answers, to preserve the answers. Note that SR has quality guidelines for answers too.

Also, note that only software recommendations are on-topic on SR.SE. Hosting recommendations are off-topic.


When the software recommendations site launched we (as moderators) tried to take that approach. However, the moderators at the software recommendations site complained to us about it. Questions were sent back as off-topic and we were asked to "ask first" in chat before sending over questions.

The recommendations site seems to have some very specific requirements for questions that I don't fully understand. Rather than take the time to figure out their on-topic requirements fully, John and I (and I think Dan and Bybe as well) have been closing questions rather than sending them over.

Although I can't find a reference to it right now, I recently saw some discussion that decided that "ask before forwarding questions" shouldn't be used any more. It required too much work for moderators and chat was not real time enough to accomplish it well.

I'd welcome a change in our unofficial policy of closing these questions, but I'd like to get some feedback from the software recommendations moderators before doing so.

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    I was typing the same thing.
    – John Conde Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 17:06
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    When SR started, there was a lot of buzz to migrate many questions there. We asked not to migrate questions until we had formed our quality guidelines and the means to enforce them (mods, enough users to flag/vote to close/…). We now do have the means, so you're welcome to migrate without asking, but please do not migrate low-quality questions, only questions which you think can reasonably be said to meet our guidelines (see my answer). Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 6:55

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