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Referencing:

and the FAQ:

Pro Webmasters - Stack Exchange is for professional and enthusiast webmasters. If your question generally covers the operation of websites which you control, then you're in the right place to ask your question!

I propose a new definition of what belongs here, and what does not:

The proposal

Categorising a pro webmaster question is very simple. Consider the following typical scenario: a paid hosting environment (either IIS or Apache, Windows or Linux, whatever).

  • If it's something YOU can do without getting your host involved, then YES it belongs
  • If it's something YOU can't do and need to get your host involved, then NO it's not for pro webmasters and should be closed or migrated

Examples:

  • Help me with this mod_rewrite rule - BELONGS
  • How do I install mod_rewrite - DOES NOT BELONG
  • What is the IIS equivalent of mod_rewrite - DOES NOT BELONG
  • How do I convert this mod_rewrite rule to an IIS rewrite - BELONGS
  • How do I get my server accessible from the internet - DOES NOT BELONG
  • I've broken my internet accessibility by changing the .htaccess - BELONGS

Thoughts?

  • Why does "What is the IIS equivalent of mod_rewrite" not belong? Where should it belong? – MrWhite Aug 6 '11 at 11:40
  • @w3d - that question is something that your web host would normally take care of. Questions about the technical side of web hosting should go on serverfault.com – Mark Henderson Aug 6 '11 at 22:58
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I, for one, agree with Farseeker's proposal. I have several reasons for this, which I'll try to enumerate clearly.

  1. Think about the paid hosting environment example Farseeker used. In this case, a webmaster would need to have the chops to configure rewrite rules, setup .htaccess limitations, etc., just due to the fact that in the vast majority of circumstances, the hosting company's sysadmins aren't going to be able to lend assistance. Due to this, it would seem beneficial to have a body of questions and answers on this topic available here, as opposed to over at ServerFault (where IMHO, they're off-topic).
  2. The role of a sysadmin is typically behind the scenes. Aside from cases of poor performance, system downtime, etc., they're usually out of sight, out of mind. I view mod_rewrite rules as much more of a front-end user-experience topic that should be handled by the same people that handle the rest of the user experience. It seems counter-intuitive (and frustrating for both parties) for a webmaster to need to consult with a sysadmin if they need a rewrite rule tweaked, redirect configured or so on. In most cases, these items have zero affect on server performance/reliability, can be tweaked without sysadmin involvement, and as such, should be able to be handled by the webmaster.
  3. Rewrite configuration is outside the realm of what most sysadmins are expected to take care of. Yes, the vast majority of us could easily configure rewrite rules, but it would be very rare to see "5 years of mod_rewrite experience" on a sysadmin job posting.
  • As it's been about a week and nobody else has had anything to say on the issue, I can only assume that nobody is fussed about the change. So I'm going to put this as the accepted answer, and give the SF mod's the go-ahead to migrate mod_rewrite answers. If the community wants to change this later, we can discuss it again then. – Mark Henderson Nov 30 '10 at 4:26
  • I have to disagree on the assumed definition of "paid hosting environment" - I can pay for a colo server, a dedicated server, a VPS, and a shared hosting account... or I can call myself a "webmaster" because I host (er... hosted) some static HTML files at Geocities. I could say that I "control" a website on any one of these platforms. – danlefree Dec 9 '10 at 7:56
  • @danlefree - regardless of your definition, the webmaster or should we say the technical person in charge of the website, will still need to do the things I listed, as in most cases, they're not going to have a sysadmin to fall back on. – EEAA Dec 9 '10 at 13:52
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I really like this distinction; while many webmasters may be responsible for installing mod_rewrite, it still doesn't make it a webmaster responsibility.

In fact, I would propose a similar distinction on the programming side.

Examples:

  • How do I create a CSS sprite - DOES NOT BELONG
  • How do CSS sprites affect page load/SEO - BELONGS

Just some quick ideas - I may revisit and edit this answer as I come up with some better logic.

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