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Related to this other meta question, but being a specific instance we can examine:

Here's my question on the actual site: What steps are necessary to configure WebDAV on IIS7 running on Windows Server 2008?

Refer to the comments there. A couple of other beta testers have indicated that serverfault.com is a better place to ask the question. I don't disagree, simply because of sheer numbers of users at the moment. But I thought the exercise here was to create a site where webmasters could ask questions relevant to their profession?

My question is, admittedly, about a server technology. But it is about a web-server specific technology, WebDAV, often used by webmasters to maintain content on a site. Shouldn't this type of server-technology question be permitted and not referred to serverfault? I think overlap – to some degree – should be perfectly acceptable, especially when the technology is highly relevant to webmasters.

Or, if no overlap is desirable, then why not send the web server technology questions here? (once the site is full-fledged out-of-beta, that is.)

Discuss!

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Understanding server configuration as it relates to user experience and search engine rankings (URL re-writing, compression, response codes, cacheability) is, in my opinion, a critical component of any webmaster's job and needs coverage here. It's not about Apache vs IIS, it's about the relevance of the configuration being performed.

My take on the WebDAV question was that it was less about serving web pages than it was about setting up a protocol which, while it does use HTTP, is not part and parcel of the web. Although many of us have to be jacks and jills of all trades, configuring a WebDAV or FTP or SVN service is not generally part of the webmaster's duties.

This is definitely a tough call though. I think there are ways that similar questions could be asked while remaining on-topic. For instance, answers to the question on deploying complex changes could have spoken to mechanisms such as WebDAV and linked to resources telling how to set it up.

  • "it was less about serving web pages than it was about setting up a protocol which, while it does use HTTP, is not part and parcel of the web" exactly.. – Jeff Atwood Jul 12 '10 at 5:30
  • OK, well said @Jason, and well quoted @Jeff. This, combined with the 4 votes to close on the actual question, is enough peer pressure. Deleted. – Chris W. Rea Jul 13 '10 at 15:40
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Serverfault's prime topic is server configuration questions. While I would be inclined to allow questions regarding specific .htaccess configurations (i.e. rewrite, user auth, etc), I really think questions about how to configure a web server should be kept there.

Its not just the problem of overlapping, if we allow these kinds of questions, there's a very good chance that we'll also end up duplicating questions that were asked on SF. I don't know if that's something that we should be doing.

This is an issue that reaches outside of our new community, and kind of treads on an existing trilogy site. We want their webmaster related questions just as much as they want our server configuration questions.

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It is a webserver configuration question. That makes it awfully close to being on-topic. I think it's a better question for serverfault, but I have a hard time making a case against it for webmasters. There are Apache configuration questions that are getting answered on webmasters with few or no calls to close. If we're including Apache config, it makes sense to include IIS config issues.

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