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Update (2013-09)

Given that this seems to come up every other month or so, here's an update. Current migration stats (2013-09-08), not counting rejected migrations, are as follows:

  1. Web Apps (68) *
  2. Android (53) *
  3. SO (45) *
  4. SF (25) *
  5. Apple (16)
  6. Pro Webmasters (10)
  7. Unix (4)

Entries marked with * are migration paths. Obviously, those have been changed to the better since the original request.

Obviously, the situation with Apple/Android changed a lot, the latter now is one of our most used migration paths. The 5th should be reserved for MSU, so I don't see what we could improve here. And this doesn't even consider the danger in enabling unnecessary and unrequested migrations of questions that are on topic here.

Original request (2011-06)

It might be a good idea to have Apple.SE as selectable question destination when voting to close.

We get enough off-topic questions on and related tags (one topic every two days or so). It might lead to interesting iPhone/iPad/iOS questions finding a new home while possibly reducing moderator workload (manual migrations/flags for this reason).


To be clear: I want the questions that are on-topic on this site to stay; unlike what this user asked for. While there's a risk some users will send legitimate and questions away, and even those that are about interfacing with your computer, it doesn't hurt to try. Too many false positives and we'll call it a failed experiment.


In my totally subjective experience, we get way more iPhone/iOS questions than questions about games that are migrated to Gaming.SE (which is a selectable migration path). Are there any statistics about this?

Update The stats are in (for 10k+ users)! As of right now:

  1. Web Apps (218) *
  2. SO (109) *
  3. SF (82) *
  4. Apple (71)
  5. Android (33)
  6. Webmasters (21)
  7. Gaming (13) *
  8. Meta.SU (12) *
  9. Wordpress (9)
  10. Unix (6)

* these are selectable migration paths

So Apple.SE is the 4th most popular migration destination, with more than twice as many topics than the next one.

This is enough to justify an experiment. Seriously, all arguments against it were already mentioned in my post! If there are too many wrongly migrated on-topic Mac hardware and OS X software, we'll just call it a failure and revert to the current migration selection.

  • @slhck I also fear there's a limit, therefore the request for stats about migrations. – Daniel Beck Jun 23 '11 at 13:33
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    While I'm for this ( recent migration trends indicate that perhaps for 5 questions migrated to Apple.SE, only 1 has been migrated to Gaming. disclaimer: random number popped based on trends and not data), Problem is people will vote to migrate to Apple.SE for any Apple based question. – Sathyajith Bhat Jun 23 '11 at 14:27
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    Just a thought, we also need to see how many of these outbound migrations were rejected (closed on the target site) - and for that we need 10k or ♦ users on the target site to check their migration stats and give us the rejection figure. If it's relatively high then that's another problem - since all Apple migrations currently require a ♦ to action, we can feasibly expect the rejection rate to increase if it is opened as a path). – DMA57361 Jul 12 '11 at 10:06
  • Could you refresh the subject of this relevant question so as to change: Apple.SEAskDifferent. I failed to find it and made a useless duplicate. – dan Aug 17 '13 at 8:51
  • Could you add a date to the collected stats? – dan Aug 17 '13 at 8:54
  • @danielAzuelos Stats were from the 90 days up to July 10, 2011. Please note that, as slhck mentioned in a comment to your question, I've since reconsidered. Also, Android overtook Apple, and we only had 18 migrations to Apple in the last quarter. The situation's apparently changed quite a bit – the top four destinations (+Meta Super User) are now official migration paths, with Gaming having been replaced by Android! – Daniel Beck Aug 17 '13 at 11:45
  • As of now, we can migrate to Android Enthusiasts. – haykam Sep 6 '16 at 23:13
  • @Peanut As you could when I updated this question three years ago. – Daniel Beck Sep 7 '16 at 8:16
  • It's not starred. – haykam Sep 7 '16 at 11:06
  • @Peanut It is in the second update, which I placed on top. See revision 6: meta.superuser.com/posts/2774/revisions – Daniel Beck Sep 7 '16 at 11:25
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"Problem is people will vote to migrate to Apple.SE for any Apple based question." -Sathya

I agree, thus I do not agree with putting Apple.SE as a public migration path, as it will be too "easy" for users to vote to migrate to Apple.SE and then ♦ mods will have to fight to keep Apple questions on our site that actually belong.

  • 3
    Agreed. We've been over this before. We don't want to open up migration paths that would allow for an exodus of on-topic questions that happen to be on-topic for another site. There aren't that many questions that belong on Apple which don't belong on SU, so it's easy enough for moderators to handle those edge cases. – nhinkle Jun 23 '11 at 16:08
  • I concur as well. If one really believes that the question is off topic and belongs on another site for which a migration path does not exist, he or she can always flag for moderator attention as off topic; belongs on <site name>. – bwDraco Jul 8 '11 at 2:13
  • Agreed, newbie vote-to-closers will be all. THERES A SITE FOR APPLE QUESTIONS MOVE EVERYTHING RELATED TO APPLE OVER THERE. – Wuffers Jul 9 '11 at 21:32
  • Then maybe we should include a message, something that would prevent users from voting to migrate. I try to correct people who say "This belongs on Apple!", but that obviously doesn't work really. – slhck Jul 10 '11 at 18:37
  • I also agree with this viewpoint. That magic apple label tends to get abused. – Troggy Jul 13 '11 at 15:46
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    The only way I would even begin to consider supporting an Apple migration path is if a feature were implemented allowing moderators to remove all close votes against a question. We can unilaterally vote to close, but we can't remove the existing votes if we want a question to stay open. Yes, we could close it as "off topic" or something and then reopen it, but that's confusing to users. – nhinkle Jul 13 '11 at 20:15
  • @nhinkle That sounds like a good idea. Couple with a feature that allows diamonds to prohibit automatic actions no matter how many voted, and it would be the counterpart to the immediate actions you can perform. Is there anything like that? Have you tried on Meta.SO? – Daniel Beck Oct 26 '11 at 17:37
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    @DanielBeck I've been informed from higher-ups that a revamp of the migration system is expected sometime in the next several months. (More on a "6-8" months timescale, not a "6-8" weeks timescale.) I don't know anything about the details of that, but it may allow for more flexibility with this type of thing. Until then, I think we'll pretty much have to hang tight and wait to see how that's implemented - I don't think they're going to make modifications like this in the meantime. You could always try on Meta Stack Exchange if you want though. – nhinkle Oct 26 '11 at 17:40
5

I ran the following searches, just using Super User's built-in search function:

migrated:1 gaming                                    1 result 
migrated:1 android                                   9 results
migrated:1 apple OR iphone                           21 results
migrated:1 apple OR iphone OR ios OR ipad OR ipod    36 results

It would appear that more questions are being migrated to Apple.SE than to Gaming or Android. These questions are almost entirely questions about the iPhone: migrated:1 iPhone turns up 18 results. This is because the moderators have taken care to only migrate questions to Apple.SE if they are off-topic for SU or if the asker requests that they be moved.

The data would seem to imply that we ought to open up Apple as a migration path, but I am concerned that valid, on-topic questions might be migrated there by overzealous users. 21 questions is really not that much sweat off the moderators' backs, and I think it would be detrimental to the site overall to have Apple as an open migration path.

The data do seem to indicate that Android.SE might make a better migration path than gaming, since quite a few more questions about Android have been moved than gaming. The reason I recommend Android over Apple is because there are very few on-topic questions about Android, while there are scads of on-topic questions about Apple products. The vast majority of questions tagged android either are closed or probably ought to be.

There is some form of filter which can detect when your question might be subjective and is likely to be closed. Perhaps a similar feature could be introduced to tell you when your question is probably off topic and likely to be closed. iPhone could be added to that filter. That would be something for a different feature request though.

  • migrated:1 apple OR iphone OR ios OR ipad OR ipod — 36 results. Remember, [migrated] and probably the migrated:1 conditions were introduced just over a month ago. That's more than a question a day. – Daniel Beck Jun 23 '11 at 16:26
  • @DanielBeck questions migrated before that was introduced are still returned by that query - migrated was introduced retroactively. If you look at the results from your search, you'll see that they occur hardly even once per day. I will update my question to reflect your query though. I still believe that having Apple.SE as an open migration path would be detrimental to the site overall. – nhinkle Jun 23 '11 at 16:27
  • They are? The only older question I found with these queries was one that was migrated this month, so I'm skeptical unless you have further evidence. – Daniel Beck Jun 23 '11 at 16:30
  • superuser.com/questions/261104/… was migrated in march, and has migrated in the title, and the feature request to show migrated in the title was status-completed in april. – nhinkle Jun 23 '11 at 16:35
  • It appears that I, as regular user, cannot find deleted questions. – Daniel Beck Jun 23 '11 at 17:00
  • @DanielBeck I can't search for deleted questions either; I found that one using google. It's just one example. – nhinkle Jun 23 '11 at 19:19
  • @nhinkle As a ♦, you can search for deleted:1 is:question iphone (there may still be search terms that deleted:1 doesn't work with, but I think that's mostly to do with answers). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 25 '11 at 13:52
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Is it possible to modify the migration window system to either highlight the most common 5 from that particular source site, or highlight 4 such most popular plus one that appears to be applicable based on question keywords and content if it is not one of the most popular 5, and in both cases still allow selection of any of the SE sites through a show more/show all link?

It seems to me that adding this functionality to the SE system would minimize the modification necessary to the SE system before it can be used on a different site while maximizing the possible migration paths, allowing more questions to be migrated rather than closed.

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