Are questions asking for a particular tool providing certain functionality on topic or not?

I don't use SuperSure.SE often so I'm not entirely sure what is in scope and what isn't. The faq made me believe such questions would be on topic, and I've found useful similar questions here before.

Which makes me wonder, why did this question get closed?


Is it the 'chatty' context which I provided to phrase the question which got it closed, or questions like this generally aren't welcome here?

  • 2
    this meta question outlines how Super User approaches software recommendation questions How do I ask a question that may require recommending software?
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Nov 7, 2012 at 14:32
  • @Sathya Thanks for the link. That pretty much answers my question, but given my question which got closed, it perhaps shouldn't have been? As to motivate why: I'm not asking for a list, just any, I'm not asking for the best, I described the desired behavior in detail, I'm not asking for a 'free alternative'. Nov 7, 2012 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


@Sathya's comment is correct. However here's a little more detail specific you your question:

Your question is still "What application does X" and thus off-topic. However, if you were to re-phrase it with "How do I do X?" then that would be on-topic. At first review you may wonder "What's the difference?" and that's a common thinking for newer users to SU. The focus that we're trying to place is on solving real problems, and not giving out low-quality lists of suggestions that may become outdated quickly and don't solve the actual issue at hand.

Your original question will lead to answers that are like these list of items that may or may not work. Your question rephrased according to the linked Meta Post will lead to how to solve real problems. That's the main difference between the two approaches.

  • "What application does X" isn't mentioned in the post Sathya linked to, neither did I interpret it as such. But thanks for the tip on how to rephrase it. Ideally such specific guidance would be given upon closure. I've tried searching on meta first, but didn't find the linked post, hence I posted here. Nov 7, 2012 at 17:18
  • @stevenJeuris look at the second bullet: ""List out pieces of software that does x-action" or this questions sister "Is there something that does x-action" Nov 7, 2012 at 17:37
  • Well I figured that's just the general no-list policy from SE shining through (and apparently I was right), which isn't a clear concept in its own right. Hence I asked for "any" zip application. But you are right, the 'sister' question is more explicit. Nov 7, 2012 at 21:04

You might want to try SoftwareRecs.stackexchange.com. Tool request is the topic there.

There's a "quick" user guide at https://softwarerecs.meta.stackexchange.com/q/336/356.

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