Here are some general rules that should be followed.
Follow this general outline:
BOLD items are required.
Title of the product with a link to the download/main page.
Quote the site's product summary.
Add any pictures that are relevant to the question.
If it's not installed using a normal installation file, or package manager, then give instructions on ...
There are two ways to generally ask questions of this nature. The Good and the Bad.
How NOT TO ASK questions that may require a software solution:
"What the best <X-Category> software?"
"Can you recommend me a program that does <x-action>?"
"Give me a list of pieces of software that do <x-action>!"
or this question's sister: "Is there ...
You can go to http://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com and ask!
Software Recommendations is a Stack Exchange QA site designed specifically for this type of questions. Questions should include as many requirements as possible, be sure to also describe exactly what you want to achieve, your final goal.
The existing wiki answer has great discussion and comments, but I believe the embedded example conflicts with current site standards. The example would be a response to a request for a software list, which would be off-topic (it is a long general description of features and benefits that is not specific to the question and does not provide an actual ...
Such a site will never fit within the scope of Stack Exchange's style and mission. Shopping questions just don't fit well into the Q&A model, but they can fit in if they can be reworded into a question. Most of the proposed questions on that site would be fine on Super User if rephrased in the form of a problem/solution, e.g. "how do I do _________" ...
As noted in
Such posts have a lot of pitfalls. In general they are bad news.
Is it possible to write a recommendation question that can survive? It's difficult, but to even begin, they need to be very clear, very specific, and narrow enough that they won't get an infinite list of answers ...
Where the questions meet the rather high quality guidelines of Software Recommendations I would suggest flagging for moderator attention and asking for it to moved.
The problem is that many of the questions we get are vague, and not particularly descriptive nor objective.
These questions should be closed, and potentially the user told the correct site and ...
Short answer: see Oliver Salzburg's.
Longer answer: There are 10s of thousands of old questions that are now off-topic. They might be viewed as bad examples, and some of them as "diluting" the quality of the site. However, they aren't really doing any harm if they're just buried.
So it doesn't make sense to search them out and close them all. It would ...
I see no value in "Recommend me a good software for XYZ".
I did see value in recommendations for software to perform specific tasks. We are there to solve problems, right?
The former are the problem. The latter should be rephrased to "How can I do XYZ?" Then it's a real problem, that can be defined purely in terms of the task and your requirements (...
Any recommendation question creates a slippery slope. If we allow one type of question, which borders closely on another type, we open up the list of, why was my question closed but the others left open issues.
We've been very clear defining what is and isn't allowed, and any type of recommendation supposed to be off-topic. Hardware one's date quickly, but ...
The question itself is not a good fit for Super User, thus, it really isn't possible to write a good answer for it.
The user wants to find a specific product, which is a software recommendation. Something that is rarely acceptable on this site. The user might want to take the question to Software Recommendations.
The kind of questions we do like are the ...
I am going to address this in 3 parts.
We are acting like they were off-topic all the time, yet there are so many around and they are not closed by the community.
They have been. The problem is not what is in front of it, the problem is the recommendation part. Jeff covered this a while back on the blog with Q&A is hard, let's go shopping. These ...
I think software-rec is a perfect candidate for Tag Cleanup. Quoting @LanceRoberts:
[…] the site doesn't want or encourage software-rec questions, [and] there are older, historical ones that need to be tagged that way
That's the definition of an obsolete tag: all tags that are cleaned up already exist (i.e. have historical posts) and we don't want ...
There's also a Graphic Design Stack Exchange:
Graphic Design is for questions targeted toward 2D design professionals, students, and enthusiasts.
This includes questions about:
Graphic arts theory and history; "Why" we do what we do and not necessarily the "how" in logo design, fonts & typography, visual communication
Both are computer software — well, Super User is the place to ask, definitely.
Check out our existing questions for:
If you instead want to do image processing using some programming language, Stack Overflow would be better.
Update: This was written under the impression that we actually allowed software-rec questions. Hey, there are over 1000 of them as of now. I am talking about how I think a good software recommendation question can still exist.
In fact you are right that there is a sort of ambiguity.
As an example, consider Best QuickSilver clone on Windows:
No, while the site doesn't want or encourage software-rec questions, there are older, historical ones that need to be tagged that way. It's also useful to categorize the new ones that need to be cleaned up (since it takes less rep to retag than do the cleanup).
Looks okay to me.
It's sort of a spam magnet question and we need to make sure that we get rid of answers that don't explain anything but just say "Use this tool!". This is clearly what we want to avoid with questions that can be solved by simply using some piece of software.
One could also improve the accepted answer by giving a concrete example.
Many people here use downvotes to show something is wrong, this includes alerting the poster that the question is off topic.
Flag it but, IMO, it shouldn't be downvoted. If anything, I'd love to see as soon as a vote is cast, the voting is locked to prevent this, although I am aware that this wouldn't work for many other reasons.
Strictly speaking, yes, it's asking for a software recommendation.
But it can be trivially re-stated as a problem description as described in Kronos' guide about asking for software:
How TO ASK questions that may require a software solution:
So, if you did your research and you can describe the problem to us, then here's how to ask:
Yes please. I frequently see low-quality software recommendations (borderline spam) in the Late Answers queue from low-rep or new users. Such posts don't really serve a purpose, and when I come upon them, I vote to close the question, no matter how old it is.
If we close these questions before the dubious posts come flooding into the answer section, we ...
This is my thought - If it was voted for and replied to with "relevant" answers there's some good to it.
But, given that now there is "Software Recommendations" Site on stack exchange in addition to Super User it should ideally be moved there.
Funny thing is, I had no idea Software Recommendations had come up as I primarily remember good ole holy trinity :)...
While I agree in general with Daniel Beck's answer in that any question that can be reworded as a legitimate question can/should be kept open and even edited to be made on-topic, I don't agree that this specific question is on-topic. Here's why:
This is a question that after initial review, I couldn't think of a way of editing this question to make it less ...