Should questions that are about programming/coding aspects of OR be on topic? For example, questions about solvers, modeling languages, coding one's own heuristic, etc.?

I'll post my own opinion below but I hope others will add their own opinions in comments or separate answers.


I think that programming-related questions should be on topic, provided that they require some amount of OR-related expertise. I'm taking a cue from CrossValidated's attitude toward programming questions, which says:

if it needs statistical expertise to understand or answer, ask it here

and otherwise ask on StackOverflow or somewhere else (emphasis in original). I like this approach and think we should do something similar.

Obviously, it is impossible to draw a clear line between what's in scope here vs. on SO, nor should we try -- some questions will be in scope on both sites, and it's up to the asker to decide which site to use.

Here are some recent questions from SO that I think would be in scope on OR.SE:

Here are some that I think would not be in scope on OR.SE:

Here are some that I think could go either way:

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your point of view which I signalled with my upvote. Is there an option to add a poll or another way such that others can also vote for "programming questions should be off topic"? $\endgroup$ – Michiel uit het Broek May 31 '19 at 10:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, just add another answer; folks can vote up or down for whatever answers they like. $\endgroup$ – LarrySnyder610 May 31 '19 at 12:20

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