1

https://drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/16912 was asked this time last year, one of the community members raised the concern that these sorts of questions might not be a good fit.

I haven't found much at a network level except for What's the opinion on “list” questions?. The comments/answers there seem to suggest it's alright which makes me think we need to decide on a policy for this as a community.

An advantage is that these questions can actually be very useful, not just to beginners but to seasoned Drupallers as well.

The disadvantages are that whether this individual question is good or not, allowing this type of question could easily breed a lot of low quality questions.

What do you think?

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List questions have no single answer that can be marked as best => not a good for for DA.

List questions are also ephemeral; the information can change over time => not a good fit for DA.

Lists of sites, by definition, are link-only answers (well multiple links) => discouraged on DA

Websites get redesigned, so list of sites may not answer the question anymore => discouraged on DA

  • 1
    I agree completely with all of those, but just to play devil's advocate (and to preempt what others might say) - 1. It's the OP's choice to mark an answer as 'best' (well not 'best', 'most helpful' is what we're going for), it's not really our decision to make. 2. There can surely be no argument against this one. 3. The usual response to that is 'include context from the linked article'. If such context were added, would that objection be overridden? 4. Comes under the same umbrella as 3 I think – Clive Dec 6 '12 at 12:30
  • I completely agree with Clive's point #1. just came through few questions where many great answers there but a simple reply was marked as the answer. Votes were different though. – AyeshK Dec 19 '12 at 11:37
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On Do "list of something and why" questions belong to SO? two of the answers (given from Community managers) essentially say that questions requesting a list just for the sake of building a list are not much useful.

First off, those questions are not constructive: They don't require specific expertise, and they get answers where users express their opinion. As such, they quickly become polls, where everybody votes for the list s/he likes better. They are never ended, as there is always an item that can be added to the list (and other items that should be removed). This is what @Grace Note was implying with, "Many of these repositories lack high quality, requiring maintenance that never gets done."
Secondly, when the question is asking for something subjective, and every answer is equally valid, that question is expressly discouraged from the FAQ.

It is true that accepting an answer is something subjective (the OP decides basing purely on personal criteria), but the answers need to be objectively valued from who votes. Experts should be able to vote basing on their expertise, and understanding if a site is an example of mobile site doesn't require any specific Drupal expertise.
Even adding context to the list of mobile sites, the list would still be subjective: Every user has her/his own list, and a user's list is different from the one made from another user.

I think it would be preferable to have a more straight question. I suppose the reason for asking examples of mobile sites is understanding how such sites could be built; if that is the case, asking which modules can be used to build a mobile site would be a better question, provided that the question is enough detailed about the requirements.
It is similar to questions about tutorials: Instead of asking for tutorials, the question should ask how to achieve something. Often, the questions asking for a tutorial make the assumption they exactly need that feature, when it would be better to use another feature, or another approach.

I would add a note for those questions that seem to ask for a list, but that give enough restrictions to what it is acceptable, making the list contain few items (from 2 to 5). This is what happens, for example, when a question asks to list all the modules with specific features, and those features are enough restrictive.
In this case, it is probably better to remove any reference to a list of modules, and let the users answer suggesting any module they know. At the end, the OP just needs to know which module should be using, and which of the existing ones better suit her/his requirements. (Nobody is going to install two modules with the same purpose.)

  • OK so in this specific case, the question is actually off-topic for other reasons. But on a general note, list questions appear to be OK in some cases. To quote Anna Lear: This depends, in part, on the question. She uses terms like 'best' and 'usually', which clearly means there are exceptions to the rule, and that there's no official policy set in stone. The purpose of this meta post was just to gather people's opinions and then we can make an informed decision as a community :) In principle I agree with what you say, I'm just trying to present the opposing view – Clive Dec 6 '12 at 13:13
  • Good job finding a recent MSO post. I searched for a while w/o luck. – mpdonadio Dec 6 '12 at 13:45
  • @Clive This is like with subjective questions: Good subjective questions are fine, but not all the subjective questions are good; most of them are not good, and need to be closed. – kiamlaluno Dec 8 '12 at 13:07

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