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Assuming I maintain or know a contrib module that solves a specific problem, which has not been expressed as a question on this site yet.

Is it acceptable to post a question + answer that expresses the use case and the solution, pointing to the module?

I imagine there is a fine line between information and spammy advertisement, even if this is for a free / OSS module.

Personally I'd say when doing this one should

  • Only ask questions that could be genuinely asked by a real person, independent of the solution existing (see the comment by mponadio).
  • Mention other solutions than just this one module, if they exist, and attempt give a fair overview and comparison.
  • Mention that there might be a personal bias, e.g. if one is the maintainer of the module.

With these criteria being respected, where is the limit?

Can an otherwise valid question get a "bad smell" based on the author's motivation?

  • Is it a problem that applies to a broad audience and/or solves a big need, or would the question be contrived and/or so narrowly focused that the module in the answer is begging the the question? The Question is the key here. Would people be asking the question regardless of whether the module addressed the need? – mpdonadio Jan 22 '17 at 20:34
  • I am thinking of questions that would be quite generic. But people might not ask because they do not even imagine that such a thing exists. E.g. "Is there a horse carriage without horses, that can drive by itself?" or "Can people talk with each other over long distances?" – donquixote Jan 22 '17 at 21:38
  • So yes the goal is that the questions do stand for themselves. Mostly about use cases I have repeatedly found myself in, where I developed a solution that I want others to know about. I have not fully decided on the question(s) I want to ask, but I would give it some thought before I post. – donquixote Jan 22 '17 at 21:43
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Self-answering questions is fine, and encouraged when they bring value to the site. These questions have to follow the criteria as the rest of the site.

It is difficult to judge what we can't see, but...

If the question, and answers that follow, is applicable to a broad audience, and would be of use to future readers, then go for it. That can be a generic question, or can reflect a specific need you have at the time.

If you have an answer/solution that you want to post, and contrive a question to match it, then we have a problem. This rarely reflects a real-world need, or is so narrow that the question can rarely stand on its own.

If you have a super generic question or need, and then write up a detailed answer about how all of the different ways a particular module can fit a variant of that need, then we have a problem. Without the answer, the question on its own would probably be too broad.

Remember: Question first that can stands on its own, then answer(s).

Users are free to suggest modules to answer questions. However, answers should not just say "use this module, here is the link." Add an excerpt to support how the module addresses the need, and perhaps a brief (or detailed) overview of how to use the module to address the question.

Users are also free to suggest modules that they wrote. We prefer, though, that they leave a brief note about being the maintainer (or active contributor).

  • Thanks! This does make sense, and reflects what I am thinking myself. – donquixote Jan 23 '17 at 10:38
  • drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/226588/… I hope this is ok.. – donquixote Jan 25 '17 at 13:32
  • Taking about a "broad audience, reminds me about my self answered question that you can find here ... which got closed with "too broad" ... Feel free to use my question as an example of what's (apparently) wrong with it, even though IMO it is "a" sample of what's asked in this question here from @donquixote – Pierre.Vriens Jan 28 '17 at 19:27
  • @Pierre.Vriens Broad Audience and Broad Question are two different things. The first is who would be interested in the question (there use to be a global close reason "Too Localized" that mostly for this). The second is about the question itself. – mpdonadio Jan 28 '17 at 20:21
  • @mpdonadio sure, I understand that. But I think you may want to extend your answer to indicate that one must also keep in mind that there is a risk of "closing because too broad". And on top of that: "asking for a module recommendation" is not allowed either, so it's not obvious to phrase the question in such a way that it's not a variation of "which module does so and so?" Because if the answer is like "there is a module for it", then how to avoid the question to be phrased like "Is there a module for it?". I trust you get my point, if not: oh well ... – Pierre.Vriens Jan 28 '17 at 20:29

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