I was wondering if there is an etiquette for posting questions in Fortran-lang for something that has already been posted on Stack Overflow (SO), but didn’t receive any useful answers. This is a relatively common occurrence for Fortran in SO due to the small number of people capable of answering Fortran related questions.
Should users be encouraged to duplicate the post in Fortran-lang, create a Help post with the link to the SO question, avoid posting in both Fortran-lang and SO altogether (i.e. choose one and stick with it) or something else entirely?
Yes, SO is not made for friendly discussions. You ask a precise question and you await for a precise answer. And if there are several answers they can be sorted by score. So it’s more like an encyclopedic FAQ. Very valuable and very different from a Discourse.
That is a good point and I actually agree. I just thought it would be a good idea to check with the Fortran-lang community, since double posting, depending on the tone and amount of thought behind a question, can feel at times like spamming and a “do it for me” task, rather than a genuine question.
My other concern was that double posting might make it harder for future users to find answers because answers would be split between Fortran-lang and SO. However, I think this ultimately is a null argument; we are not going to stop growing Fortran-lang’s knowledge base for the sake of SO.
My feeling is that double posting at the same moment in two communities is not really fair (you are acting like a bot). If you are not satisfied by the answer to your first post and decide to ask elsewhere a few days later, it is fair.
People come from different backgrounds. Maybe they are not satisfied with the replies at one forum and want a different way of thinking. For some it might work at SO, for others, this is more suitable here. In the end, it is about the problem-solving approach at different forums, – even simultaneously, I think.
Both forums appear to have moderators who edit posts. This can be helpful to correct errors and conform to a forum style, but unfortunately this is also open to removal of ideas that the moderators do not allow.
For better or worse, comp.lang.fortran is a more open forum.
I like helping out on SO when I have some free time, because it’s a tremendous source of help for coding in general, while I’ve discovered the Fortran Discourse only recently.
Fortran newcomers are more likely to ask on SO than on Discourse, I think, because they’re looking for solutions to their problems. However, there are too few people on SO helping with solutions (showing examples takes time), while it seems like most of the discussion is always about what can/cannot be done with the Fortran standards, and what whatever paragraph in the standard says. Sometimes I see the same pattern also in the C/C++ sections, so maybe it’s just a trend of that platform.