One Area51 example prohibits qusetions such as "Should I use urllib, urllib2, or something else to communicate with bitcoind from Python?". Still, I think more specific question such as this one should be on topic. What do you think?


The Area51 example seems like kind of a gray area to me. The questioner wants to interface with bitcoind, but the question itself could apply to any JSON-RPC interface. It's unclear whether those who voted it off-topic meant "all questions involving programming are off-topic" or "this question is off-topic because it's only tangentially related to Bitcoin".

I think actual Bitcoin-specific programming questions (such as the Scala one that you linked) should be allowed. We should still disallow general programming questions that are merely masquerading as Bitcoin questions.

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    I think the main distinction is whether the question is about Bitcoin either as a piece of software and protocol, or if it is an actual implementation detail that would be better off on one of the numerous programming flavoured Stackexchange sites. Protocol questions are central to the understanding and evolution of what bitcoin is as a whole. – cdecker Sep 8 '11 at 15:23
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    I agree, this was a very Bitcoin-specific question. Just like questions about Bitcoin-specific crypto belong here and not on crypto, questions about Bitcoin-specific programming belong here, and not on programmers. – David Schwartz Sep 9 '11 at 0:32

Bitcoin SE is an end-user site (much like Apple and Android SE). It should not become a support forum for developers.

There may be an edge case where a developer can ask about particular use case of Bitcoin to implement a client, but technical support questions will need to go to one of our technical forums (such as Stack Overflow).

It will become harmful to this community if you try to combine end-user questions about Bitcoin with the technical, programmer-y jargon of a technical support site for programmers. If there is a big call for such content, they will have to establish their presence on a site like Stack Overflow or Cryptography.

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