What programming language question can be on-topic?

+2 votes
77 views
asked Aug 4, 2015 in Meta by m0nhawk (270 points)

There are multiple programming languages used for science. Does some particular programming language questions can be on-topic?

For now I think that questions, on how to make something reproducible research or examples definitely should be allowed to asked on OpenScience.SE.



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2 Answers

+5 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by Simon W (155 points)

I don't think the language that a programming question is related to has anything to do with whether it is on topic on this site. The rest of this answer concerns whether programming is on topic.

IMHO questions concerning actual programming should be off-topic here, whatever the language; there are plenty of specific SE sites that cover that as well as the more general StackOverflow.

However, I can see there being relevant questions here relating to programming (and associated topics such as source control, collaboration, etc), concerning best practices for open science. There's going to be a fine line of relevance on what is specific to science and what is good practice anywhere (something commonly called "boat programming" questions), which will need judgement and not reflexive close-votes once things are underway.



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+3 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by kenorb (425 points)

I believe any programming language can be used for science (therefore on-topic), so there is no need for restriction.

However the questions which are strictly programming-oriented should be asked at stackoverflow SE.



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commented Aug 17, 2015 by Zizouz212 (320 points)
@m0nhawk Actually, such questions are on-topic at Open Source SE

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by kenorb (425 points)
I think the best would be to operate on the existing questions/examples and decide individually as it's difficult to make some general rules at the beginning if there are not enough questions present and the scope of the site is not fully defined. Anybody can ask any open science related question and community can vote whether it's on-topic and it sounds right or not.

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commented Aug 17, 2015 by m0nhawk (270 points)
My main concern is about some questions like: "how to make this function available for everyone" or "how to share this piece of code" regarding some particular programming language (most scientist more a scientist, than programmer and don't know a good practices). And such question will be offtopic (or at least highly downvoted) on Stackoverflow.

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