There's many stack overflow languages based proposal on area51

Many of them will never reach the beta stage.

But for those a slim chance I'm not sure the "Stack Overflow" Model" is understood or the right choice.

If I look at 3 out of the 5 top example questions in my birth language (French)

  • Should code be commented in English or French?
  • How to internationalise an existing project?
  • I'm looking for a tutorial...

Those 3 questions would not be accepted on SO as not constructive or not a real questions.

In my opinion the languages based sites must be a mix of Stack Overflow, Meta, Super User, Server Fault, Web Apps, ... to be able to reach a sufficient enough audience.


A first level of obligatory tag can be used like with meta, to choose which site the question would have been posted on in English.

Ex: ...

enter image description here

A 2nd level of optional tags to specify the type of request

Ex: ...

And then additional tags like any SE sites.

multilevel tags

The 3 levels of tags can use different colors like area51


I don't think if this model can be implemented easily, but a beta on one of the language based Stack Overflow can prove if this model is viable.

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Should code be commented in English or local language? How to internationalise an existing project? Are perfectly fine for ProgrammersSE and SO correspondingly. – Kromster Feb 28 '13 at 12:59
up vote 20 down vote accepted

It isn't enough to simply fill a room to create a productive Q&A community. We build sites around groups of experts in very specific fields. You can't simply start gathering up smaller groups of people in peripherally-related subjects to beef up the numbers. That might satisfy the mechanics of Area 51, but it doesn't build a successful collaboration.

If someone proposed Stack Overflow in Balti, we'd probably have to extend the subject include Super User and Web Apps and into Video Games, Mathematics, Bicycles, and beyond. Sometimes a group just isn't big enough to create a site. Someday they may be, but we shouldn't gerrymander their scope just to force the issue now.

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My proposal was based on the fact a significant part of the example questions in Stack Overflow (in French) proposal don't comply with the Stack Overflow policy (mainly as non constructive question). Extending the scope of the proposal was in my opinion the best way to comply with what user are expecting through the example questions. – baptme Jul 20 '12 at 21:26

As Robert has already covered, adding more diversity to the site user base is not a workable solution to the problem of having small audiences to start with.

The issue you raise about existing example questions on Area 51 not complying with what SO is seems like a legitimate concern to me. This probably stems from not enough true experts from existing SE sites being involved in the proposal process. Example questions from people that haven't used the system and don't understand what it is and isn't good at tend to be poor, as in the example you've given.

This is mitigated in several ways:

  • Example questions don't actually dictate what will fly when the site opens. The beta process is where somebody will step in and say "this isn't the kind of question we're after" and will close them. People will complain that "this was in Area 51, why did it get closed", at which point some education needs to happen.

  • Speaking of education, now is a great time to open discussion threads on the Area 51 forum linked to various proposal that are translated to your language to help people understand these sort of issues. You can see I raised this concern for the Turkish SO proposal in Will we be as bad as our example questions? and followed up with some suggestions including Turkish for how they will be solved. You could do something similar for French.

  • Comment on, downvote and VTC questions that aren't a good SO match. This will help people reviewing them how they are on the wrong track and start the process of setting the record straight.

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