This question as an example

There is no doubt it is a buying recommendation and violate the rules.

However, on an engineering stand point, this type of question does make sense and would be useful to many.

It is true that there are no "absolute right answer", however it is still a very useful information.

The technicality doesn't differ much about a question on circuit design as often there also isn't absolute true answer and many approach can be taken and is open to personal preferences.

Here is an equivalent question on stackoverflow which isn't marked as off-topic.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was also about to post a meta question about this particular question. My question would be "What do do with users who blatantly ignore the topic policy and tries to answer closed questions in the comment field?" \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ :P @pipe,The nature of this site is to help people, and the comment probably did. And sometimes rules being over strict with "old" user waiting to snipe out useful question as soon as it is remotely violating a rule isn't in the best interest of the stackexchange (and can be seen as the reputation of stackexchange as being an unfriendly environnement). \$\endgroup\$
    – Damien
    Dec 12, 2018 at 14:08
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The point you and many are missing is that Stack Exchange became immensely successful because these strict rules. Before Stack Exchange there were myriads of forums, where everyone "just wanted to help". But to find the answer you had to sift through everyone else with an opinion. Answering closed questions outside of the stack exchange model may be helpful for the user, but I care about the usefulness of the whole site. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Dec 12, 2018 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Your example question from SO dates 2009. I wonder what would happen if you were to ask a similar question today. Mmh, no, actually, I know what would happen. \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Dec 12, 2018 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well another one more recent stackoverflow.com/questions/53657195/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Damien
    Dec 12, 2018 at 14:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Damien Unfortunately, the current state of this second example seems to contradict your point. \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Dec 13, 2018 at 12:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Damien stackoverflow.blog/2010/11/23/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/158809/… the shopping question thing comes from the founder of SE and is site wide on all SE sites \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Jan 2, 2019 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


Buying recommendations are "short-term knowledge". This site is about building up a repository of long-term knowledge.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Define "short term". Chips usually have a lifetime of over 10 years so it will be valid for some time. Also any particular design is subject of changes as new parts become available. One could argue that it wouldn't be any different than a question about a particular part like microcontroller. \$\endgroup\$
    – Damien
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Damien: Yes, a single chip may have a long life cycle (although many don't), but a buying recommendation is about the overall market that the chip is sold in. Competing chips enter and leave the market all the time (on the scale of weeks or months), changing the relative merits of any particular chip, and invalidating any particular answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do agree with you, however if we would extend this principle, perhaps 20% of the questions on the site would be "off topic" as the answer would vary over time. 5 of the top 15 most up-voted question would probably have a different valid answer within 5-10 years time. The point being it is still useful information to many. \$\endgroup\$
    – Damien
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ If somebody wants buying recommendations, he can go to our EE.SE chat where that isn't a problem. If we allow buying recommendations in the main board, we will be swamped with them. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 12, 2018 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was too going to ask this same question but when I went to ask it I saw that it already has been asked. When someone googles something search results sometimes shows stack exchange answers. In fact I’m working on projects that many people at my school are working on as well. But they don’t find anything about what they are looking for. Just due to the fact that there are no answers to this problem. My friends come to me to ask me questions and unfortunately I can’t answer them. I’m just saying that google doesn’t find the EE.SE chat that easily when looking for answers on the web. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27, 2019 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes the code of conduct is not followed on the website as far as this goes. No subtle put-downs or unfriendly language. I can say that only once have I been put down subtly by someone on this website. I haven’t even been on this website for that long. This violates the code of conduct that everyone agrees to when they visit the website as a member. As a member I believe in kindness, respect, and honor. Most of the members that have corrected me have done so in a nice manner, for which I respect. Sometimes they even give me measurements, pictures, diagrams or links to help me understand. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27, 2019 at 20:04

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