We have decided that questions about software are on-topic. However, I think there is more work to do about them.

Usually askers do not mention which Operating System they are using, and thus answers can give them programs that they can not use. I have suffered that.

I think we should make a policy of requesting each asker which Operating System is at hand, and requesting each answer to mention on which Operating Systems each program works (or if it is a web application).

Also, for non-free software or software that is not free (which are different things), Licence and Price are important.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree - I'll edit mine now $\endgroup$
    – Liath
    Sep 25, 2014 at 7:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "If specific enough" -- what platforms the software should run on falls into that, IMO. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Sep 25, 2014 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ There is no mention there about the answers expliciting (which is even more important than the questions) for which OS each answer is suited $\endgroup$
    – Envite
    Sep 25, 2014 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ I think the question is clearly different from the suggested duplicate, but the title is not. I recommend a distinguishing and meaningful title. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2014 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ Alternatively this question could be in the form of an answer to the suggested duplicate, listing the required details every software question should have. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2014 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ However, this would not invite further answers with discussion over what the required details should be and what should not be required. My preference is therefore for this being a separate question with a variety of answers that can be voted on. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2014 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Tim for the title edit. I have further edited it since Licensing is required for individual programs (answers) but not for questions. It may be, though, that some Original Poster specifically wants only free-as-in-free-beer programs. $\endgroup$
    – Envite
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ It seems rather long to me now though :p $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


If a user has specific requirements they should mention them in their question. If not specified I think all options should be on the table. Provides better long term value for the question anyways.

  • $\begingroup$ Everybody has specific requirements. Either your computer uses Windows, or it uses MacOSX, or it uses Linux, or it uses some other (One of several BSD unixes, or other Unixes, or it is an Android tablet, or whatever). There is few people who is able to use two at a time. $\endgroup$
    – Envite
    Sep 25, 2014 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Few is a relative term. I would not consider myself overly techie but in my house I have a PC, several android devices and a mac laptop. IF the poster mentions something specific that is fine of course but I don't believe it should be a requirement for a good software question here. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Sep 25, 2014 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ "Cross platform" is also a specific requirement. $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2014 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ @githubphagocyte True, as it is "web based/cloud based". $\endgroup$
    – Envite
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ For something like this that is for personal use I want the best Product, regardless of OS. So I may have requirements for what I want the tool to do (which should be mentioned) but I may not care about the OS. Just reiterating it should not be required for software questions though it may often be useful. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ I think it is perfectly acceptable to say "any OS will do". I would much prefer this explicit statement rather than no statement at all, as that will lead to people wasting time on answers that are not what is being looked for. $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2014 at 9:07

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