I recently asked on
mechanics.stackexchange.com: What diesel SUVs are available in North America?
I deleted the question because I was downvoted and the comments stated that this was an inappropriate question because it was a question about buying.
I've a couple questions and concerns with the response I received to this question:
It's a question about options (not products, per se)
I've found that Stackoverflow often has lists of options (commercial and otherwise) when individuals ask for solutions to a problem.
For example, a quick search for "solutions" came up with:
- What are some good Python ORM solutions?
- What language can create relatively quick starting cross-platform applications with custom widgets?
I think it's obvious that these questions are analogous to "What are some diesel options?" On what basis then would users of mechanics take the view that the diesel question is not appropriate when it's a clearly an accepted style of question for a programmers web-site. This is particularly troublesome when the mechanics site is small and has limited content (i.e. is less likely to show up in searches and wants to encourage users to participate).
In any event, what's the value of a deletionist atmosphere for questions clearly within the realm of expertise of the site's users?
Perhaps more concerning is whether downvoting and negative comments on questions clearly within the expertise of the readership will stymie growth on the site.
A more inclusionist policy will grow the site by making it more visible with relevant questions that show up on search engines and by not discouraging participation. Questions such as "what diesel SUVs are available in North America" is well within the realm of expertise for mechanics and there's no other appropriate Stackexchange site to ask the question.
The expertise to answer the question is here, the site benefits from having the question and not disheartening its current and prospective future users, and yet the question is apparently deemed to be (at least by some users) inappropriate.
All to say ...
I don't understand this policy, and find it to be counter-productive. I'm confused about why there would be a policy to not talk about buying or options would exist. In any case, this is clearly contrary to the policies of the much more popular sites such as Stackoverflow.
So then, what should be the policy of mechanics? While the site is entitled "motor vehicle maintenance and repair", the choice and availability of engine type is clearly related to the maintenance and repair of a vehicle, at least inasmuch as Stackoverflow programming is related to the choice and availability of databases or languages used to do actual programming. I doubt there's a downside to buying advice or questions about options, though I'm open to being persuaded otherwise.
This discussion is related to the meta-question: does the ban on buying advice apply on mechanics?.
Thanks for reading!