Should programming questions that have a specific focus on the Chinese language or characters be on topic here? I'm thinking of the kind of topics covered in references like CJKV Information Processing, or how to write an extension to open-source tools like ZDT.

It seems like questions about data sources like character frequency or stroke order are on topic, but programming questions don't seem to be as welcome. This question about Mediawiki's simplified to traditional converter has a close vote on it.

The site is still very new, so I thought we could discuss what to include in it. This is related to the similar discussion on software support questions.

3 Answers 3


I think we should apply a principle similar to what Shog9 said in this answer.

If the question's focus is on programming or an algorithm, it should be posted on Stack Overflow. We simply can't expect people on a Language & Usage site to have the expertise to answer questions focused on programming.

If on the other hand the focus is on the Chinese language itself, in such a way that an expert in the Chinese language can answer it (without programming knowledge), then it shouldn't be excluded from this site. In these cases the programming nature of the question is secondary, so it would probably be better answered here than on Stack Overflow.

  • Agreed. A more direct way to say this is that we do not allow Stack Exchange sites about "everything." In the same vein, the Chinese SE site should not become a site about "anything" as long as it is asked in Chinese. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:02

Once I asked a question about CJK tools for LaTeX in... Tex.se.

When another site covers that topic, then I think we should "let it go". I don't think we should include everything just because it's somehow close to "Chinese" or has its name on it.

The close vote on that question is mine, and I wrote why. The reason is pretty simple: That question was asking for a particular thing that isn't in the scope of this site, even if our FAQ is still "default". Remember that this site, like the other language-related sites, is about the "language and its finer points", not about how a certain software works with Chinese, like the MediaWiki tool.

Note that I'm not saying it's a bad question (I didn't down voted it for example), not at all, I'd be interested as well in that topic. I just think there are StackExchange sites that are made expressly for that topic, although I am not sure about which one of them is the best choice right now.


I'd say programming questions belong very squarely on Stackoverflow.

I think we just need to apply a bit of common sense when the lines are blurred a bit. For example, questions relating to character frequency or stroke order are not specifocally programming questions, and this community is probably best placed to provide answers.

I'd say the same with software-related questions; I think they are fine for the same reasons, but detailed questions about the configuration of such software would be best answered over on Superuser.

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