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From time to time, we get people asking for a website (or other source) for building plans or blueprints. Are these questions welcome on the site, even though the answers will almost certainly push the user away from this site?

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I don't see anything wrong with questions that ask for help finding good resources on the Internet. It's akin to asking "What is the best library for X?" on Stack Overflow.

Such questions would probably be as specific as possible, and ask for plans for something in particular. The general question "What is the best website for plans?" is too general, and should be closed as "not a real question." It's also important to phrase the question so that it can be answered as objectively as possible.

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  • What about this answer, and this answer on this question. As Jeff says "You shouldn't have to click through to find "the answer"". In this case the direct question might be "where can I find plans?", but the indirect question; and really what they are asking, is "How can I build this thing?". To which we answer "Go over there and look.". – Tester101 Jul 16 '12 at 17:57
  • If the question is "How do I build a swing set?", then I agree: we should be able to provide answers on our site. And also if the question is "What is involved in building a room inside the garage"?. But if you need blueprints for something, that is not something that we will be able to provide here; we will have to link to existing blueprints elsewhere. – Vebjorn Ljosa Jul 16 '12 at 19:07
  • @VebjornLjosa I don't quite know the policy here, but questions like "what is the best library for X?" are highly frowned upon on Stack Overflow. Yes, people continue to ask them, and some of them do attract votes, but when discussed, the consensus is that such questions are too subjective to remain open. – Ricardo Altamirano Aug 15 '12 at 20:19
  • @RicardoAltamirano: That is interesting. I have found such SO questions useful on several occasions, especially in these days of github-induced proliferation. Even when there is subjectivity, the answers are helpful from separating the half-finished chaff from the libraries that people actually use. – Vebjorn Ljosa Aug 15 '12 at 20:53
  • @RicardoAltamirano: Regardless, I think we can revisit this once we have a larger corpus of such questions on which to base our opinion. – Vebjorn Ljosa Aug 15 '12 at 20:55

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