This question asks for definitions of two terms commonly used in computer graphics. Is this a type of question that we want to see here? There are plenty of online dictionaries and encyclopedias, but on the other hand many terms have a more specific meaning in computer graphics (or in some cases even a counter-intuitive meaning compared to the common usage).

What should our policy be?


3 Answers 3


I would not be completely against such questions, however they should be different than the one you linked.

That question is asking for the definition of two words that are indeed used in the CG context but not in counter-intuitive ways. A dictionary is enough to answer that question. If not, a very quick Google search would have sufficed.

There are as you say terms that are more specific to computer graphics, with subtler meanings than the basic dictionary-definition. With those I'd be fine, but only if put in the right context and if asked in a "why is this technique called such?" fashion rather than "what does it mean?"

All in all, I would say we should evaluate that on a per-question basis rather than have a rule set in stone.

  • $\begingroup$ Anyway i vote that this question should be closed. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 11:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A similar okay question is clarifying a distinction, like: computergraphics.stackexchange.com/questions/350/… $\endgroup$
    – Pseudonym
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's indeed a perfect good example $\endgroup$
    – cifz
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 13:10

I think allowing “define this for me”-type questions, especially, as cifz says, without context, risks letting the site turn into more of a disorganized wiki or a specialized dictionary than a Q&A environment.

The most useful answers I’ve seen on other Stack Exchange sites (and this one, so far) have been the ones where the question was about a specific problem someone was having, not generalized “teach me about this” exchanges. There are a lot of graphics terms someone might ask about, and allowing the “define [thing]”s from A to Z to continue seems like it’ll drown out the more valuable (IMO) questions being asked by people who’re trying to accomplish a particular task.


It's okay if the questions are not repeating.

I think every question asked here already have an answer somewhere - Wikipedia, blogs, books, slides from conferences etc. And I thought we're building a new data base specifically for graphics programmers (from novice to profis) in order to have all in one place. I don't see any problem if somebody ask what is ambient occlusion although there're tons of information in the internet. Of course next one asking the same question should be redirected to the existing one.

  • $\begingroup$ Could you expand this with your reasons and any exceptions? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 13:41

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