Some SE sites (notably SO) don't want questions about best practices as they can lead to opinionated answers. I think that is definitely a risk, but there's certainly also great value in such questions if they do get useful answers.

As an example, I have posted such a question earlier today: Sharing code between multiple GLSL shaders

Do we want to allow questions about best practices?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This may be controversial, but IMO in the early stages of an SE it can be more open to subjective questions. We should keep the "good subjective, bad subjective" guideline to hand though. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2015 at 16:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Most of the questions that I have about CG are soft questions along the lines of, "What's the current best method of doing ____?" I know the math and the technology but what I don't know are the subjective engineering decisions that the CG community has made. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2015 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


I think we should allow them but carefully watch the answer quality. It can be really hard to find out best practices in niche programming fields like computer graphics, especially because the vastly different paradigms of GPU programming mean that the established patterns from "normal" programming can't always be applied. This being a community of computer graphics experts, we should be in a perfect position to collect actual best practices for computer graphics. I think this potential should not be easily dismissed, just because "answers might be opinionated".

Instead, let's try to be careful with answers and make sure we encourage the same high quality for these than for any others. So what makes a good answer to a best-practice question:

  • Don't just answer with "here's what I do, it's the best!"
  • Do include objective pros and cons of the practices your answer covers.
  • Do include authoritative references which show that it's actually established practice where applicable (i.e. when your answer is more about "the accepted practice" than "the best practice", which can also be an important consideration).
  • Do point out if certain choices are merely a matter of preference (and list the available options).

If we take care that answers to these questions don't deteriorate from our normal standards, I don't see any harm in having these questions.

After all, any programming question probably has multiple solutions which could invite answers fighting for which solution (i.e. practice) is the best in the given situation. Asking for a practice explicitly doesn't really change that.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind, too, that SO originally allowed such questions as long as they were direct answers. Since then SO has grown too large to be able to handle such questions/answers, hence why they're not allowed. They are, however, usually protected for historical reasons (because they are that great). This answer is spot on. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2015 at 19:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .