I found this: How can I recover content from an open source project host that has shut down?

It seems to be asking about how to recover information from a hosting service that has fallen. It asks whether the lost content is recoverable. So here's my overall question? Should questions about recovering content from hosting services be on-topic here? Or should they go somewhere else?

  • Your wording in the question body is much more specific than your title. Could the title be made more specific, or the body be made more general, so that they are consistent? Jun 24, 2015 at 20:43

4 Answers 4


I think this is going to be a bit of a thorny one.

In principle, I think yes they should be on-topic: hosting your code is an integral part of open-source so it feels right that we should have questions about it. However, questions that are more customer-support focused should be off-topic because we're not best placed to answer them.

The distinction is the difficult part. What, exactly, should make a question on-topic?

Perhaps we distinguish them simply by who - who's best placed to answer. If the question is obviously about an open-source focused aspect of the hosting platform (like how do I choose a hosting platform?), it's on-topic; if a company representative would be better it's not.

  • Perhaps we should have a separate question for what sorts of these questions are on-topic?
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:44
  • @Zizouz212 Good idea.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:45
  • I'll post one then... :)
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:46
  • @Zizouz212 We don't need separate "is X on topic" and "which of X are on topic" - they can be answered in exactly the same ways.
    – Air
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:48
  • @Air That post that I would write would relate solely to this genre of question. We need to define the line between customer support sort of stuff, and what can really go on this site.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:49
  • 1
    @Air I have to agree with Zizouz. There is a difference between saying this sort of question is partially on topic and here are the boundaries that define it.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:50
  • It's not enough of a difference to justify two separate discussions. "Always off topic" and "always on topic" are simply trivial cases of "here are the boundaries." If someone comes to meta looking for a scoping policy, it should be stated in one place.
    – Air
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:52
  • Meta won't be the only place though. There's the help centre, and even the tour.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:54
  • 1
    @Air in the private beta, it's very important to scope out the site. We can always canonize posts later on, but at this point we should be clear among ourselves what we do and don't want.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:58
  • In my opinion, you've said all that needs to be said in this answer, but if you think you need to be more clear than edit this answer so that it is more clear.
    – Air
    Jun 23, 2015 at 19:15

On Stack Overflow (and most other sites), we do allow question regarding the tools and platforms we use. I don't see why not here.

If you have a GitHub questions, which is a platform for open source projects, I don't see why we should not accept it.

  • Stack Overflow doesn't accept these sorts of questions, as they are not programming related.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:49
  • Devil's advocate: "GitHub vs. Bitbucket which is better pls" (certainly you don't mean to imply that GitHub questions are necessarily on topic :)
    – Air
    Jun 23, 2015 at 18:50
  • 5
    @Air Primarily opinion based. On topic, but primarily opinion based. Jun 23, 2015 at 18:50
  • Okay, a better example would have been something about how to use their web interface, but I use BB so no good straw man comes to mind ;)
    – Air
    Jun 23, 2015 at 19:00

Codehaus is gone. They don't need customer support, as they no longer have any customers.

The question also isn't from the standpoint of a former customer. It's from the standpoint of a user or potential user of that project, trying to track down old information about it.

So I don't think that question is in lieu of asking Codehaus for customer support.

It was also once a reasonable-size open source hosting platform, and instructions on how to find information about projects that used to live there will use useful for future visitors.

General "how do I use that site?" could go to Web Applications, but this one probably doesn't belong there, as its not about using the web app. So I think it best stays here.

(I'm not sure general ones about open-source hosting webapps should go to Web Applications; I suspect not. We're probably much more expert in them than the general audience on Web Applications.)


Well, a lot of people use/used Google Code and Codehaus. They are/were important to the open source community.

Further, we might get questions about SourceForge, BitBucket, GitHub, whatever-else very frequently, since many software developers use them.

If in the future, say GitHub, decides to change some of their policies, change the way that the Open Source community consumers use their services or change something else, I think that this community would be a very nice place to ask about that.

So, questions about open-source hosting services should be on-topic, since a lot of people uses that for developing Open Source Software.

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