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After looking in the "Tags" page on the main site... I've noticed that out of the top 5 tags, 3 of them are licensing tags (, , and )... The top tag on the site being the itself...

Not only what's state above, but the tag (with 55 questions at the time of writing) is more than 25% of the questions on the site (198 questions at the time of writing)... (~27.77% to be more precise).

But there is more, if this meta post is taken into action, both tags combined equals 68 posts tag with at least or (and after checking, there is no posts that contain both and , so there is no error in the math)... This means more than 1/3 of all the questions on this site are licensing related.

Dont you guys think weshould make an effort to spread out the base of the questions a bit? For instance, open source practices, contributing and contributors, monetization...

Edit: as of 2015/07/17, it seems to balance out at around 1/3, it's now 100/314.

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    I am amazed that the high amount of licensing questions seems so unexpected by some people. Many other topics of open source development and community building are already handled on other SE sites, but a place where all license of open source software can be discussed without too much bias (the remaining bits are being worked on) was missing so far, in my opinion. – Michael Schumacher Jun 30 '15 at 6:03
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Although we are not surprised that licensing questions are popular and frequent, we agree that we need to see more questions from other areas of our scope.

I think a large part of the current bias is due to the fact that we are a small group, not all experienced in the practical problems of open source, as summed up by overactor's comment on Mnementh's answer:

I think we would all like to include more questions that are not directly licensing related, it's just that licensing is a part of the scope that is very easily defined. The most active members at the moment don't have a tremendous amount of experience with being active in open source and feel pressured to ask enough questions. The license questions are easier to think of and always reasonably well received, other questions are more difficult to think of and are met with mixed reactions. But as pointed out, we are working hard on making the scope beyond licensing more clear.

We should continue to make an effort to ask other types of questions, but also we should not be disheartened by the current bias. Licensing will always be a significant proportion of our answers, but moving to public beta will allow a wider range of questions with more participants.

The more non-licensing questions we can ask during private beta, the more it will be clear to new public beta contributors that they can ask non-licensing questions too.

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    +1 That last sentence is spot on. If you can think of an interesting non-licensing question, ask it; if it gets closed, so be it. It's all part of the process. If you see a non-licensing question don't close it just because it doesn't seem entirely objective, think about good subjective / bad subjective and judge fairly. – overactor Jul 2 '15 at 8:26
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    The bolded at the end of your post is important. – Mnementh Jul 2 '15 at 14:41
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In the core, something being open source is is decided by attaching a license. Without a license everything else falls in the domain of project management, programming problems or something else. That's why it is hard to move away from the license-thing. It is like wondering why so much questions on biology.SE are about living things and so many questions on physics.SE about laws of physics.

With the discussed opening of the focus (every word a different link) the problem is a little decreased.

Nevertheless we should try to come up with questions besides the license-stuff. I see some effort over the last days, but we need more.

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    Licensing is what defined open source, but not all about open source is licensing. It's more like wondering why so many questions on a site about physics are about mathematical physics — sure, physics deals with mathematical models of the world, but not all physics questions are about the math. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 30 '15 at 8:21
  • Still, it is hard to move away from the defining feature of open source and people are naturally focused on it. As an example, you agree in a comment, Wikipedia is open source and still you close a question on Wikipedia as off-topic that isn't directly about licenses but still ask about an open source project a question that is related to it's openness. People easily focus on the license aspect. – Mnementh Jun 30 '15 at 8:29
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    This answer feels somehow... unfortunate. I thought Open Source would be more about the movement and methods: the distributed, collaborative effort where programmers work jointly to create something and share those changes with the world. There must be logistical issues about how to coordinate and promote those efforts — how to coordinate larger distributed teams; how they innovate, and how to organize groups of peers who have probably never met. Licensing is a small part of what this is all about and we already have a site for that. – Robert Cartaino Jun 30 '15 at 13:33
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    @RobertCartaino: I know that there is more to open/free/whatever than the license alone. But my point is, the license is the thing that makes something into something open. So people have a bias about thinking about the license first in connection to Open source. See my comment about Wikipedia I gave to Gilles. – Mnementh Jun 30 '15 at 13:45
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    @Mnementh I suspect that 99% of the people actually contributing to open source aren't asking about licenses. If we created a programmers' site filled mostly with users asking which compilers to use... or an entrepreneurs site asking how to get an occupancy license, you'd probably suspect there aren't a lot of "doers" there. I'm just hoping we go a lot deeper into the subject than that. – Robert Cartaino Jun 30 '15 at 13:57
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    @RobertCartaino: Probably. Reality is most questions are about licensing so far. And even if there are other questions they get closed. My example above about the Wikipedia-question: an open source project with a question related to it's open development model but not directly about licenses got closed. It will be a lot easier to get that through with more opened focus, but we all should get over our inherent bias towards the license in OS-questions, that is obvious at the moment. – Mnementh Jun 30 '15 at 14:01
  • @RobertCartaino: I am somewhat convinced that many people who are actively working in open source projects do not really think about law that much even if they are actively thinking about and arguing around license topics. The law is the last resort, to be used when someone violates the license - in daily business, it is only indirectly involved, by making (most) people adhere to the license terms. In a way, you could say that the licenses work too well, as there is no need to defend them every inch along the way. – Michael Schumacher Jun 30 '15 at 14:18
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    @RobertCartaino Mind you, we also have a site about how to coordinate teams and organize groups of peers. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 1 '15 at 7:14
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    @RobertCartaino I think we would all like to include more questions that are not directly licensing related, it's just that licensing is a part of the scope that is very easily defined. The most active members at the moment don't have a tremendous amount of experience with being active in open source and feel pressured to ask enough questions. The license questions are easier to think of and always reasonably well received, other questions are more difficult to think of and are met with mixed reactions. But as pointed out, we are working hard on making the scope beyond licensing more clear. – overactor Jul 1 '15 at 9:02
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If we exclude software recommendations (which I personally can argue either way), community building (dito), and programing we have licensing, patents, trademark, and fundraising as core subjects.

Things I would like to see are community/project recommendations (I would like to contribute my time with [skill set/interest], what projects should I look at?), old project/codebase revival (Now that sco is bankrupt, are there any opensource projects they were hosting that are worth looking at?) and community/evangelism questions.

I can also see merit in limited software recomendations (open source only and skip the common stuff: no distro wars, no emacs/vi/ooo/lo, no gimp or anything else which has 500 articles promoting it, just small low profile projects) and oddball subjects that don't fit anywhere else.

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    I can imagine that many people do not bother to ask questions for those topics because they think they would all be opinion-based. – Michael Schumacher Jul 1 '15 at 5:39
  • which topics? paragraph 2 or 3? – hildred Jul 1 '15 at 5:42
  • Both paragraphs, actually. For the software recommendations, you might get debates about what is common, this will vary a lot depending on the field. – Michael Schumacher Jul 1 '15 at 5:53
  • The stuff in p3 i'm not sure would work, although I would argue for everything applicable from small fields for software recommendations (if we do it at all). I just don't want anything that is covered in three major magazines. The stuff in p2 I think may have a chance. – hildred Jul 1 '15 at 6:03
  • I think making a rule that applies to large projects but not small projects is unworkable, and I also wouldn't want to see the distinction made. I don't want the scope to be related to the size or visibility of a project. – trichoplax Jul 2 '15 at 2:23

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