Today I was interviewed for the greatest Delphi podcast of them all and Jim asked me a question I didn’t know how to answer: “Do you think there should be Delphi equivalent of StackOverflow.com?” I’m afraid my answer was somewhere along: “Hmph. Yes. Very good question. Very good. Let’s talk about something else.”
And now I can’t get it out of my head. Should there be delphioverflow.com? What could we get out of it? I would be the first to admit that the StackOverflow model is greatest thing since Belgian waffles and that having Delphi questions and answers in such form would be very useful.
But wait – there already are Delphi questions on StackOverflow! Not that many as C# questions, but still enough that Delphi is seen on the front page and that other users can read about it and see that it is alive and well. Even more – there are enough knowledgeable Delphi programmers on SO and most questions get great answers in less than five minutes.
What other positive result could such site bring? Maybe Embarcadero people would be more eager to participate and answer questions on their own server? Maybe, but not sure. Delphi R&D team is very busy and sometimes they can’t even find time to answer newsgroup questions. And I’m pretty sure that - whatever such change would bring – newsgroups wouldn’t go away.
Let’s take a look from another perspective. What would be negative consequences? Less Delphi questions on StackOverflow. And that’s a Bad Thing because it lowers Delphi’s discoverability. We want to talk about Delphi in public places, not on some secluded server!
Now I know how to answer. No, I don’t think we need DelphiOverflow. We need more Delphi R&D people answering questions on StackOverflow.
(Your comments on the topic are very much welcome, as always!)