It goes without saying that Stack Overflow is an invaluable resource for any coder seeking help. This is in large part because they enforce stringent guidelines such as sticking to factual questions and answers. As a result, many posts that don’t meet these guidelines get locked down.
Many are duplicates or desperate students doing homework in the eleventh hour, but every once in awhile a fascinating and insightful discussion will emerge from the community. These too will get closed by moderators eventually of course, with reasons like being off-topic, too broad, opinion-based, or not constructive, and with notices like:
As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion…
Thankfully they remain online for posterity because they also make for some of the best reading fodder you can find on Stack Overflow. Judge for yourself: diving into the archives, I’ve collected an anthology of the top-voted “extended discussions” year by year for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
(I’ll note that earlier years of Stack Overflow seem to have more of these rich discussions. I guess the moderation policies have been effective. Hacker News and Proggit are the places to turn for these sort of discussions now.)
- Can two groups of N people find each other around a circle?
- Is force unwrapping a variable bad?
- “equal to” versus “not equal to” operators in an if-else statement
- Picasso v/s Imageloader v/s Fresco vs Glide
- What is the difference between Apache Spark and Apache Flink?
- Which CSS framework to use with Angular2?
- Angular vs Angular 2
- Spring MVC or Spring Boot
- What is the difference between Sublime text and Github’s Atom
- Best way to represent a Grid or Table in AngularJS with Bootstrap 3?
- How does a language expand itself?
- Difference between Microservices Architecture and SOA
- Fastest exit strategy for a Panic Button in Crisis/Abuse Websites?
- “Thinking in AngularJS” if I have a jQuery background?
- Why does one use dependency injection?
- How to master AngularJS?
- Best practices when running Node.js with port 80 (Ubuntu / Linode)
- AngularJS Folder Structure
- Does it make sense to use Require.js with Angular.js?
- Should I use <i> tag for icons instead of <span>?
- The Use of Multiple JFrames: Good or Bad Practice?
- Separate REST JSON API server and client?
- What is Redis and what do I use it for?
- Using a piano keyboard as a computer keyboard
- What’s the difference between unit, functional, acceptance, and integration tests?
- How do I manually fire HTTP POST requests with Firefox or Chrome?
- Code-first vs Model/Database-first
- Why use pip over easy_install?
- Large-scale design in Haskell?
- Good use case for Akka
- What should every programmer know about security?
- What statistics should a programmer (or computer scientist) know?
- Using Git with Visual Studio
- How do emulators work and how are they written?
- Designing function f(f(n)) == -n
- Is the Scala 2.8 collections library a case of “the longest suicide note in history”?