The issue of the on-topicness of "pure programming questions" was brought up again recently. One proposal to address this was to have the tag excerpt better reflect the kinds of questions we think should be asked here, rather than e.g. on StackOverflow.

Given that this change is not only about the wording of the excerpt, but also implicitly about determining which questions should and should not be on-topic on the site, I thought it would be a good idea to make this meta post about it.

Here is my proposal for an updated excerpt:

For any question whose answer is expected to require code or programming notions. For questions about a specific framework (e.g. qiskit or cirq) please also include a more specific tag. NOTE: questions should involve domain-specific knowledge about quantum computing or quantum information. Pure programming questions should instead be asked on StackOverflow.

I'm not personally super happy about it, so feel free to edit any or all parts of it. Just remember no formatting is allowed, and to be mindful of the length limit (the easiest way to check this is to just write it down in the edit tag template).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you please show us the questions you would want closed or moved to SO? If your proposal is seen through, then we would have to go and find those questions and close them or migrate them to SO anyway. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2021 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ I see some examples here: quantumcomputing.meta.stackexchange.com/a/465/2293 Let me take a look. $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2021 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ Out of the 6 examples you gave in the above post, 4 of them remain open, and I believe 1 of them was closed wrongly, as explained in the question that you were answering. Your comment combined with your high-reputation on this site may have influenced voters there. The 1 remaining closed question, was one that was already asked on SO before being asked on QCSE, so it was a cross-site duplicate (I was one of the close voters, probably because at the time, I hadn't cottoned onto the fact that Amazon Braket is related to quantum computing). So I disagree with the proposal in this post! $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2021 at 1:22
  • $\begingroup$ @user1271772 sorry, I'm a bit confused. This is not about migrating questions. Assuming we agree on it, this is about deciding whether "pure programming questions" are on-topic here or not. Anyway, you should probably make an answer to state your opinion on the matter, so that we can see how people feel about it. After all, that's the whole reason I made the post. Also if you "disagree with the proposal", could you suggest what the tag should be? Or are you saying you prefer it the way it is now? $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Sep 1, 2021 at 10:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The initial part is good, but I feel the note is unnecessary. Even if it's a general question about Qiskit or Cirq that doesn't require knowledge of quantum theory, one will probably find more help here than on Stack Overflow. I believe the Qiskit and Cirq experts hang out here more than on Stack Overflow. $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2021 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Thank you for proposing the text of the update! I think it leaves a bit of room for confusion in that some users may view a pure programming question that involves qiskit or cirq as satisfying the requirement "should involve domain-specific knowledge about quantum computing or quantum information".

I think this is not the intent. In my current understanding, the intended criterion for deciding whether a programming question belongs on QCSE or SO is the need for domain-specific expertise in quantum theory as it pertains to computation and information and not the fact that the question may involve a software framework or cloud service related to quantum computing. Thus, the latter type of question may or may not belong on QCSE. If all it requires is a general software engineering or programming expertise then it belongs on SO.

Now, if my understanding is correct, then I suggest we clarify the text, for example as follows

For any question whose answer is expected to require code or programming notions. For questions about a specific framework (e.g. qiskit or cirq) please also include a more specific tag. NOTE: programming questions on this site should involve domain-specific knowledge of quantum computation or quantum information. Pure programming questions, including those concerning quantum computing software frameworks or cloud services, should be asked on StackOverflow.

(0 character left).

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks. Yes, I also think this version is more on point. I like it. $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Aug 30, 2021 at 9:47

You must log in to answer this question.

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