A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Atwood and crew launched the public beta of Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow lets programmers ask questions and other programmers answer them. That’s it.Â They just did it with a lot less suck than all the other programming community help sites: The ads are unobtrusive, there is no login requirement just to see an answer, answers are listed from best to worst instead of first to last, and anyone can edit a question or answer to make it better.
For instance, look at this question I asked about boost shared pointers. I have work-arounds for the problem in my code, but figured that there had to be a better way. Turns out that the boost experts on Stack Overflow knew exactly what I needed, and answered within a few hours.Â Then some other people read the question, picked the best answer, and by voting it up made that answer appear prominently.Â By the time I got back to check to see if my question had been answered, there was a clear winner. To make it even more prominent, I marked that answer as “accepted” and now it’s highlighted.
If you’re a programmer, I suggest you check it out. Next time you’re looking for the answer to a programming question, see if it’s been asked on Stack Overflow. If not, ask your question. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
(Back in July I joined a company called Divide by Zero.Â Now I’m singing the praises of a site called Stack Overflow.Â Next thing you know I’ll be renaming my blog “Access violation”. )