Stack Overflow

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For other uses, see Stack overflow (disambiguation).
Stack Overflow[1]
Stack Overflow website logo.png
Stack Overflow.png
Screenshot of Stack Overflow as of December 2011
Web address stackoverflow.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Knowledge markets
Registration Optional; Uses OpenID
Available in English
Content license CC-BY-SA 3.0 (for user contributions)
Owner Stack Exchange, Inc.
Created by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood
Launched September 15, 2008[2]
Alexa rank positive decrease 54 (April 2014)[3]
Current status Online

Stack Overflow is a privately held website, the flagship site of the Stack Exchange Network,[4][5] created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky,[6][7] as a more open alternative to earlier Q&A sites such as Experts Exchange. The name for the website was chosen by voting in April 2008 by readers of Coding Horror, Atwood's popular programming blog.[8]

It features questions and answers on a wide range of topics in computer programming.[9][10][11] The website serves as a platform for users to ask and answer questions, and, through membership and active participation, to vote questions and answers up or down and edit questions and answers in a fashion similar to a wiki or digg.[12] Users of Stack Overflow can earn reputation points and "badges"; for example, a person is awarded 10 reputation points for receiving an "up" vote on an answer given to a question, and can receive badges for their valued contributions,[13] which represents a kind of gamification of the traditional Q&A site or forum. All user-generated content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike license.[14] Closing unsuccessful questions is encouraged as a mechanism to differentiate from competitors such as Yahoo! Answers.[15]

As of April 2014, Stack Overflow has over 2,700,000 registered users and more than 7,100,000 questions.[16][17] Based on the type of tags assigned to questions, the top eight most discussed topics on the site are: C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Android, jQuery, Python and C++.[18]

History[edit]

The website was created by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky in 2008.[6] On 31 July 2008, Jeff Atwood sent out invitations encouraging his subscribers to take part in the private beta of the new website, limiting its use to those willing to test out the new software. On 15 September 2008 it was announced the public beta version was in session and that the general public was now able to use it to seek assistance on programming related issues. The design of the Stack Overflow logo was decided by a voting process.[19]

On 3 May 2010 it was announced that Stack Overflow had raised $6 million in venture capital from a group of investors led by Union Square Ventures.[20][21]

User suspension[edit]

In April, 2009 Stack Exchange implemented a policy of "timed suspension",[22] in order to curtail users who either show "No effort to learn (the community rules) and improve over time" or engage in "disruptive behavior" and become a nuisance. The suspension is accompanied by temporarily setting the user's reputation score at '1' and a notation on the user's profile page indicating the suspension and remaining duration.

Statistics[edit]

A 2013 study has found that 77% of users only ask one question, 65% only answer one question, and only 8% of users answer more than 5 questions.[23] As of 2011, 92% of the questions were answered, in a median time of 11 minutes.[24]

As of August 2012, 443,000 of the 1.3M registered users had answered at least one question, and of those, approximately 6,000 (0.46% of the total user count) had earned a reputation score greater than 5000.[25] Reputation can be gained fastest by answering questions related to tags with lower expertise density, doing so promptly (in particular being the first one to answer a question), being active during off-peak hours, and contributing to diverse areas.[25]

Criticism[edit]

Stack Overflow has been criticized for encouraging poor learning habits, using a rewards system with perverse incentives favoring quick answers versus quality ones, and having a community dominated and shaped by authoritarian moderators.[26][27] Popular questions with both informative and humorous value have been deleted from the site.[28][29]

Technology[edit]

Stack Overflow is written in ASP.NET 4 [30] using the ASP.NET MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework, and Microsoft SQL Server for the database.[31] Unregistered users have access to most of the site's functionality, while users that sign in (for example, by using the OpenID service) can gain access to more functionality, such as establishing a profile and being able to earn reputation to allow functionality like re-tagging questions or voting to close a question.

Stack Apps[edit]

The Stack Overflow team has recently begun the creation of an API for accessing the data contained on the other sites. Discussion on Stack Apps centers around the API, although users are encouraged to list apps and libraries developed for the API.

See also[edit]

  • Askbot (free engine)
  • OSQA (Open Source Question and Answer)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sewak, M.; et al. (18 May 2010). "Finding a Growth Business Model at Stack Overflow, Inc.". Stanford CasePublisher (in English) (Stanford University School of Engineering). Rev. July 20, 2010 (2010-204-1). 204-2010-1. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Spolsky, Joel (2008-09-15). "Stack Overflow Launches". Joel on Software. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  3. ^ "Stackoverflow.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  4. ^ a b Jeff Atwood (2008-04-16). "Introducing Stackoverflow.com". Coding Horror. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  5. ^ Jeff Atwood (2008-09-16). "None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us". Coding Horror. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  6. ^ Jeff Atwood (2008-04-06). "Help Name Our Website". Coding Horror. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  7. ^ Alan Zeichick (2009-04-15). "Secrets of social site success". SD Times. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  8. ^ "Spolsky's Software Q-and-A Site". Slashdot. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  9. ^ Joel Spolsky (2009-04-24). "Google Tech Talks: Learning from StackOverflow.com". YouTube. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  10. ^ Jeff Atwood (2008-09-21). "The Gamification". Coding Horror Blog. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  11. ^ "What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it?". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 14 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Creativecommons.org
  13. ^ "Closing changes: on hold, unclear, too broad, opinion-based, off-topic reasons, bye-bye to Too Localized". meta.stackoverflow.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Users". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Questions". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Tags". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "J.Atwood & J.Spolsky founding stackoverflow.com -- but we need a logo.". 99Designs.com. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Ha, Anthony (4 May 2010). "Stack Overflow raises $6M to take its Q&A model beyond programming". VentureBeat. Retrieved 23 May 2014. "The money we've raised means that, for the next ($6m / monthly burn rate) months, we can take on new projects, hire new people, and build new expert Q&A sites on a wide variety of new topics. Instead of opening sites in exchange for money, we’re about to launch a new, democratic system where anyone can propose a Q&A site, and, if it gets a critical mass of interested people, we'll create it." 
  19. ^ Anthony, Ha (5 May 2010). "Stack Overflow Raises $6M to Take Its Q&A Model Beyond Programming". NYTimes. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Atwood, Jeff (2009-04-06). "A Day in the Penalty Box". StackOverflow Blog. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  21. ^ Wang, Shaowei; David Lo; Lingxiao Jiang (March 18–22, 2013). "An Empirical Study on Developer Interactions in StackOverflow". Singapore Management University. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. 
  22. ^ Mamykina, Lena; Bella Manoim; Manas Mittal; George Hripcsak; Björn Hartmann (2011). "Design lessons from the fastest q&a site in the west". CHI '11 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: 2857–2866. doi:10.1145/1978942.1979366. 
  23. ^ a b Bosu, Amiangshu; Christopher S. Corley, Dustin Heaton, Debarshi Chatterji, Jeffrey C. Carver, Nicholas A. Kraft (2013). "Building Reputation in StackOverflow: An Empirical Investigation". Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0290, USA: Department of Computer Science, The University of Alabama. 
  24. ^ "'Why I no longer contribute to StackOverflow' - Reddit discussion". Reddit. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "'Why I no longer contribute to StackOverflow' - Hacker News discussion". 
  26. ^ "Popular Deleted SO/SU/Programmers Questions list". meta.stackoverflow.com. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Top 5 Stack Overflow deleted questions". meta.stackoverflow.com. 
  28. ^ "Which tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network?". Meta Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow. 
  29. ^ Jeff Atwood (2008-09-21). "What Was Stack Overflow Built With?". Stack Overflow Blog. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 

External links[edit]