Today I found that Graphic Design Stack Exchange has a best-practice tag. And while not so large in number, tagged with it are some pretty helpful and interesting questions. I immediately thought "why don't we have that over at BSE?" and I recalled that there was some rule that was basically agreed upon by the community that we shouldn't allow "best practice" questions because they would be too broad, or would generate answers that are opinion-based. Ah yes, here is the post I was thinking of: Best Practices for Learning Blender [Closed]

Now, in that particular example I think the question fails because it's essentially asking how to use all of Blender. But is it inherently wrong to ask a question about the best practices with regard to accomplishing a certain task within Blender? And could such a tag, if given a clear definition including clear usage guidelines, help to serve the community?

A keyword search of questions within Blender Stack Exchange containing "best practice" reveals that they are not so uncommon.

But isn't it then perhaps sufficient that people trying to learn Blender with less trial-and-error and more attention to theory and workflow can simply use the search field to find these questions? Is there any real benefit to having a tag?

Here is a Meta question proposing a best practices page. I can see why it was not a popular idea. We don't want to write entire tutorials, and we want to keep our content here concise.

I can't help but wonder, is the nature of the questions at BSE different enough from GDSE that this sort of question should be handled differently? Would adding such a tag open Pandora's Box and lead to a flood of vague and rambling questions that pave a wandering trail off into Opinion Forest? Or could some good come of it if we instruct users to keep it to a specific topic or tool?

What do you all think?


1 Answer 1


In regards to your thought as to why Best Practices for Learning Blender was closed:

Now, in that particular example I think the question fails because it's essentially asking how to use all of Blender.

No, the question was closed because 'best' inherently refers to someone's opinion and therefore cannot have a 'correct' answer, which is why it was closed as Primarily opinion-based.

And if we look at the close reason description:

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

I can't really see any way that a best-practices tag wouldn't be entirely comprised of opinion-based questions, which would then be closed.

I can't really speak as to why the Graphic Design StackExchange might be better suited to have a best-practices tag, but as you point out, they have very few questions tagged with this. Out of their 22,000 questions only 57 have warranted the use of this tag (47 when you exlude duplicates and closures). This doesn't say to me that this tag is entirely valuable.

There are of course best practices that blender users use, but how would we work out which questions deserve to be immune to the Primarily opinion-based closure reason? Would it be helpful to the user to potentially get conflicting answers because people disagree on what the best is?

Personally, I think this tag would only introduce ambiguity into what questions are on or off-topic. We already have a way of finding out the best way of doing something. It's asking a question. The best way of doing something (is that really any different to best practices?) is the answer that gets the most votes from the community.


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