Update

Community Wiki is no longer an option, across the network, for regular users when creating or editing a question. If a question should be flagged community wiki, flag a moderator for attention.

Related to Why would anyone accept an answer?, what's the criteria for what should be a community wiki and what is a regular question? If most, if not all questions are subjective, is there a need to generate one mega-answer through collaboration?

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6 Answers

I don't think any should be. Looking at the main page, nearly all the questions are subjective in some way and voting is based mainly on opinion (any counter-examples?).

If questions were made CW according to how useful they were, it would be difficult to draw the line. Is this question pointless or asking for a genuine recommendation. It's open ended, but very useful to someone wanting to start an open source project.

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Counter example: Is COBOL still worth learning?: while it is an open ended and subjective question, it will have a limited number of answers, all basically "YES" or "NO" with various reasons. –  Lorenzo Sep 2 '10 at 11:05
    
I've edited my answer. –  Gelatin Sep 2 '10 at 14:56
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+1, there's no need for Comunity Wiki here. Having the ability to mark a question CW is confusing, and the option should be removed. –  fearoffours Sep 6 '10 at 10:34
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While the true purpose of Community Wiki is to allow collaborative effort (in building list of elements, for example), CW can be used effectively to avoid to ask a question just for reputation harvesting. The rule I suggest is to make wikis for humor like questions, "what's you favorite ...", and every other question that could accept an undefined number of replies.

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Are there any on-topic questions that wouldn't fit into that? –  Gelatin Sep 1 '10 at 21:04
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The first two cases make sense to me; the third case seems to include all the questions on programmers, IMO. –  kiamlaluno Sep 1 '10 at 21:04
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If there are questions that should not receive reputation (because they are of low quality/value) they should be closed as off-topic. Every thing on Programmers is going to be subjective, so every answer is going to be some formulation of "This is my favorite X" (see related discussions: Why would anyone accept an answer? and Should we have a “not subjective enough” close reason?) –  user8 Sep 1 '10 at 21:09
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I strongly disagree that every question here would be subjective and so on. –  Lorenzo Sep 1 '10 at 22:09
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-1 for your first sentence; it's a common misunderstanding made popular by the "CW police." CW questions are about collaboration; if you are sure of one part of an answer, but think the community can fill in some information, you can transfer ownership of the answer to the community. The effect on rep is a side effect, not the true purpose. Examples: FAQs, the MSO list of sites that steal SE content, Gaming SE questions about locations of special items. –  Pops Sep 3 '10 at 2:06
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@Lord: it might be a side effect, but how can we otherwise avoid reputation harvesting? –  Lorenzo Sep 3 '10 at 12:20
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@Lorenzo: downvoting; question closure; question locking; getting mods involved in cases of users who don't change –  Pops Sep 3 '10 at 14:25
    
@Lord: OK, but what if we have a question that is clearly a reputation harvesting one, but is worth to keep (so no downvoting, no closing, or locking)? –  Lorenzo Sep 3 '10 at 16:05
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@Lorenzo, I can't think of a question that is both legitimately valuable and a rep farm. Do you have an example? –  Pops Sep 4 '10 at 2:28
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just to consolidate the thoughts in the comments on one of the other answers:

As Lord Torgamus said:

CW questions are about collaboration; if you are sure of one part of an answer, but think the community can fill in some information, you can transfer ownership of the answer to the community. The effect on rep is a side effect, not the true purpose. Examples: FAQs, the MSO list of sites that steal SE content, Gaming SE questions about locations of special items.

And as I mentioned:

If there are questions that should not receive reputation (because they are of low quality/value) they should be closed as off-topic. Every thing on Programmers is going to be subjective, so every answer is going to be some formulation of "This is my favorite X".

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I agree with your conclusion. However, I should point out that a few objective questions have popped up ("Etymology of 'Programming'" and "What's up with 42" off the top of my head, with paraphrased titles). –  Fishtoaster Sep 8 '10 at 21:49
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Fishtoaster has posted comments to a number of questions this week that have beeen mislabelled as CW.

The option for CW should be removed, too many SO (and other Stack Exchange sites) users are naturally carrying their habits over to this site. It's too confusing in it's current guise.

If we are to keep CW for objective questions which benefit from collaborative answers, then we should change it's name and mechanics in order to better fit with this site where a high proportion of questions are subjective, and frequently mislabelled as CW.

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what about using CW for survey type questions?

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What would be the benefit of that? –  Fishtoaster Sep 5 '10 at 1:51
    
@Fish: 1) More people can prune/format/improve the posts, which might be useful in a survey 2) No-one gets thousands of rep points simply for (e.g.) answering "Python" to a "What's your favourite language?" question. –  Jonik Sep 19 '10 at 14:03
    
@Jonik 1) In a poll its your opinion, and nobody else should be able to change that. 2) Thats more of a "Fastest Gun in the West" problem than anything else. I still don't think CW would be best –  TheLQ Sep 21 '10 at 20:42
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Face it, CW never did work as intended. People are still reluctant to edit other people's answers. This applies especially here: it's reasonable for somebody else to edit my post if I put something factually incorrect in it (although that's usually done with comments), but it's hardly reasonable to edit my post when it's my opinion and the reasons I have for holding it.

However, it's great for polls, as it allows answers to be proposed and voted on without having the first guy with a popular answer hitting the rep cap for the day.

If we're going to have polls around here, it would be useful to keep CW around, but rename it to something like "Poll format".

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