Related to this question, I suggested that one of the questions I think should be "on-topic" is:

I'm having a problem with css inside my channel entries loop

I believe that any (specific, answerable) questions purely involving html & css, which are not necessarily EE-related, should still be classified as on topic. My reasons are:

  • There are plenty of people here willing to answer
  • Often the answer might involve using an EE add-on that the asker had not thought of

Therefore, I would also deem this question on topic:

Is there a way to change the display order of twitter bootstrap columns?

It's not EE-related, but as long as the asker is using EE, I think people here would be happy to help out, and I think we would build a much better community if we are a one-stop shop for EE developer questions (just like the #eecms Twitter tag is currently).

However, I would deem this one off-topic for obvious reasons:

Is there a way to change the display order of twitter bootstrap columns in Wordpress?

I would also close these two as "not a real question":

Is twitter bootstrap right for my project (too specific, will lead to extended discussion)

Is twitter bootstrap better than zurb foundation (too abstract, will lead to extended discussion)

I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on this though. Do you think we should allow html/css questions, as long as the asker is using ExpressionEngine?

3 Answers 3


Personally I'd argue against this, and in favour of migrating the qn to SO instead, mainly for this reason:

The OP is more likely to get a fast, comprehensive response on SO, and there is greater value to the wider (non EE) community in having HTML/CSS questions answered on a site that is used by that wider community, rather than here, which will necessarily always be a smaller/niche site (though I hope it grows considerably, it's never going to rival SO).

Conversely I'd argue that pure HTML/CSS (or JS, or PHP) questions, would reduce the utility of this site for the EE developers other than the one who asks the question in the first place: as they effectively create noise that could easily make it harder to find the EE related answers devs are looking for.

Remember, if we do this right then questions/answers will be read (hopefully) more times than they are asked/answered - we should balance the needs of the user posting the question against those of the community as a whole.

Many if not most, EE SX users will be on SO as well - if they aren't they don't even need to reregister to get an account there if they have one here, so the friction of asking on multiple sites is pretty minimal.

  • A fair and persuasive point. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 14:53
  • I agree. The goal of this Site is not a one stop place for EE developers (and thereby duplicating content from Stack Overflow), but a one stop place for EE questions, tips, etc.
    – blenddev
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 15:08
  • In spite of my answer I'm coming around to this way of thinking.... if the question can be framed or isolated in a way that is purely html/css/etc then it makes sense to go to Stack Overflow with it.
    – Alex Kendrick Mod
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 15:12
  • I definitely agree there is value in letting people post on either, and we can certainly let people post on Stack Overflow if they like. But do we actually want to migrate questions and tell people their question is not welcome here? I think of it much like the #eecms tag - some questions are slightly off topic, but the community is still interested and helpful. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 23:18
  • 1
    I agree that Stack Overflow will give users faster responses for purely HTML/CSS/JS questions. And really, if EE SX users are annoyed by questions like this, they'll vote them down if they feel they're too off topic. But it's true that some EE troubleshooting can be intrinsically linked or difficult to separate from a front-end code problem. In those cases I think it actually helps to resolve them here if possible. The same problem will most likely come up for another EE dev.
    – Alex Roper
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 5:59
  • 1
    @ Adrian, I think the question of whether or not to migrate comes down to volume of pure web dev/non EE qns - which we won't know until we're in public beta - I agree we want to be as welcoming as possible, but in the long run a focused community is likely to be a useful and healthy one for the long term. Perhaps we ought to gently encourage people to go to SO for these qns (particularly established members), but use discretion with qns from EE SX newbies?
    – Tom Davies
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 7:46
  • I think Alex Roper has a good point; it's sometimes hard to sort out what's "pure" front-end and what's EE. I think we should tackle this sort of thing on a case-by-case basis. Some questions are going to "feel" EE-related; some are not. We're smart enough and sane enough, as a community, to figure out which are which. :)
    – adrienne
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 1:33

I don't see why not. It's highly doubtful that we'll end up with a deluge of pure HTML/CSS questions to muddy the waters. Such questions would also invariably include code samples (and should if they don't!), which would show surrounding EE code.

  • 1
    Good point about surrounding EE code. If there's surrounding EE code, then it will probably throw off people on Stack Overflow anyway, and at the same time that should make the question much more relevant here. Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 8:03
  • 1
    Anyone else ever go completely oblivious to simple typos leaving you scratching your head 'til someone points it out? Could take someone familiar with EE templating to point that kind of blunder out.
    – notacouch
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 19:59

Yes, definitely.

I believe that any (specific, answerable) questions purely involving html & css, which are not necessarily EE-related, should still be classified as on topic.

I believe so, too.

Probably goes without saying, but I'd add jQuery and JavaScript along with html & css. The community has a tradition of being really helpful and as long as the questions are answerable I am all for it.

And your two examples of off-topic qualify as off-topic in my book, too.

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