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When searching on Google for Android and GIS, one of the very first hits is the following page on gis.se:

Choosing Mobile GIS applications for Android Tablets?

The question is wiki locked, so no more answers can be added. The current answers are visible and one of them with a very high score. To a visitor, this suggests a quality of the answer (we've all been trained to unconditionally and fully trust high-voted answer, haven't we?).

However, the answer itself highlights the choice of software at a given point in time. At the same time, new software enters the market, applications disappear and the answer stays the same and loses relevance while no new answers can be added nor the scoring of the current one be adjusted.

I think this can be generalized to questions tagged software-recommendation in general and I wonder if this is a good thing for this site, the question and the visitors. To me it feels like either:

  • It should be possible to keep the information on such questions up to date: Add new answers or edit answers (community wiki)
  • Or such questions should be removed altogether to not give outdated information the look of relevance that it might no longer have

Full disclosure: I develop an Android GIS app which I would certainly like to see appear on gis.se posts which score high on google.

  • 1
    Now that the question you asked about has a Wiki Lock there should be no impediment to the community overhauling any of its many answers because it is owned by the community and not any particular user. Any user with 100+ rep can edit CW posts: gis.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/edit-community-wiki – PolyGeo Nov 8 '16 at 0:46
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Answering in more broader terms:

  • I believe that new questions which just ask for lists of software, courses, book, etc. are bad design for this site. They continuously attract many low-quality one-liner answers and frequently bump these not so great questions to the active page. Many SE sites already blacklisted this category of questions. Old posts which have value should be kept, because in the past such questions were ok to ask.

  • On the other hand, not all questions need to be specific about a software. Some questions ask about specifically a process or task, and welcome solutions in any platform/software. I have seen many questions like these being incorrectly tagged , because the question is not about a software, but getting a GIS task or process done. Answers to these types of questions will require explanation and details about how to understand and use such tools/software/packages.

Treating these two the same is an error in my opinion; which has caused some cluttering and confusion about our community evolving in this matter of software-recommendation.

In my opinion, the meta tag should be eliminated, and the following scenarios considered:

  1. Questions asking just for a list of software would be off-topic.
  2. 'Clear' and 'not too broad' questions which are not tied to specific software would not need a tag indicating they are software agnostic, because clearly when it is software specific most cases OP will tag the question accordingly or there will be clues in title and body about which software. Then, any reviewer can edit or suggest an edit to include the specific tag.
  • I agree with what you say in your first dot point but I think there remain many questions of the problematic form "how should I do this [using any software/tool]" (i.e. they omit mentioning the specific software/tool that they have tried) which inevitably leads to lists of software/tool options as answers. They do not ask for a list but a list is the result. – PolyGeo Nov 8 '16 at 0:20
  • "How should I do this [using any software/tool]?" OR "How should I do this in ArcGIS?" can be both unclear questions OR too broad questions and can be closed. If they are not unclear or too broad, then both cases can collect valuable answers for our GIS repository. Usually, big lists of low-quality-answers don't come from such types of questions; but "Where to find data of type X?"; or "What is a good book/course for Y subject?", "What are best software for working in operating system W"?; etc. (@PolyGeo) – Andre Silva Nov 8 '16 at 12:09
  • This is why focussed Q&A only starts with telling us what you want to do. It is telling us precisely what you have tried and where you are stuck that provides the focus. – PolyGeo Nov 8 '16 at 12:18
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    Agree, but for me being stuck in one venue does not mean the way out can't be by a different venue, if the OP says so. My interpretation of "focussed Q/A" is not bounded to obligatoriness of one software (if any) per question. (@PolyGeo) – Andre Silva Nov 8 '16 at 12:40
  • That's why alternative answers are fine to supply but multiple alternatives should not be asked for. One way seeks one answer and may get a few to vote on while the other starts by seeking many and encourages polling. – PolyGeo Nov 8 '16 at 12:48
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The text that accompanies questions with a wiki lock says:

This question's answers are a collaborative effort: if you see something that can be improved, just edit the answer to improve it! No additional answers can be added here

With respect to:

the answer stays the same and loses relevance while no new answers can be added nor the scoring of the current one be adjusted

There is no reason why the answer should stay the same when, as a Community Wiki, anyone with 100 reputation can edit it. As Community Wiki the scoring means nothing, so simply edit the top answer to incorporate anything, including information from other answers, that would help to keep it current. Remember that our Community Wikis are not polls, so there is no reason for new answers to be needed for new products, just use the edit button to improve existing ones instead.

With respect to:

It should be possible to keep the information on such questions up to date: Add new answers or edit answers (community wiki)

You should be able to edit any existing answer(s) on a question with a Wiki Lock like this one, and that includes editing the top answer, which is the one we want to see edited.

With respect to:

such questions should be removed altogether to not give outdated information the look of relevance that it might no longer have

Those with the vote to delete privilege can choose to do that, although I do not. The outdated and often minimalist answers that appear on software recommendation questions is why many Stack Exchange sites have made them explicitly off-topic - see:

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