Some while ago my question Brewing GRASS with PostgreSQL support? was closed as off-topic. This surprised me, because, there are plenty of such questions here, e.g. :

Furthermore, GIS SE even has tags such as:

  • Procedure of making a computer program ready for execution

  • a computer program that installs files, such as applications, drivers, or other software, onto a computer.

As a Mac user with a preference for open-source software, I often have issues such as "How to install QGIS with homebrew?" and so on. However, now I am unsure if this is considered on-topic here.

Maybe GIS.SE requires a more detailed definition of this topic in its scope. The Help Center currently reads:

We are not a formal GIS Software Support Site and are likely to close questions and recommend you seek official routes for support if you:

  • ask about licensing, pricing and/or release dates
  • seem to be trying to submit bug reports and enhancement requests here instead of direct to the vendor/development team of the software involved.
  • 4
    I think the question is on topic and have reopened it.
    – Fezter Mod
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


I think software installation questions in general are more likely to be on-topic at Stack Overflow or Super User.

However, if you are asking specific questions about the installation of GIS software then I would expect them to be on-topic here at GIS SE.

This appears to be the case with your question on Brewing GRASS with PostgreSQL support?

The existence of a tag does not guarantee that its subject is on-topic even though most of our tags do relate to topics that are within the site's scope.


As indicated in the comments, I also agree your post found the right home at GIS SE and has been reopened.

  • Thank you. Actually it was not really my intention to get my question re-opened but to understand when such a question is off-topic. So would you say that questions on software installation are in general on topic on GIS SE?
    – n1000
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 22:11
  • 1
    I would echo @Polygeo's answer: spatial software install questions (e.g. GDAL, PDAL, QGIS, GRASS, etc) would be on-topic here.
    – Aaron Mod
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 1:48

I think they should be on-topic if and only if you have tried the vendor or project's official support channels first. Installation procedures change frequently and gis.StackExchange will just accumulate stale, and therefore misleading, info.

When official channels fail, especially for tricky situations involving multiple bits of software from different suppliers (like your grasss/postGIS) I'd like to see mention that you did try the official support channels first. I'd probably comment "have you tried the official channels?" to get clarification.

This applies doubly for commercial software installation, where you've paid good money and the company should have a vested interest in helping you, unlike us lot who do it for fun.

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