First of all: I love GIS SE! You have helped me countless times in the past. Thank you!

However, it has also been a source of frustration for me. As you can see at Are software installation questions on topic?, I had a installation-related question closed and reopened in the past. Today I submitted two more questions where a close vote is on the way (Installing PostGIS on older homebrew versions of PostgreSQL (e.g. postgresql@9.6)? and Upgrading PostgreSQL with broken PostGIS installation ("$libdir/postgis-2.3" error)?).

I am fine if my questions are closed or moved to another site, but the current practice is not good IMHO. Installation-related are highly abundant and belong to the highest voted ones, but at the same time are sometimes closed right away.

From my perspective neither of these questions would have produced a meaningful answer on any other Stack Exchange site. Furthermore, I think software questions is the root of the whole Stack Exchange idea and it shouldn't be excluded in any of the topic-specific sites.

I feel like there are two strong movements in this community some in favor and some against software installation related questions. It would be great if we could agree on a common message in the scope section of the site and give moderators and people looking for help some clear guidelines.


To me those two questions look like they are about getting the foundations beneath PostGIS built to support it, rather than about having a problem with a relatively vanilla install of PostGIS (but installing PostGIS is not an area where I claim any expertise). I think the latter would be clearly on-topic but I am nowhere near as certain about the former.

I think this is an issue where we need to let the close/re-open and up/downvoting play out both here on Meta and in Q&As on Main (like those you cite) to try and uncover where community consensus lies.

I think it is too early, and complicated, for anything to be written into the very limited real estate of our on-topic page at this time.

For me to decide where I stand on it I would need to know more about whether the questions you are asking about are mainly about PostGIS, PostgreSQL or homebrew. If they involve things that can manifest between PostgreSQL and homebrew in the absence of PostGIS (even though you are using PostGIS) then any support by me for them to be considered on-topic here would wane quickly.

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    First of all a big thank you for the many edits! Questions that "involve things that can manifest between PostgreSQL and homebrew in the absence of PostGIS", I would immediately post on dba, apple, or stackoverflow, because they would find much more attention there. However, as soon as PostGIS is involved, very few people know how to deal with that. – n1000 Nov 12 '17 at 21:48

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