Be quick and just do it

I came here from a link in a meta post in SE. I came here expecting a fully working site. From reading few things around i may understand why not the case yet. The reason i post this is: i am just a 2-months old SO user, not involved in communities and the like, and it feels like this perpective is missing. Disclaimer: I do not intend to contribute. But i’d be a user if:

  1. You become more or less like SO. You know much (and enough) about communities and moderation, just take care of what you did not like and don’t try to be very different.
  2. You don’t have to be the best. Don’t try to figure everything out. Just do it. There are enough forums and communities out there. Just not enough Q&A sites with the characteristics of SO (nice interface, quality). I do not want to be a user of a site that treats its employees badly, and from that perpective you are already better.
  3. Do it now, and leave some of the “status quo” as is. I mean, for example, allow users to bring their reputation with them or something, if they wish.
  4. Think of why would someone become a user? I became because i trusted that if i answer something wrong, someone is gonna correct me (the …didact part) so i felt at ease with answering something.
  5. Do not discourage naive questions or “do my homework” kind ones. People need that. We need a quick fix sometimes. And yes i know about the learning outcome of ready answers. But still it is a need. Just don’t upvote, or don’t answer.
  6. Include a Jobs section.

I apologize that i apparently lack your perpective. I guess i expected to see a SE clone without the consciousness worries. It just feels like you focus more on the V than on the M of MVP, but unless you hurry, there is gonna be no P. In the very probable case that this post is totally alien, feel free to delete it.

Please start here: Codidact MVP Roadmap for the current progress. It’s simply not possible to launch right now. It’s also possible to view ongoing editing at the Github page

On one hand, I see some major problems with “just do it”:

  1. We don’t even know which sites to begin with. (We have to begin with.)
  2. First impressions last, and it won’t be great to have a bunch of experts come here and declare the site as “unprofessional”.
  3. There are major design decisions in the works, and rushing them could cause long-term issues with the community in disagreement about changes.
  4. We’re going to need to do bug testing and so on—there could be some gigantic bugs early on (data loss, personal information leaks).
  5. Early content sets the “tone” of the site indefinitely: it’s critical to get it right.

On the other hand…

  1. Novel content and active communities are what attracts people, not the software. These take time to build, so it’d be nice to start early.
  2. It would be nice to see the site progressing.
  3. There’s a bit of an anti-SE spirit currently. [However, I doubt “anti-SE spirit” is convertible into “pro-Codidact spirit”—we need to be more than “not SE”.]

So I expect a “closed alpha” is in order (a joint push for content creation and debugging). But I wouldn’t expect my favourite site unless there are several people willing to invest their time in creating it.

I have the complete opposite opinion here: I feel we have to choose between (a) experts or (a) “do my homework” questions. I strongly prefer experts.

I (and many others) became inactive on math.SE because of lazy “do my homework” questions: it negatively affected my real-world reputation. I’d do the same here too.

This feature request needs some fleshing out.

I don’t know what this means (I guess “consciousness” is the wrong word), but it sounds largely inaccurate.


Asking homework clarification or explanation I think is fine, but asking for help to solve homework is not helpful to anyone other than students who ought to be trying to solve it on their own, going to a tutor, or one of the many other ways to get help with homework.

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First, thank you for taking the time to reply. Concerning “consciousness”, it could be the wrong word as english is not my mother tongue, i think i meant “conscience”, moral sense. Apparently, though, i have not used SE enough to have a clear view of what could generally be better. And i have no intentions to influence the course of codidact. I just followed a link with unreasonable expectations/assumptions and posted hoping to address yet another perpective. I am too far from being an expert and, to be honest, if experts only “hang out” with experts, i doubt i’m ever gonna be or wanna be one. Finally, it is easy for me to say just do it to you and do nothing myself. But i wouldn’t have bothered even saying so, if i had not sensed some real momentum here.

I appreciate your perspective here. However, there’s a few issues with the “just do it” approach, and a few with some of the specific things you suggest.

We’ve taken this long to get going, as @becky82 says, because we’ve spent that time here hammering out a specification. That’s a necessary step - to develop a product without a specification is to invite bugs, missing features, and unconsidered use-cases later down the line which could have been solved earlier.

This has been discussed. We’ve concluded that we’re building a similar type of product, but it won’t be exactly like SO - there are some key features and organisational differences that we want to have, because it’ll make our product better.

We probably won’t do that, for a number of reasons, not least because our idea of “reputation” is going to be rather different to the SE idea. We may do something to the same sort of effect, though - sort of like an association bonus, to get users who come over from SE over the initial hurdles.

That’s… up for debate. I don’t think we’ve had a specific discussion about this, but because it’s not a restriction of the software but of community policy, we won’t get to discussing things like this in detail until we’re closer to being able to host communities.

Possible, but a jobs board isn’t part of our MVP plan (and shouldn’t be). In keeping with the spirit of getting it done, we’re looking to build a minimum viable product first, and then add features (which may include jobs) on top of that.


Do not discourage naive questions or “do my homework” kind ones. People need that.

But that is at the core of the purpose of a community.

There is a really big difference between a Q&A community that intends to collect interesting and helpful information, for future readers and … a “help with homework” community.

Doing both things in the same place is not going to work. We have seen that on stackoverflow.

I think the real answer here is: you probably want to really disjoint communities for that. One that helps, no matter how often that question was asked before, and one that focuses on high quality content.


Thank you again for taking the time to share your perpectives. I certainly see reason in everything you say. I see you focus on quality and i can’t argue against that.