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I just posted a question on meta.stackoverflow.com suggesting that it should provide a hint to questioners that they should ask in dba.SE instead, perhaps trying to use AI technology to detect the questions that would be more appropriate.

My question there is:

When someone asks a question that's tagged with one of the database-related tags, I think it should give a hint that the question should be asked on dba.stackexchange.com if it's about fixing a problem with the database, not actually a programming question.

Maybe we could use the AI technology that's been mentioned in blog posts to try to recognize questions that are more appropriate for dba.SE, and use that to guide the hints. If there's a large enough corpus of questions that have been migrated from SO to DBA, that might be useful training data for the NN.

Someone suggested that I should ask her whether you'd like such automated assistance. So here it is.

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In principle, I'm in favour of anything that means people ask in the right place*

Whether this particular idea is a good one depends on the details of the implementation, and how accurately any AI could identify questions that would genuinely be better asked here.

Since tags are added late in the question-asking process, it seems like the proposal would effectively result in a migration here from Stack Overflow. The AI would need to do better than humans have:

Migration stats

Those rejected migrations only count questions explicitly closed here after migration. It does not include posts that are simply ignored, or go unanswered because the original author did not follow their question across.

But sure, if it were implemented well, I would be willing to give it a limited A/B trial. A/B so we could judge the benefit compared to the status quo. Limited because this site simply could not cope with a sudden mass influx of database questions from Stack Overflow.

Good luck convincing SO Inc. to dedicate resources to this project.


* See Why are there so many database questions on StackOverflow and when should they be posted here instead?. Summary: people should choose the site based on the target audience (assuming the question would be otherwise on-topic for both).

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  • I'm not proposing that it migrate automatically, just that it display something to the user suggesting that their question may be more appropriate here. Similar to the way it suggests other tags (when you use sql it reminds to you add mysql, sql-server, oracle, etc.) – Barmar Nov 24 '19 at 18:06
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    I suspect one of the most common reasons why people post on SO inappropriately is just because they don't even know that the other sites exist. – Barmar Nov 24 '19 at 18:08
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    The reason I thought you were proposing automatic migration was to avoid cross posting. Waiting until the question is complete to pop up a message seems like a recipe for copy paste questions on both sites. That would not be welcome. – Paul White 9 Nov 24 '19 at 18:30
  • Maybe I'm not as familiar with the questioning process as I thought (I mostly answer), but I thought it popped up hints while you're composing, such as suggesting related tags to use. That's when I expect this will be shown. – Barmar Nov 25 '19 at 16:36

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