I've noticed a few questions that are asking for what is essentially an open-ended list of responses. For example:

Which real-time open data APIs do you know?

Any uses of JSON-LD?

These questions are problematic because it is difficult for a definitive answer to be given, and so they may often remain unanswered. Selecting one answer as "best" would seem very subjective if not random.

Can I suggest that when questions such as these arise the original poster be asked to re-word in a way that invites a definitive answer, if possible, and also be directed to read the type of questions to avoid asking.

1 Answer 1


They can be answered, but there's been a move from some of the other stack exchange sites against 'community wiki'.

What you do is aggregate / summarize the correct answers, mark it as CW, and then accept that as the answer.

As for the first question you gave as an example -- I think its problem is actually an XY Problem -- they likely have a reason for wanting the examples other than just to make a list of examples. (maybe they're building something similar and see what the norms are for releasing real time data)

  • Joe, I'm a little confused by your first two sentences. You seem to both argue for and against community wikis. Could you please elaborate? Jul 6, 2013 at 6:58
  • @PatrickHoefler : I'm for them ... but over the last couple of years, I've had to deal with people on some of the stack exchange sites who really don't like them.
    – Joe
    Jul 6, 2013 at 20:56
  • Thanks for the clarification! What would be the main argument(s) against community wikis? Jul 7, 2013 at 7:00
  • 1
    @PatrickHoefler : as best I can tell, it's just a matter of having people on the site who seem to think that all questions should fit into their pre-conceived notions of what a good question or answer are. I've yet to see a convincing argument as to why everything must fit within the model, other than they don't like it when questions don't have an accepted answer. The community wiki answer summary fixes that problem, but then people aren't getting reputation for their contributions. I'd personally rather have a site that's actually useful vs. fitting into an unrealistic ideal.
    – Joe
    Jul 7, 2013 at 9:54

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