I had an idea for promoting this site, and I was wondering if it was feasible.

Basically, I think we should migrate old theory/CS questions from StackOverflow to this site. I often end up googling questions about graphs, algorithms and automata, and more often than not I find my question is answered on Stack Overflow. This makes since, given that these questions were asked before CS.SE even existed.

My thought is that a lot of people will find this site by "stumbling" upon it when searching for a specific topic, and that we could possibly grow our community of more of those stumbles directed users here, instead of to SO.

Is this possible? I'm guessing our mods wouldn't have the authority to do this, but would it be worth discussing with the SO mods?

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    $\begingroup$ One quick comment: old questions can no longer be migrated. But I also think that we should not; more on that at a later time. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    May 2, 2013 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ Gilles covered it pretty well, so I won't write up an answer myself. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    May 6, 2013 at 14:01
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    $\begingroup$ +1 because many dont understand that the main support for stackexchange forums is not merely internal user/community support but search engine traffic also & that its a crucial part of their longterm viability equation. $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    May 6, 2013 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


First, we'd only want to do that for posts that have really good answers, not for any random post that happens to be about computer science.

Second, the question would have to be off-topic on Stack Overflow, otherwise it wouldn't be migrated.

Third, we still need to grow the site organically. A mass migration would not be good for us. We need to curate each post as it comes in, too — most incoming migrations need at a minimum to be retagged and have math formatting applied.

There is a lot of disagreement among the Stack Overflow community as to how much computer science is on-topic. Part of the community wants CS.SE not to exist as they don't recognize the existence of computer science as a science: they divide the world into programming (SO), and discussions (nowhere on SE). In practice, the SO community tends to want to keep good questions regardless of whether they're on-topic, and to want to get rid of bad questions regardless of whether they're on-topic.

In any case, it is now impossible to migrate questions that are more than 60 days old, even for moderators.

When you see a question on Stack Overflow that is off-topic there, flag or vote to close. If the question is less than 60 days old, and it's on-topic here, and it's a good question, then flag for migration — but be prepared for your flag to be either ignored (because if the question is closed in the meantime, that automatically marks your flag as helpful without a moderator ever seeing it) or declined (it depends which moderator handles your flag, they have different opinions on the scope of SO).

Don't go on a witch hunt on SO. Only flag posts that you stumble on organically.

If you see a good computer science question on SO that cannot be migrated (either because it straddles the border between programming and CS so that it's on-topic on SO as well, or because it's too old), feel free to ask it here in your own words. If you do that, you'll “take ownership” of the question in some sense: it'll be up to you to respond to comments, to mark an answer as accepted. Do link to the SO thread so that people can easily find prior work on the topic.

  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, the "close dismisses custom flags" behavior should be fixed within the next few weeks. $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    May 5, 2013 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ all valid & agree the logistics are prohibitive but think some hi-rated stackoverflow posts would generally be desirable, however their mods might not like that as you note. note stackoverflow started before other forums like CS and TCS therefore some questions that are accepted on stackoverflow could be reconsidered in light of new forums. also, note there appears to be no specific "flag for moderation" although there is a freeform text field $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    May 6, 2013 at 18:49

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