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The introductory tour to the site has a bunch of inaccurate description copied from the standard template. Among the oddities are

  • Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced.

We're not supposed to do that here. Code golf may have been an actual problem people faced back in the days when programs would take a substantial amount of a computer's memory, but the majority of modern software developers have probably never faced such a situation.

  • Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

There are 172 questions tagged . It's the 4th-most common tag. "Primarily opinion-based" is just fine.

  • Remember: we're all here to learn, so be friendly and helpful!

While we should be friendly and helpful, and learning is nice, we're here to solve puzzles, usually but not always by writing very short computer programs.

Is this just because we're in beta? Or are those parts of the template very difficult to change? Or do people just not care about that page?

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Primarily opinion-based" is not fine. popularity-contests are not based on opinion, they are based on community consensus. "Primarily opinion-based" on this site means (usually) that the answer will be accepted based on the opinion of the OP's poster. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Mar 13 '14 at 5:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quincunx: If it's supposed to be specifically talking about the question-asker's opinion or the answerers' opinions rather than the voters' opinions, it's not making that clear. \$\endgroup\$ – user2357112 Mar 13 '14 at 5:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, there are many points on this site that need many changes. For example, the Ask Question page should link to the sandbox. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Mar 13 '14 at 6:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quincunx I asked it here meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/1234/… \$\endgroup\$ – user80551 Mar 13 '14 at 9:09
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The on-topic page is the only one of the general help pages which is per-site customisable. The rest is StackExchange boilerplate.

  • Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

There are 172 questions tagged . It's the 4th-most common tag. "Primarily opinion-based" is just fine.

Popularity contests used to be banned; they got a foothold because the moderators decided to stop enforcing that rule in the hope of increasing activity. I am of the opinion, and I don't think I'm the only one, that the average quality of those questions is notably lower than for questions which have an truly objective winning criterion.

And even so, "primarily opinion-based" is occasionally used as a close reason. A question has a specification (i.e. criteria for an answer to be relevant) and a winning criterion which distinguishes between answers meeting the spec. is a winning criterion: if the issue of whether or not an answer meets the spec is going to be subjective then it is the appropriate close reason. See e.g. Schrödingbug (currently only visible to users with enough rep to see deleted questions).

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    \$\begingroup\$ You are definitely not the only one of the that opinion. It's far too easy to come up with an absurdly easy challenge and then slap a [popularity-contest] tag on it. The worst thing is that they are the ones that get the most upvotes. It's like junk food - loads of people eat at McDonalds even though the food is crap. \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Mar 13 '14 at 11:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have to agree with you about the average quality of [popularity-contests]. While the best ones are quite interesting the median is uninteresting and underspecified and there are many that are simply abysmal. They have, however resulted in somewhat increased traffic. At some point---if no one beats me too it--I plan to ask for a community discussion on how this experiment has worked out. \$\endgroup\$ – dmckee Mar 13 '14 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Schrodingbug question has now been removed so your link now goes to a 404 page. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Apr 13 '14 at 19:33

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