Over the past few days, there's been a lot of discussion in Meta and chat about "conventional answers." Leaving the definition of "conventional" aside, for the moment, I'd like to explore an issue that I believe is central to the discussion at hand.
Some users propose that if we were to allow "conventional" answers to questions, that would destroy the site, rendering it a "catch-all site." Others counter that the site will not be useful if we do not allow for conventional answers to be posted as answers, the site will not be a very useful one, both for question-askers as well as for Googlers, because the only answers allowed on this site, per the first side's definition of this site, would be those that are not "conventional." The first side then counters that this site would then become a "catch-all site," which, apparently, is a big no-no on the SE network.
As far as I could tell, all conversation around here recently has been this, going around endlessly in circles, adding a few more ad hominem attacks and accusations of "you're not listening," "but you're not listening more!" every new time the conversation cycles. (see the chat transcript from the Junk Drawer if you don't believe me)
For this conversation to recover from where it's stalled, we need to know two things from SE staff:
- If we allow "conventional solutions" or "non-Lifehack answers" on this site, does this site become a "catch-all site," or is there a way to prevent that from happening (perhaps invoking some set of rules, similar to Skeptics)*?
- If this site does become a "catch-all" site, is that all that bad? If that should happen, would that be reason enough to discontinue this exchange? (IOW, is the idea of a "catch-all" so antithetical to the Stack Exchange network, so that it should never be allowed to occur, or is really not all that bad?)
* Which has been, more or less, what we've been trying to do until this point, with debatable amounts of success.