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When looking to see if a niche language is on-topic on Code Review it's fairly hard to tell if it is or isn't.

The help centre only says "code":

Code Review is a question and answer site for seeking peer review of your code. We are working together to improve the skills of programmers worldwide by taking working code and making it better.

If you have a working piece of code from your project and are looking for open-ended feedback in the following areas:

It goes on to say that the code has to be 'real', but doesn't otherwise say what "code" is.

Is it actual code from a project rather than pseudo-code or hypothetical code?

Details matter! In order to give good advice, we need to see real, concrete code, and understand the context in which the code is used. Generic code (such as code containing placeholders like foo, MyClass, or doSomething()) leaves too much to the imagination.

This has made a fairly large abundance of questions about whether a language is on or off topic.


In generic terms what languages are on or off topic?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If it's a programming language, it's on-topic. Most esoteric languages are, only the ones that are explicitly dubious in nature (like Nothing) aren't. Just not every language is a programming language. Is that your question? \$\endgroup\$ – Mast May 28 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast FYI there's a contradiction in your comment, esoteric languages are still programming languages. So not all programming languages are on-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz May 28 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast Is what my question? \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz May 28 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I wouldn't consider non-programming languages (such as CSS or HTML) to be on-topic, but precedent says otherwise, and I wouldn't seek to change that now. \$\endgroup\$ – Toby Speight May 28 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TobySpeight IIRC HTML is an exception. I am also not trying to change anything. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz May 28 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't consider all esoteric languages to be programming languages. A mouse may think it's an elephant, that doesn't make it one. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast May 28 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ So there's not necessarily a contradiction. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast May 28 at 17:53
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Code review requires "working code" to be an on-topic question. There is no specification of what the language of the code is, just that it works, so, it really comes down to what "works".

To me, working code is code that, when put in the correct context, can be executed, and will produce results that match the design expectations.

Although it is not specifically mentioned, I consider working code to be something that someone else can run (not just the author). i.e. if it is only the author of the code that can possibly get it to produce the correct results then it is not possible to review it. In other words, if the code needs a compiler, interpreter, or some other tools to make it work, then those tools need to be available (not necessarily easily) to others too.

This narrows down the "language" used to one that has an available environment (toolset, infrastructure, whatever) that it can be run in.

This has allowed for all sorts of languages from (many architectures), , , etc. through interpreted like , , , etc.

If there's no tag for the language (yet), then try to create it. If you don't have enough rep to create the language tag, then post on meta, or something.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Right, so Nothing's on-topic then... \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz May 28 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz No, because it's not doing anything. The specification describing anything to be bug-free is simply bull, not a proper specification. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast May 28 at 18:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz - taking the nothing "language" at face value, I suppose you could take "code" that produces the expected result (that would be not a thing)... but, your question would then still be broken because of a number of things... questions are supposed to have meaningful titles, cannot be duplicates, and are also supposed to have enough context. I don't believe nothing "programs" could satisfy those things either. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl May 28 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm.... all nothing questions could also likely be closed for "too broad", "primarily opinion based", and "unclear what you're asking" reasons as well... \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl May 28 at 18:52

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