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Yesterday, I asked this question:

https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/199283/train-test-split-in-rs-caret-package

which was promptly downvoted and closed due to being off topic. I understand that, and I made a mistake to post it. However I have a question:

  1. Am I correct that my question falls into the category of "OR it focuses on programming, debugging, or performing routine operations within a statistical computing platform"?
  2. If so, would it be appropriate to migrate this question to stackoverflow?
  3. Would it perhaps be a good idea to automatically allow such migrations? I know some other stackexchange sites allow users to vote by saying "this is off topic and it belongs to this other stackexchange site".
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    $\begingroup$ #3 is exactly the situation. People with enough reputation can vote for migration. In your case the vote was just for closing as off-topic. The case for migration is strongest when a question is focused on very specific code and a reproducible example. Rather open questions asking for code or coding strategy are not good for SO. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 2 '16 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ Further, questions asking for recommendations of software are not treated warmly in any forum, not because they don't arise (we all want to know which software, packages, commands, functions are "best") but because they often just lead to exchanges of opinion or plugs for people's own programs. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 2 '16 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ @NickCox So I take it you think the question would be inapropriate even on SO? Because I don't see my question as "asking for recommendation", nor as a "rather open question". I believe my question is quite specific in explaining what exactly I want to do. $\endgroup$ – 5xum Mar 2 '16 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't involved in the voting. I don't know what you can see, but four people, one a moderator, voted that it was off-topic, when as said one option was certainly for migration. My own point of view, since you press me, is that such a vote was reasonable and FWIW that your question is rather open, but often such decisions are a close call. Yet you don't have to persuade me, You can post your question on SO and if you are right it has a good chance of being answered, My comments above are generic and try to identify when a vote is most likely to be for closure rather than migration, $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 2 '16 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ @NickCox I wasn't persuading you, I was just asking you. I asked three questions in my post and you basically ony answered one, so I reiterated my other questions. I did in fact post my question on SO, and it so far has an upvote and no close votes, so I suppose it is appropriate. Thanks for your oppinion! $\endgroup$ – 5xum Mar 2 '16 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ Understood, but the reason I replied in comments was precisely that I was not purporting to answer your whole question, not least because I don't understand how it all hangs together. But I addressed #3 directly; it follows that I don't think migration was the better option, which was #2. No matter; if your question gets good answers on SO, that would clearly be good all round. But having asked a question on SO, we ask that you delete the CV question. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 2 '16 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ @NickCox Agreed. $\endgroup$ – 5xum Mar 2 '16 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ Re (2), I would have voted to migrate that question had I been aware of it. In fact, recently I have re-opened similar questions that had been closed and I migrated them. I feel that if a question looks like it would be appropriate on another site, then migrating it, rather than just closing it, is more friendly, constructive, and helpful to both that site and ours. The difficulty is that such decisions must be based on the standards of both sites: if we start migrating many questions that are seen as bad or off-topic on the target sites, we start getting complaints. $\endgroup$ – whuber Mar 2 '16 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @whuber I understand. It's not really that big of a deal, I "manually migrated" it myself. $\endgroup$ – 5xum Mar 2 '16 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ @NickCox there's a stack exchange for software recommendations -- softwarerecs.stackexchange.com. They do have somewhat restrictive norms about what, exactly is on topic, but it's perhaps too strong to say that software recommendation questions aren't treated warmly in any forum. . $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Mar 2 '16 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b Thanks for that correction. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 3 '16 at 6:51
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So that this question ends up with an answer:

Am I correct that my question falls into the category of "OR it focuses on programming, debugging, or performing routine operations within a statistical computing platform"?

Yes.

If so, would it be appropriate to migrate this question to stackoverflow?

Only if it meets the conditions to be on topic there*. Many programming questions do not (a lot fail by asking about problems but not providing a small reproducible example)

* we're not supposed to migrate questions which will simply close at the destination; indeed if it is closed there it will usually just bounce straight back. [In typically terse and colourful language often associated with programmer forums, this is usually expressed as "don't migrate crap"; the term tends to be used even with otherwise good questions that don't meet the site's standards.]

Would it perhaps be a good idea to automatically allow such migrations?

You can flag for migration to any other site; if it seems to meet the topic and standards of the target site, we'll migrate for you. This is the preferred method (over deletion and reposting).

I know some other stackexchange sites allow users to vote by saying "this is off topic and it belongs to this other stackexchange site".

So does ours.

Sometimes our users with sufficient reputation will vote to close with a "off-topic/migrate" reason rather than the option under which yours closed -- but if it's going to close there anyway, the people on the receiving end (rightly) see it as us simply wasting their time.

I don't know that there's a need for any other migration pathway than the usual methods. Flagging is usually fast.

If you do ask a software related question here and it closes, here's what you do:

  1. consider whether it can be made clearly on-topic here; if so edit accordingly

  2. if there's a stats/ML part and a programming (say) part; if so, split it into two questions, keeping the stats one here and posting the other in a suitable forum. You can always link the two if need be.

  3. if it's already clearly on-topic elsewhere on SE, flag to migrate

  4. if it could be made on topic elsewhere, edit then flag

  5. finally, if it's not on topic on SE, consider the support forums (and other resources) that are mentioned in our close-reason text.

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