Two of my favourite blogs have announced in the last few hours the upcoming launch of www.stackoverflow.com and I, for one, am excited.
The site will be a combined effort by two of the legends in the software design world, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. Jeff runs the well-known Coding Horror blog, and Joel is chief guy for the Joel on Software blog as well as CEO of Fog Creek. They've decided to combine forces to start a community site that's essentially a free programming Q&A site.
Every programmer knows the recurrent problems encountered when searching for a programming dilemma in Google with the hopes of finding an answer. There are a couple of problems that haunt me constantly. Joel mentions in his blog post the situation where you find your exact problem and potential answers on sites that require registration and payment. Experts Exchange is a classic for that; so much so that I generally use some google-fu to remove any Experts Exchange pages from my search results when searching for solutions. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Experts Exchange has some fantastic content, but I can't justify spending that much money to save me a few hours every few months.
The other problem I encounter time and time again are the forum posts with no solutions. Often, when I search for a specific problem in Google, I'll get a ton of results that appear to exactly match my particular issue. Excitedly, I'll open them all up in new tabs and go through them looking for the bit of code that will be my saviour. Far too often, the threads don't provide answers at all - just a community of people lamenting the same fault and looking for cures. Even more frustrating are the instances when the initial poster finishes up the thread with a post along the lines of, "Thanks everybody, but I found out how to do it" without providing the solution.
Hopefully, this site will hasten a timely death for these frustrations. If there's anyone I'd want on the case, it's these two guys.