I noticed it before, but now this user raised the issue explicitly, so we should react to it: Disable configurable product attribute value (radio button) if not available

The question was closed as off topic according to our rules (highlight added):

"Questions about third-party modules are generally off-topic because the scope of functionality and code are not available. For more information, see this meta post/answer." – Marius

And the user responds with an edit (see Revision):

As the third party module is on git therefore its code is available to all. that's why this may not be an off-topic question.

In previous meta discussions it has been made clear that no matter how popular and open source an extension is, StackExchange is not the right platform to support it. If we stick with this guideline, I think the closing reason should be rephrased, it looks like a bad excuse that doesn't address the actual reason.

Actually the meta post that is linked in the close reason states that

If third-party extension are an integral part of the Magento landscape, then certainly they should be on topic. As a matter of fact, if the developers of these extensions tend to have communities of their own, we should encourage them to become part of the ecosystem of this site.

This is how questions about Fooman extensions for example have been on topic in the past.

I don't have a suggestion for better rephrasing because I honestly cannot explain the rule in a non-axiomatic way. In past discussions I have taken a less strict stance on the topic, but if we don't want to raise the discussion again, it would be very helpful if the proponents of a strict "no third party support" came up with a better text for the close reason.

2 Answers 2


My opinion is that linking to a free open source extension does not make the question on topic.
The OP should not expect people to install the extension and try to solve the problem (even if this might happen).
but, posting a significant part of the extension in the question (the one that causes the problem) should make it on topic.
This is exactly what happened for the question you linked.
The OP added some code to it and it got reopened.
From my point of view the flow followed here is the right way to do it.

  • Sounds fair, but what about the "scope of functionality and code are not available" close reason? Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 9:17
  • "not available" is kind of grey area here.
    – Marius Mod
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 10:34
  • 4
    cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/69117592.jpg Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 14:17
  • Notice how he does that on every post ... Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 15:56
  • RE "scope of functionality and code are not available": linked content is incomplete content. This includes links to publicly-available code. Including code in the question goes a long way to making it both answerable & long-lasting good resource.
    – benmarks
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 13:36
  • @benmarks out of curiousity, did you change your mind regarding Magmi? meta.magento.stackexchange.com/questions/831/magmi-off-topic Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 9:40
  • W/r/t Magmi, that is such a notorious package with a large enough pool of users here that I suspect questions can be answered. That said, for the sake of consistency, I think it's appropriate to include relevant code when the question is related to the code.
    – benmarks
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 8:57
  • @benmarks but 3rd party is 3rd party, so for now it's OT. Regardless how big the community and the appearance in Magento installations is. There should be a strict line. What about Firegento GermanSetup? It's a must have for nearly every DACH installation. This will lead to pushing some extensions, while others get knocked out of the eco system at all.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 8:15
  • "...3rd party is 3rd party, so for now it's OT." Wrong. the policy as it exists now is that third-party modules are generally off-topic, not always off-topic. The sentiment and policy may change as this site evolves.
    – benmarks
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 10:38
  • Thanks for the clearing words, had to translate it again to get the difference between generally and always as it may be missunderstandable when translated to german.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 10:26

I think the answer is quite easy and there are still just 2 ways to handle:

  1. Close all 3rd party questions as offtopic regardless how 'notorious' they may be (see my comment to @benmarks comment) to avoid unbalancing the eco system itself due to pushing and knocking down several extensions.
  2. Create a subsection in Magento called 'Magento Extensions'. All questions regarding 3rd party extensions could be pushed to this subsection. Tags there could be detected by companies to give support too on SE, to give the site another positive push.
  • what's a subsection?
    – Marius Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 11:50
  • A section under Magento. Like 'meta' is a subsection of Magento. Or is meta always the only sub of a site?
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 12:00
  • This is not up to us. We cannot create sub-sites.
    – Marius Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 12:31
  • ok. would be interessting if the SE team itself could do this. and your opinon about a complete new site like magentoextensions.stackexchange.com?
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:36
  • 2
    I don't think there is a reason to have that. It won't work. It will just be a cemetery of questions because most of the extension providers are not on SE. I don't think the SE network will want to create such a website.
    – Marius Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:38

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