I'm a n00b here, but been active on Security.SE for a while.

I just asked my first question. Someone pointed out that the help center clearly bans such questions, redirecting them to SO.

However, I got a comment here that solved my problem, while my SO question has had no attention yet at all.

Please consider updating your help center to allow such questions.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Consider posting an answer with a concrete suggestion so that people can upvote/downvote it - That way, we can see what the community actually wants. $\endgroup$
    – Ella Rose
    Mar 13, 2017 at 17:55

3 Answers 3


Although it is nice that you got a good answer here, most of the cryptography based questions on SO are definitely not OK to be posted on this site. Most of them are encoding mistakes, programming errors, linking errors etc. etc. which have little to do with cryptography. They would turn crypto.SE into the mess that is StackOverflow.

So unfortunately, even although there are interesting crypto-related questions posted on SO, I don't think we can afford programming related questions here. And this is from somebody who has answered almost 10% of the total amount of questions tagged cryptography on SO - so I think my opinion should count for something here...

  • $\begingroup$ And I would be very surprised if Thomas - the bear - Pornin would not agree with this. There is undoubtedly a reason why he doesn't do as much on SO anymore. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Mar 19, 2017 at 0:17

You asked a question that is strictly speaking a programming question, i.e. 'why don't I get the expected result' and 'I think one of the function is wrong'. This has nothing to do with cryptography even if the function happen to be cryptographic functions.

The answer to this kind of question is at best an 'error correction' answer, and at worst a bug identification. Neither really fits crypto.se.

The sole fact that users here can answer such question does not make them on-topic.

  • $\begingroup$ I was suggesting a change in your policy, not asking for a restatement of the current policy. $\endgroup$
    – paj28
    Mar 13, 2017 at 14:05
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The policy is based on what the community wants to see on the site, not on what the users are able to answer. This is obviously a shame that you question haven't receive favourable attention on SO, but it does not means it falls into the scope of crypto.se $\endgroup$
    – M'vy
    Mar 13, 2017 at 14:31

For what it's worth, your post at least had the effect of personally reminding me to check the [cryptography] tag on SO a bit more often, just in case there might be any interesting questions there that I might want to answer.

Also, to encourage other resident experts here to maybe do the same, I drew up a proposed community ad:

If the ad gets enough upvotes to show up in the sidebar, perhaps it'll remind both askers and potential answerers to visit SO for crypto-related programming questions.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .