So the mother of all list-questions was just posted: What LISP compilers and interpreters were available for 8-bit machines?

Not only explicitly asking for a list, but with the extra twist of asking about the "LISt Processor"!

Since list questions are simply not suitable or useful for the Stack Exchange format, I voted to close, but no one seems to join me. What's worse is that the first two comments are by diamond mods, one who even wrote in this answer:

The consensus is that we don't want list questions

In the question Do we want list questions? both the highest voted answer and the accepted conclude that no, we do not. None of the answers seem to want it and there are no downvotes on the answers. There are numerous reasons and links there so I won't iterate the reasons here, but as you can understand, I still think they are as valid now as when they were written.

Do you disagree? If so, what has changed that made this OK now?

  • 1
    Ironically (or perhaps meta-ironically), this question itself is a duplicate and appears to be designed exclusively to provoke discussion. (I don't necessarily think this is a terrible thing, though.) I've added my answer to the question this duplicates.
    – cjs
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 1:23
  • 1
    @CurtJ.Sampson Meta works differently. It's probably better to add an answer to the more recent one, but do whatever makes sense.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 5:37
  • @wizzwizz4 Ah, excellent point. I guess I'll leave my answer over at the other question, since my answer tries to be far more general than responding about the particular question I posted. But I'll keep this in mind for the future.
    – cjs
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 6:02

2 Answers 2


Our Diamond Moderator votes are binding. We simply can't vote to close normally on questions; if we want to leave something to a community decision, the most we can do is try to mitigate the damage. The lack of a close vote when a moderator posts a comment is not a Super Endorsement of Magical Quality™.

That being said, this question is different to most list questions we've had before, because:

  • It's on-topic. (Hooray!)
  • It's clearly-defined and finite.
  • It's not got its own Wikipedia article.
  • It has one Community Wiki answer that others can edit.

As you'll be able to see from the post timeline, I tried to apply a Wiki Lock to the question, as is convention for many sites where list questions are allowed. Unfortunately, that disabled voting on the question for technical reasons, so I removed it again. This lead to two further answers, which might lead to the question getting all messy. But I've got hope that this one could do better than the rest.

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    FWIW, one of the separate answers (ZIL) seems better as a separate answer to me until we determine if ZIL really meets the criteria. (And those criteria in turn are still being worked out as the question gets tightened up.) For the other answer, I intend to integrate those into the community wiki post when I get a round tuit.
    – cjs
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 6:04

Since list questions are simply not suitable or useful for the Stack Exchange format...

This is not an absolute nor self-evident truth, since most sites tolerate a few of them when they are felt to be of sufficient quality and on-topicality.

With good community practices in place and guidance from moderation, an occasional excursion or Walk on the Wild Side will not break Stack Exchange, and can generate good quality and useful answers. In some cases making the answer a community Wiki can be productive as well.

Come to think of it, there are probably almost no absolutes in Stack Exchange. (see how I tried to word that fairly carefully?)

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