I'm want to simulate and visualize (render) how would light refract inside a glass mug with complex geometry. Since I'm quite sure I cannot code myself something like that, I would ask for a software recommendation. However, it seems that such questions not allowed here.

Where can I ask for a software recommendation like that?


  • $\begingroup$ There is a Software Recommendations SE, but you should look at their help center to see if your question fits. I don't know if these questions are actually strictly off-topic here though. $\endgroup$ – user191954 Dec 7 '18 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ Here's a relevant meta post: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9304 However, the answers contradict each other. $\endgroup$ – user191954 Dec 7 '18 at 13:14

Software Recommendations Stack Exchange site, recommended by Chair in the comments, has had similar questions as what you've requested:

So it seems like a decent bet that it's something you could ask there. I don't know if it's on-topic there, but there is also SciComp.se, though I think that site is more suited for queries about writing the code than finding & using libraries.

  • $\begingroup$ I didn't make my comment an answer because I wasn't sure if the question could be on-topic here, and that's something that this answer kind of misses. This Physics meta post has an answer by QMechanic saying that software questions can be on-topic here if framed appropriately and tagged resource-recommendation, and it's supported by the tag-wiki. However, DavidZ's answer contradicts that. I don't know if we have any canonical stuff regarding our scope when it comes to software recommendations. $\endgroup$ – user191954 Dec 7 '18 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Chair I don't see Qmechanic's answer saying that at all, instead I see that it's up to us (the community) to decide & currently the community is split as to whether we should or not. I'm on the side that says no we shouldn't (which is consistent with comp-physics tag which explicitly states we cannot advise on libraries/compilers/etc). $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Dec 7 '18 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ I don't set much store by what Qmechanic says in the second part of that answer: it's citing a few inconclusive meta discussions, but the tag wiki looks like a very formal way of saying that the questions are on-topic. If we're going into judgement calls about whether those stuff are off-topic or not, I'll say that they should be off-topic, but that is worth its own meta post for the community to come to an understanding that we'll all close those questions and we'll adjust the tag wikis to not imply that they're off-topic. $\endgroup$ – user191954 Dec 7 '18 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Chair the first part of that answer says that it is consistent to use the resource req tag for software recs. The second part is what deals with topicality, so I'm not sure why you'd want to ignore it as that is the important part concerning here. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Dec 7 '18 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ Why would we have a tag specifically say it includes something if that something is off-topic though? $\endgroup$ – user191954 Dec 8 '18 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Chair because it is based on one person's assessment without much input from the community. The community is rather undecided about resource recommendations applying to software (though even more broadly, there's still push-back against book recommendations). $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Dec 8 '18 at 12:24

You must log in to answer this question.

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