I'm conflicted on the question Is yWriter for Mac reputable? Is this a safe download? .

On the one hand, checking that something is a "safe download" seems more software-y than we're meant to handle. "Tell me about [Tool X]" also sounds like a borderline shopping question; we could have any number of such questions, and the information can definitely go stale.

On the other hand, "Is [X] reputable?" sounds like a reasonable, answerable question we might want to keep on-topic. Serving a function not unlike Writer Beware. It can be helpful to vet potential writing software; this is different than an open "what software should I use" recommendation question.

We've also had previous "Is [X] reputable?" questions about things other than software, e.g. Kirkus reviews and Examiner.com . I think those questions work (although we haven't been subjected to the potential flood we could hypothetically get).

What say ye?

  • Yes/No answers for handy voting, but I encourage y'all to post answers with your thoughts and reasoning as well :)
    – Standback
    Mar 13, 2016 at 9:34

3 Answers 3


Depends on the question.

I don't think we can answer this as a simple yes/no question. I think asking if a particular download site is reputable is off-topic, but asking if a reviews site has a good rep in the community is potentially a good question.

In the end, it comes down to: Is this a question about writing or its supporting community/supporting industries? The question about the yWriter download page fails this test and I think we should close it.

  • I don't think the question is asking about the website; I think it's asking about the tool. Maybe consider it this way: if somebody came in asking "Is this 'Scrivener' thing a real thing? I got a link to it, is it a real piece of writing software?", would you also favor closing?
    – Standback
    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:40
  • What about, say, "is Indie Publisher X reputable"? We could get a hundred questions like that. But then how is "Indie Publisher X" a different think from "Review Venue Y'?
    – Standback
    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:47
  • I think there is a general case here that we can discuss, even if our conclusion is that we wind up breaking it down into a few different sub-cases. We shouldn't have to consider the issue anew for every reputability question we receive.
    – Standback
    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:49
  • 1
    IMHO, on the quoted question, we have in fact 2 questions. The first one, the question about the software. I think this ones should be on-topic, like any question about any software designed for writers. But the second one, about the download, should be off-topic. It's not about writing, in fact it's more about security and internet uses.
    – Shkeil
    Mar 14, 2016 at 19:47

Reputability Checks should be off-topic.


Reputability Checks should be on-topic.

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