Julia questions on SO sharply decreased: reasons?

Just noticed that the number of Julia related questions on SO has sharply decresed in latest months and weeks.
I don’t like SO, I don’t find it very welcoming and I prefer much more the community here on discourse, but I wonder if this decrease in Julia questions on SO is due to (1) people choosing discourse.julialang.org for Julia related questions; (2) more generally SO is declining; (3) there is a less general, but perhaps more focused interest in Julia (this could be correlated to 1)

What do you think?

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StackOverflow definitely lost some of their audience to ChatGPT and other LLMs.

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image

This graphic is from last year so not sure if the trend continued like that, though I expect it has. I couldn’t find anyone who wrote about updated site analytics data, I never had the privileges to see it for myself so I don’t even know if they’re available.

This 2 year trend of course wouldn’t explain a trend in the last weeks or months

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Might because the stackoverflow-feed bot on slack is broken?

Zulip as well, but I don’t think that is a major factor as the feeds are mostly to alert people to new questions to make sure they get answered, I wouldn’t expect them to have an influence on the rate of new questions being posted.

When I asked a question on StackOverflow comparing the Go language with Rust, Julia, and C++, even though it was a serious question, I received an overwhelming number of downvotes and had a terrible experience.

The question was deleted but I archived it here.

Since then I dislike StackOverflow and its system, and unwelcoming people in the Go community. However, I know there are kind people too. Some people taught me about Go gently out of StackOverflow. I hope that the majority of them are nice.

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Hypothesis (2) would be my guess. Do you have (reliable) numbers for the past month or two? Perhaps a time-series of the question timestamps with Julia (or in general)?

No. But yes, there is a clear trend, I wrote originally past few months, but indeed it’s longer that I see this reduction in number of questions there.

Here people claim a -60 / -80% in SO asked questions… now, it would be interesting to compare with a reduction here in discourse posts, perhaps for its nature this is more resilient to the arrival of ChatGPT/LLMs than Q/A sites…

Stackoverflow has a “Site Analytics Dashboard” which is accessible with 25k points. I’m not at that level (yet), so maybe someone who is can supply some insight from that Dashboard.
Link:
Site Analytics

I definitely favor AI tools over stackoverflow. The question is answered immediately and I usually know enough to work out when it gives me back something incorrect. If I get really stuck, I do a deeper dive on my own or ask here.

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Wow, I had no idea how far it had fallen. The axes here are terrible, but you can see the start of each year with the holiday lull. There was a bump during the 2020 lockdown, but then a slow decrease until 2023 when things just fell off the cliff. The numbers here are posts per week:

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For comparison here’s the monthly number of posts on the Julia discourse since 2018. I’m surprised to see that we’re not doing so bad!

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I think part of the reason why SO partecipation is decreasing so sharply is also SO management, many late decisions were perceived very badly from the community, e.g. https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/398127/our-partnership-with-google-and-commitment-to-socially-responsible-ai, https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/399619/our-partnership-with-openai. This clearly affects more answers than questions though. But it is a vicious circle actually.

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I don’t think people gave up on SO because of SO management. It’s solely because of LLM usage

That’s why I brought these concerns up around that time:

Claude may be the correct answer still today, don’t know.

However people still come to forums/discord/tulip for real people to answer questions live - that’s not going anywhere


Also related to: Is there an alternative of StringCases.jl that changes string cases? - #4 by acxz, I’m still a little worried about how often package api’s are changing and LLM’s ability to keep up with them

I’m not sure on the solely, maybe I’m the exception, but I personally started to use Discourse also because I disliked SO management, maybe some people migrated to more specialized sites apart from asking LLMs some of their questions?

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