Today we got a software recommendation code which was asking for a code that can do TDDFT or BSE: Is there any DFT code or software that implemented forces of TDDFT or BSE calculations for solids?

Unlike our favorite software-recommendation question that asked for a software that can do X: Is there a free package with robust CASSCF functionality? where we got several different programs for doing X and could rank them based on how goo they are at doing X, the above question is asking for software that can do X or Y.

The answers can look as follows:

  1. This software can do Y (this was the first answer so far, where ProfM suggested a program that can do BSE)
  2. This software can do X
  3. This software can do Y
  4. This software can do X
  5. This software can do Y

It seems a bit messier than the example where someone asks just for a software that can do X.

Do we want to encourage the user to ask one question about software that can do TDDFT, and another question that asks about software that can do BSE? The more questions we have the more visible we become: https://stackexchange.com/sites and therefore the more our site grows. However we also don't want to become "cheap" and ask an unnecessarily degree of trivial questions.


I agree with separating the questions in a case like this. I think in general we should avoid having "software to do X or Y (or Z)" type questions and would be better served by having multiple separate "software that can do X" type questions. Having more questions is both better for the growth of the site and leads to more specific questions/answers that are easier to find for future users.

I would recommend the user split the question in two and probably include a link between the two questions.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for responding so fast! We are still a young site so it won't hurt for the user to split their question into two in this one instance. If a question like this comes up again in the future, we will hopefully have more of the community's input described in this Meta thread. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani Sep 8 '20 at 17:53

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