Is this no longer the case?
Software recommendations do have their rightful place here. Finding the right tool for the trade is equally important an issue as the tricks of the trade itself. If the question fits our subject, it should stay. I am against declaring any and all software-recommendations questions off-topic just because there is now a 'better place' we can send the askers.
I do agree that we have been handling the close-hammer a bit too liberally the last few months—not just with software-recommendations questions.
I think we should try and be inclusive in our closing strategy: if something is related to our topic and isn't strictly declared off-topic by consent on meta, we should keep it. Even if there is another Stack where it might be a (much) better fit*, we should guard our content at least a bit jealously. We want questions and answers, and we want a lot of them.
If a question is of low quality, don't immediately vote to close it. Downvote it, comment on it asking for clarification. Encourage the creation of good content, don't cut off a first attempt.
*I see a question that would be a much better fit on another site as an opportunity to lure that site's users to ours. Maybe they will dole out some wisdom. Maybe they'll even come back and do it again.
As far as I'm concerned nothing has changed and these are still on-topic as long as they're for graphic design related software. The creation of a Software Recommendation Exchange in no way diminishes questions from being on-topic here.
These, and other questions, are what this site has been built on and I'm not in favor of changing it.
(I speak only for myself, and have not talked with other mods about their opinion prior to posting this)
I do not think many of them are a very good fit actually. Reason is that whenever it's a basic question, the answer is mostly going to be the same from question to question. When the asked recommendation is more specific and has a richer need, then the likelihood of an answer drops pretty quickly to 0.
Speaking against recommendation questions are:
- Most of the time such questions are primarily opinion-based and they should be closed for that reason
- Many are also too broad and should be closed for that reason
Now, if there is a question that has the answer other than Photoshop, Gimp, Illustrator, Setch, Inksacape, InDesign, or Scribus, I'm fine with that. But it seems to me that these attract just lists of options. There's nothing bad with that but they might not be useful in the long run.
So I'm somewhat pessimistic but don't rule them out as long as they are well done and in scope. But overall it would be easier if we dropped them, but then life would be easier if you could pick and choose just the fun stuff, now wouldn't it?