We have a few questions asking for software recommendations and asking to list some of the choices. I'll be perfectly clear, from these three such questions we currently have, I personally have no quarrels with them, but they might be seen as something that is usually much frowned upon on other Stack Exchange websites: shopping recommendations and list type questions.

Here are the three such questions we currently have:

My question for all of you to chip in with your opinion is do we want them on the main Q&A, or should they perhaps be made community wikis and/or even moved to our meta like we did with Resources and references considered as “literary canons” on the topic of interplanetary space exploration?


Questions about the existence and names of tools to address various tasks should be totally fair game. Knowing the names of some relevant tools greatly assists in the googling.

Shopping recommendations, specifically questions like "which is better, STK or SOAP", should be discouraged. However questions of the appropriateness of a tool for a particular application should be ok. E.g. "Could I use STK for a Mars ascent analysis?". There is a fuzzy boundary between whether this is appropriate and is this tool better than that tool, so the implementation of my opinion would not be but and dry, but would require some judgment.


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