Prompted by this question:

  • Pricing OANDA box options (note: after further discussion, it is clear that this question is not about how to use specific software and rather about a particular kind of option...I'll replace this when we have a better example)

Whether specific vendor questions should be allowed was slightly controversial during the definition phase (e.g. an example about Bloomberg).


My question really isn't about specific software, but about a specific company's pricing. OANDA also has a (non-free) API that yields the same information.

Here, the software just sends my requests to the server and receives a response. The software itself isn't doing any calculations itself.

OANDA is a big company with many customers, and having an options-pricing formula for them would be useful to many.

Thanks @barrycarter; it seems like the question is very focused on how OANDA works. I could easily see the site getting overloaded with questions about "how to do x in metatrader" and so forth. This seems like a key risk to me as the site gets started. Let's see what everyone else thinks. – Shane Feb 1 '11 at 20:42
+1 @shane good point. i do feel like there should be some room for discussions of trade/stat code design patterns, however. – allen Feb 1 '11 at 21:02
@Shane Not to berate the obvious, but metatrader is a platform, wherein OANDA is a company. So, we could disallow questions about metatrader w/o affecting questions like mine. – barrycarter Feb 1 '11 at 21:06
I see...just looked over your question again and I see your point. I still have a hard time making sense of this. OANDA is also software/a broker. Perhaps this question would fit better on the OANDA forums? In any case, I'll concede that your question is about a particular kind of option, not about how to use the software. I'll update this question to reflect that. – Shane Feb 1 '11 at 21:13
I've asked OANDA about this, both via direct email and on the forums, but received no reply.… and… I agree that it's annoying that OANDA named their software after themselves. I think you can use MetaTrader and other platforms w/ OANDA's' Forex trading, but, for box options, you're stuck w/ their software. – barrycarter Feb 2 '11 at 1:27

Just to expand on what I said in my comment:

I could easily see the site getting overloaded with questions about "how to do x in metatrader" and so forth. This seems like a key risk to me as the site gets started because it could drive away people with more of a theoretical focus.

That being said, I agree with @allen and @neil that code and algorithm discussion should certainly be within the scope of the site.

So the question that should be asked before submitting a software question: would the vendor better service this answer?

+1: "would the vendor better service this answer?" is a really nice and concise guideline – Karol Piczak Feb 1 '11 at 21:18
Are there any preferences on how this will mesh with SO and/or the R-finance mailing list? I am new to finance, R, and these forums (and working in a vacuum since most I come across use Stata or SAS) and don't want to throw a wrench in the works. Let's say I had a question about best practices in working with options data in R. It seems maybe too general for the mailing list and too finance specific to SO. Thoughts? – Richard Herron Feb 4 '11 at 15:52
@richardh IMO, if it's a programming/algorithm question related to finance (whether R, c++, k, etc) then it should be in-scope. But if is about how to use the software itself, then it shouldn't be asked here. We are not a Bloomberg support site. – Shane Feb 5 '11 at 0:04

I would say R for sure, maybe keep it to "very common" or open source software


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