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I have noticed that we have many more questions being asked about consumer electronics that do not fall into the scope of this site. I think some of this confusion comes from "Electronics" in our name. Might there be a better name for this site?

I am not sure, just throwing this out there to see what others think.

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I followed the Automotive Electronics stackexchange when it was in its infancy (it was subsequently closed), and we had the same issue in the definition - Non-engineers/developers/hackers read "electronics" and think consumer products - We wanted "Automotive Electoronics Development. See the Google cache for the conversation.

When I hear the word "Electronics", I think of PCBs, solder, wire, and ICs - The things which an electronics engineer works with. When my sister hears the word "Electronics", she thinks of cell phones, iPods, computers, and televisions - the items which are in the "Electronics" section of the local department store. People who don't think like us are in the majority, and cannot be depended upon to read the FAQ or previous questions to determine if their question was on-topic. Therefore, I think that one of the following words:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Engineering

needs to be in the name.

Imagine if StackOverflow was called "Computer Programs and Operating Systems". - They'd be flooded with questions about how to use and where to buy software. Just because their membership is composed of computer programmers who think of code and compilers when they read the title doesn't mean that the average Googlenaut will.

Edit: I enjoyed Chiphacker, but I'd like the site to attract experts, and I think that using the word 'Hacker' could (1) discourage professionals and (2) cause problems for some corporate firewalls.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I think chiphacker did the filtering well, we need to think of something similar in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Nov 12 '10 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Anyone know what it takes to actually get the name changed? \$\endgroup\$ – Kellenjb Nov 12 '10 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think we have that option when the site goes live, I can contact robert if needed. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Nov 13 '10 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think reemrevnivek is absolutely right, using the stackoverflow comparison, E&R should be called something like "TransistorLogic". Just like the word stackoverflow, this is something only someone with at least a basic knowledge of electronics would recognise, without alienating the pros. \$\endgroup\$ – BG100 Jan 24 '11 at 0:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BG100 - That's a good name idea! \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Jan 24 '11 at 1:15
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I think the "better name" preceded E&R: Chiphacker.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, bring the Chiphacker name back please! \$\endgroup\$ – terrace Jan 26 '11 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not all electronics involve chips, hence why I don't think this is as good a name. \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Mar 18 '11 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JYelton: Very few software engineering questions involve actual stack overflows. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt Nov 2 '11 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ben: Which is why Stack Overflow is a bad name too. If you don't already know what it is, it's not going to tell you. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jan 15 '12 at 21:44
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I agree that the name of this site is too vague. The problem is that Robotics covers a very wide field, including electronics, software and mechanics.

Calling the site Robotics and electronics is as strange as calling it Robotics and programming, Robotics and mechanics, or Robotics and AI.

Does this site cover the whole of robotics? Can I ask a question about kinematics, which definitely falls under the category of robotics but not electronics?

Hugo

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well there's always "Electronics and Certain Specific Aspects About Robotics" :) \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Mar 18 '11 at 19:28
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I'd like to pitch a name idea here; I couldn't find a Q&A thread where that's being done.

ElectronFlow

Electronics and Robotics: Engineering and Design

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