So the embedded systems site proposal has been closed because it was taking too long. I can't figure out how much of it was a duplicate of this site.

I have found several prior meta discussions, but I don't find them conclusive.

The following opinions seem consensual:

On the other hand Where do we draw the line for code being on- or off-topic? shows more diverse opinions. If EE.SE does cover embedded software, I'm surprised to see so few questions about low-memory algorithms, OS design, bootloaders, component integration, etc.

So where does EE.SE draw the line? Which of the example questions of the embedded systems proposal would be on-topic here? Which of the questions on Raspberry Pi would be on-topic here (note that Pi.SE caters a lot to amateurs)? Is embedded OS design on-topic here? And if I'm writing a custom application on top of my custom OS? How about embedded software integration (how do I get U-Boot to start)? How about system architecture — fitting a chip and its software in a larger system?

In short, does EE.SE cover all aspects of embedded system design and development?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have had this on a to do list to discuss, I am heavily in favor of this, but I will say that we have not done it heavily in the past. I would like to use the embedded tag for very heavy software where embedded optimization is the goal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:31

2 Answers 2


No, I don't think EE.SE covers all aspects of embedded systems design, and I don't think it would be productive for us (EE.SE) to try to include everything. I believe that there are a few clearly defined regions that belong in EE.SE (ADC interfaces, pins, power modes), and there are similar clearly defined regions that are much better suited for other sites such as Stack Overflow (running a program on embedded Linux). I haven't seen too much activity in the way of the higher-level items (OS-based questions and U-Boot) here on EE.SE, and the questions I have seen seem to linger. I don't think I would necessarily close them as off topic per se, but they would probably do better elsewhere such as Stack Overflow (I think).

I'm still not sure how I feel about the Raspberry Pi StackExchange. It feels almost identical to the Arduino proposal that was closed earlier. I believe that the Raspberry Pi StackExchange site would effectively be a sub-set of any embedded-systems question space, so if Embedded-systems were to relaunch, I think the two should merge.

To sorta tie things together, embedded system questions won't be closed as off-topic unless it is more of a generic software/algorithm/programming question.


{edited after feedback}

I've commented recently on other sites, about (IMHO) the unnecessary fragmentation of StackExchange. The referenced Embedded Systems is one that I had hoped would act as the binder to bring a few related areas together...

Whilst I understand the reasoning of the renaming of this site from Electronics Design (because of the actions of the magazine publisher), the shift to Electrical (rather than Electronics) Engineering suggested (maybe in light of Kortuks's comment, most definitely, unintentionally) a shift away from software.

On the other hand, I support the separation of Robotics to its own site, which should act as an aggregator to a number of other related proposals; Electronics and Robotics are too distinct to have a common home. On the other hand, I'm still to be convinced of the merits of RaspberryPi as a standalone site - especially as Arduino failed to make the cut.

The options for Embedded Software are varied... only very low-level stuff really belongs here, so StackExchange probably remains its obvious home, although Programmers may claim it too.. Given (as Kortuk's second comment suggests) that Arduino is so active here, then that clearly indicates that the thrust of this site should include that embedded software. At which point, I end up disagreeing with @W5VO, and feeling that this site could become a wider embedded systems site.

Alternatively, (given, at the software level, its overlap with Unix) RaspberryPi should widen its scope to include Arduino, and PICs (etc) and become Embedded Systems, leaving Electrical (and Electronic) Engineering to focus on the amps and volts?

But fundamentally, Electronics does not need to be ANOTHER software forum.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The confusion with rename was not site policy at all. Electronics Design magazine had to get going about trademark infringement. The fact that they picked Electrical engineering has been a minor point of contention because in the US and the EU it has different implications. Roughly, Electrical Engineering here includes what you are calling Electronics Engineering in the UK, it does not exclude it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Oct 22, 2012 at 12:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Separately, Arduino did not make the cut because it is so active here. It is our #1 tag in use. We support the low level problems. I dislike the suggestion that it should all go to another site because of something such as a name change. I will bring back up the point that I would like our name to be "Electrical and Electronics Engineering" \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Oct 22, 2012 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi @Kortuk - thanks for the clarification. With that in mind, then I will revisit my answer... \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Oct 22, 2012 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ it has been a problem for us, it seems to still have allowed us to draw in many EU users, but only after they realize we are not doing what I would call Power. Here an electrical engineer sometimes goes into power line distribution, but at my school, for example, I could pick 6 different areas from Electromagnetic fields and optics through to computer engineering and they were all considered subsets. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Oct 22, 2012 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess it helps that the URL is still "electronics" \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Oct 22, 2012 at 13:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why not just call it "Electronics"? \$\endgroup\$
    – starblue
    Oct 25, 2012 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @starblue because then it would be read as (consumer) Electronics, and we would have a ton of off-topic questions about cellphones and other junk \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Oct 31, 2012 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @starblue Just changing our name in the footer from Electronics to Electrical Engineering had a major impact on how many off topic questions we get. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Nov 2, 2012 at 3:36

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