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Good news everyone! As you may have noticed, there have been changes to the close system. One of these changes is that there are new reasons for closing a question. We (as a community) get to tweak the off-topic reasons. This post is designed to be a place for any suggested additions or change in verbage.

Current Reasons:


Default Off-Topic Close Reason
Shown when no 2 off-topic reasons match on a closed question.

  • This question does not appear to be about electronics design, within the scope defined in the help center.

Custom Off-Topic Close Reasons

GUIDELINES
Please limit one new reason (or modification on an existing reason) for each answer posted. Keep in mind that these should be reasons that you expect to use frequently, not just once or twice.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind, you can't exactly go nuts on the description. The text is limited to 400 characters. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Jun 27 '13 at 2:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ In general, avoid canned off-topic reasons that automatically recommend another place for the question. Many of us here don't know enough about these other places to feel comfortable recommending them. I have avoided some of these more specific reasons already due to this. Also, when a question is just crap, you don't want to inflict it on someone else. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 27 '13 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll second @Olin's comment. These are meant to be close messages for when you would not migrate the question to another site. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Jun 27 '13 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO: Missed an opportunity to use youtube.com/watch?v=1D1cap6yETA \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Laplante Jun 27 '13 at 23:17
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Many of the low quality questions seem to be of the form "I've heard of this thing called Electronics. Is it possible for me to use electronics to ...". This is often followed by something fairly advanced, like "... detect the fluttering of a butterfly's wings and time stamp them to the closest picosecond using an FPGA or an Arduino, then I'd like to wirelessly autocontrol a motorcycle to run the butterfly over".

I think its off-topic to ask the site to provide remediation for those wanting to take on advanced exercises even though they have no working knowledge anywhere near where it needs to be to take this on. I'm curious about others' feelings on this, and if there is some consensus about questions of this nature how would the appropriate language for a closed reason be worded (and how can things like this be added to the "What not to ask" list).


Questions must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Tell us what you've tried to do, why it didn't work, and how it should work. See also: Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange question checklist


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    \$\begingroup\$ This could be a reasonable implementation - a nice way of saying "you're in way over your head". StackOverflow has the following reason: Questions must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Tell us what you've tried to do, why it didn't work, and how it should work. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Jun 30 '13 at 17:00
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Perhaps we should change this:

Questions on the use of electronic devices are off-topic as this site is intended specifically for questions on electronics design.

To this:

Questions on the use and programming of existing electronic devices are off-topic as this site is intended specifically for questions on electronics design.

This would include questions like https://electronics.stackexchange.com/q/74252/17592, for which we don't really have a close reason now.

Note: "existing" might not be the right word, feel free to edit something else in.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand why people feel the need to be so fascist about marking questions off-topic. So what if programming is involved with the design of an electronic system? I can guess what would happen if this suggestion was implemented, "I see your question is about programming a design into an FPGA... OFF-TOPIC!!! OFF-TOPIC!!!" \$\endgroup\$ – travisbartley Jul 10 '13 at 7:58
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I like the custom close reasons. So far, I've used these a few times:

  • too localized - this was present in the previous version of the close system, and it was useful
  • insufficient preliminary research
  • insufficient participation - the O.P. was asked in the comments to clarify his question, but didn't respond within a day or two.

These look more like variants of not a real question from the old version, rather than variants of off-topic.

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stackoverflow has:

Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Tell us what you've tried to do, why it didn't work, and how it should work. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist

Example question where this (s/code/circuit/) would be appropriate: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/75407/use-an-ipod-as-screen-in-a-teensy-project

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is kinda where I want to go, but there have been some hiccups in implementation. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Jul 9 '13 at 17:52

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