I have seen questions related to programming like

as a matter of fact if I select the c18 tag (I have no idea why it exists here) I get many questions all related to programming

and many more...

None of them has been flagged by anyone, am I missing something regarding to what is off topic for electrical engineering?

Shouldn't these question have been asked in stack overflow ?


2 Answers 2


What you're probably missing from the help center What topics can I ask about here? is:

the writing of firmware for bare-metal or RTOS applications

One problem on Stack Overflow is that people are used to writing for platforms where the memory is measured is GB not kB or even bytes, and hardware is rarely accessed directly. Looking at the questions you've linked:

  1. Sometimes saving a few cycles / bytes on an embedded platform is worthwhile at the cost of code portability. On SO you'd get advice that you should write your code in a portable manner even if it was less efficient.

  2. Very directly related to some specific features of a particular PIC micro and is not a general C coding problem.

  3. As above although probably not a great question because it's unclear what the problem is.

  4. Relates to a I2C communications problem and most likely either a hardware or measurement issue rather than straight programming.

  5. Involves porting between two embedded compilers and a problem related to direct access interrupts rather than generic C code.

So I consider all these question on-topic here even though they may also be on-topic on SO. I think for all those questions they relate to embedded programming and are likely to hopefully get the best and most relevant answers here.


Things overlap. Just like there are some electrical wiring questions that are valid here AND on homeimprovement.se, or automotive 12v system questions. Not all, not most, but some. There are some physics or math questions valid here, there are some android and photography (ex. interfacing a microcontroller with a telephoto lens) and cooking (ex. controlling stovetop or toaster over heating elements via PID) questions as well.

The thing they need to have in common though, is a relevant connection to electrical engineering (or embedded design). Coding overlaps in many environments, from home computing and mobile phones, to embedded designs and super computers. From 50 cent toys to billion dollar space satellites. So it falls into a few different exchanges.

Soon there will be a Raspberry Pi stack exchange, so some questions previously falling to SO and Unix/Linux andEE, will also fall there. And some questions that we think belong at the RPI.SE, they think belong here, because of the overlap between an embedded computer like the RPI, and the typical uses of the RPI like hooking up sensors or relays or transistors or leds.

Overlap is fine, as long as the main point of the question, has a very real connection with the site theme.


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