4
\$\begingroup\$

There seems some debate over this question. OP posted it with the express and apparently sole purpose of answering it himself, with the argument that the answer may give useful info for anybody interested.
An other user is attacking OP for this. Is the practice of answering your own question allowed? I thought it was.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about something that is already covered in the FAQ: electronics.stackexchange.com/help/self-answer \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Mar 22 '14 at 18:03
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @JYelton Questions about how the community responds to certain events is rarely off-topic on meta (and certainly not in this case). \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Mar 22 '14 at 18:57
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm the "other user". I was not attacking the OP, I was arguing that his use of the answer-your-own question format was to promote a particular commercial product without backing up the claims or even showing a comparison to other products. My longer answer is below. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Hass Mar 22 '14 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Self-answering questions as a form of tutorial \$\endgroup\$ – Keelan Mar 24 '14 at 10:41
11
\$\begingroup\$

I was the "other user", but I was not "attacking" the person who posted this question. Furthermore, the issue I had was not that the OP asked a question for the sole purpose of supplying an answer.

My problem with the question/answer was that the question asked for an opinion based on a premise that was unsubstantiated. The premise was that the MSP430 is the "standard" processor for low-power applications; the OP provided no evidence to back up that claim. Then the OP supplied an answer with the opinion that the EFM32 is an alternative for the so-called standard processor. The question/answer sequence was clearly intended to say that the EFM32 is replacing the MSP430 as the new standard processor for low power applications.

In my mind, this kind of question/answer is only slightly better than spamming to support a particular company's products or services. I'm giving the OP the benefit of the doubt that there really is no financial interest in the company.

For the record, I have no relationship or financial interest with TI, Silicon Labs, or any other manufacturer of microcontrollers. I have no doubt that the EFM32 processors are excellent products. I do have an interest in trying to maintain a high quality of information and discourse on EE.SE.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ LMFTFY: this kind of question/answer is just spamming to support a particular company's products or services. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Mar 27 '14 at 16:24
6
\$\begingroup\$

There are a few issues with this question and answer. I think the fact that it is a self-answered question is mostly a red-herring, but I will address that as well.

  • Is it OK to answer your own question? Yes, that's perfectly fine. Be aware, that answering your own question does not make it immune to the site rules, and that depending on how you write your Q&A it may come off as just promoting a product (which is poorly received here). If you ask "Which YYYY is the best?" and give just one answer, that looks suspicious.
  • Is the question On-Topic? Yes, the question is about microcontrollers and low-power design.

So what are the issues with this question?

  • It's Too Broad. "Low Power" can certainly be a design goal, but unless you're focusing on a specific design example, you could probably write a whole book on the topic. Consider the range of "low power" from trying to make a CR2032 last for years all the way to cell-phone design.
  • It's Primarily Opinion Based. There are two separate questions in the post: "Is the TI MSP430 still the standard for battery-powered low-power devices?" and "Which manufacturers are focusing on low-power?". Both are subjective at best - and both are opinion-based if you don't have reasonable, fact-based methods for evaluating them.
  • It's Unclear what you're asking because there isn't enough information in the question. The answer, places an emphasis on having 32-bits and an ARM core, yet it isn't clear how to reach that conclusion from the question.
  • The question has been asked in different ways before, and could be considered a duplicate.

As it stands, there are multiple issues with this question that will keep it closed.

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

Answering one's own question is allowed.

Asking a question with the intent to answer it yourself is allowed. But the standards for this sort of thing are higher. A recommended prerequisite for tackling a subject in this manner is that the subject should have come up on EE.SE previously; and not just once or twice. The question should be FAQish.

Here are some good examples: Choosing power supply, Rules and guidelines for drawing good schematics. Notice the number of up-votes and favorites. When the self-answered question is actually useful, folks do appreciate it.

In light of that, let's look at the thread, which has precipitated this discussion on meta. It's an answer to a question which nobody have asked. That's the problem with that thread.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Why must a self-answered question be FAQish? According to the Help, self-answers are not just allowed, they're encouraged. The typical use case described in the Help is: "you would like to document that knowledge in public so that others (including yourself) can find it later" It seems that limiting self-answers to FAQs is contrary to the official site policy. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Mar 27 '14 at 16:31
2
\$\begingroup\$

I don't like it either, but it is allowed. The real issue here is that the question asks if a particular line of devices is a standard for a particular application, and then goes on to say another line of devices is, without comparing any others. That is bad engineering, doesn't fit the format of the site, and I voted to close.

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

The question is clearly disallowed, because without any other criteria for selecting a part other than "low power", it is primarily opinion-based (and virtually indistinguishable from spam). It is also too broad and/or unclear what the OP is asking for.

The practice of posing and answering your own question is perfectly fine. It is often done to provide a "gathering place" for answers to a whole lot of similar questions. Here is one excellent example.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ How does focussing on one parameter make it opinion-based? Wouldn't it be opinion-based if OP asked about 5 parameters? \$\endgroup\$ – Johan.A Mar 22 '14 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Johan.A: No, because then it would become possible to recommend specific products that met all of those criteria. But then it would be a shopping question, which is also off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 22 '14 at 15:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, but I don't agree. If I ask "what opamp comes in DFN package?" that's one parameter, and it can be answered by mentioning one or more than one. Neither expresses opinion, but gives factual information. Opinion would imply attaching a value to it. \$\endgroup\$ – Johan.A Mar 22 '14 at 15:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Johan.A: But there are literally thousands of opamps in DFN packages. 99% of the answers will be irrelevant because they fail to meet other requirements of the application. And most of the answers will be given based on the personal experience of the answerer, not based on any quantifiable parameter. These are the reasons "opinion-based" (in the most general sense) questions/answers are inappropriate for this site -- they won't be helpful long-term to future visitors. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 22 '14 at 15:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Johan.A Asking "what opamp comes in DFN package?" would be way too broad, and isn't an apples-to-apples comparison to the question referenced. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Mar 22 '14 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Johan.A The "parameter" in question was whether a processor was the "standard" for low power applications. How can that possibly be an objective question? \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Hass Mar 22 '14 at 23:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .