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I have made a first quick edit to the FAQ for electronics design. I would like to post it up here and have people take a shot at improving and editing it. I posted it up just to give a bit more detail people had requested.

I am quoting a "base." I am not married to this idea in any way, just a start.

It is rough, but just there to get us started. It is a community wiki answer, anyone should be able to edit it. Try to give a reason for any change and change the post also. Lets see if we can converge.

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This site is for electronics professionals and serious hardware hacking enthusiasts. We ask and answer questions about electronics engineering topics, which include electronics, physical computing, and those working with microcontrollers, Arduinos and embedded systems. We feel the best Electronics Design questions have a schematic or some C code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific electronics design problem
  • the theory and simulation of electromagnetic forces
  • a communication scheme
  • the writing of firmware for bare-metal or RTOS applications

and it is not about …

  • a shopping or buying recommendation
  • consumer electronics such as media players, cell phones or smart phones, except when designing these products or hacking their electronics for other uses
  • Programming software for a PC

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like it, but is the bottom "not about" based on actual closed questions? I'd survey electronics.stackexchange.com/search?q=closed%3A1 and see what the "top 3 reasons" are.. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 '11 at 6:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Jeff here. We need to formulate a clear criterion for a shopping or buying recommendation close reason. It has been argued on meta several times that a significant part of electronics design are in fact purchasing decisions. \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Mar 31 '11 at 10:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andrejako, but we do not take simple shopping recommendations. It is not just a shopping recommendation if they actually ask one of the "good" shopping questions. They always are night and day. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 31 '11 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jeffAtwood, I had used SU and SO as templates as I am not great at formatting. Consumer electronics and shopping recommendations are by and far our largest issue, and I made sure they were listed. Looking at the list I am reminded of people asking SO questions on ED. I have added that advice as the last point, points currently in descending order of regularity. Let me know what you think @all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 31 '11 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @all, I think adding a note that questions about electronic controls related to robotics will be fine, but nothing past that, currently it is implied, but making it clear might be nice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 31 '11 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk♦ I agree that we do not take "simple" shopping questions and that there is a major difference between them and "good" shopping questions. I know that it may look complicated, but we need some sort of guideline for good and bad shopping questions which should be easy to access for new members. As far as I can see at this moment only way to quickly explain to a new user what a good shopping question is would be to take a look at some of the existing questions, make a similar and hope it doesn't get closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Mar 31 '11 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk♦ I believe that the "shopping" problem is currently handled in a good way, but I'm afraid that in future situation may degrade. We'll have more and more users with close rights and I fear that the "community feel" for what it allowed and what isn't may get fractured. Anyway, I'll make a new meta question about this. \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Mar 31 '11 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I fixed up the first pagagraph a little, (the '-topics' part didn't flow right), removed the 'software tools ...' and 'other matters...' points from the first list, replaced them with electronics theory and firmware writing, and adjusted the consumer electronics point in the second list. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 '11 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ While we have several questions about software tools, I don't think they're important enough that they should be in our FAQ. <quote>matters that are unique to the electronics design profession</quote> is rather pointeless IMO. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 '11 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I replaced these removals with a point on electronics theory (can someone phrase this better)? and firmware writing. I think firmware writing (carefully distinguished from, but possibly overlapping SO's scope) should definitely be in our FAQ. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 '11 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Firmware" is unclear. To some it means embedded software, to others it means FPGA designs in Verilog or VHDL. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11 '11 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrainCarlton, I am not sure I would even describe FPGA designs as firmware, but I see no issue with people bringing HDL and FPGA design questions here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Apr 12 '11 at 11:59
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I suggest that we remove the consoles part from the video games line and place it with the rest of the devices. Why would console design be off-topic here? There are people who made consoles using AVR microcontrollers and I think that should someone want to do something similar he should be able to ask for help here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ let me make an answer people can edit. I just pasted that in without much thought so people could give feedback. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 29 '11 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, but I just removed the entire line, I do not see much of an issue with either, just had to look at it again after making it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 29 '11 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk♦ OK. I think that it's pretty obvious that the site isn't about video games. If we do get an influx of questions about them, we can add explicit rule against them later. \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Mar 29 '11 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Glad we agree! \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 29 '11 at 22:09

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