Earlier today, I asked the following question

Comparison of wireless communication technologies: bluetooth vs wifi

One comment stated

I'm sorry but I think this question is too broad and too open to opinion.

I answered that comment for the opinion-based part. And I asked why it was too broad.

I received no answer except that seeing some time later that the question was on-hold for being "too broad". Since I still fail to see how is that too broad, I came to ask here, hoping, this time, to get an answer. Maybe I could modify my question to make it fit, but if I don't know what's wrong, mere chances of that.


  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Because you could write dozens of books about it and still have only captured a fraction. Already listing all the possible points you could compare would hardly fit into the 30k char limit of SE, probably already a listing of what RF technologies exists. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Sep 9, 2015 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH That should be an answer, not a comment \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Sep 9, 2015 at 15:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ About a year ago, I went to a IEEE talk, where the speaker tried to compare and contrast wireless techniques (Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular). It took about an hour and a half to get a first approximation comparison. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2015 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ 12 books on a summary? Please do tell me when you're done with the first two, I'd love to read them. So no way to choose a technology without doing a PhD on it, is that what you tell me? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2015 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO well, I feel for meta this would be a bit short and don't have much time to elaborate... but if you think it suffices I can copypasta it or you can convert it * dives back into some computer cases * \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Sep 9, 2015 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ BTW, we had a nearly identical question not too long ago. Can't seem to find it again, though. Don't know if it survived. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2015 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


Actually too broad covers it quite well and clearly. Therefore I can't tell whether your problem is not understanding what "too broad" means, or not understanding why the question was too broad.

"Too broad" means that too much information or background material would have to be given to answer the question. This is a poor match for our Q+A format, so we don't allow it. Since it comes up often enough, we even have a specific canned close reason for it. That way the people voting to close don't have to write the same explanation each time. They just click "too broad" and move on to more useful things on this site.

Your question makes a great poster case for "too broad". It's basically asking us to compare and contrast all the wireless communication technologies. Really!? First there are so many of them, then there are so many parameters that could be relevant to picking one in any particular case. The answer would need a book or several books.

If you didn't mean to ask the question such that the answer is a book, then you have to go back and ask specific things about specific aspects of specific wireless technologies. However, you didn't, so the question is clearly way too broad, and was correctly closed as such.

  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I understand what the "too broad" means alright. But if you read more than the title, you'll notice that "there are so many of them" was somehow limited from the start and is now limited to only two. "there are so many parameters that could be relevant" which is why I wrote about the application I intended to use it for. And one may notice that I specifically asked for a summary. So if summarizing one needs to write a book, one does not do it well. But thanks for taking the time to answer anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2015 at 12:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @bilbo_pingouin You said in your question "I know that there are commercially available products for exactly such needs" and, before that you "pointed at" two technologies that I think would be unsuitable for this application. I therefore inferred that you were a beginner. From this, I concluded, that to bring a beginner up to speed on this vast subject and, discuss why the two technologies were not suitable (which then means I have to bring in another technology) was just too much for this site. Remember also that your profile gives no hint as to your level of expertise on any subject. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Sep 25, 2015 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka I think we will agree to disagree on that. But apparently you all agree, so must be me. My point is that with the same arguments, I don't see how you can answer any question at all, since the quantum effects in semi-conductors are far from being understood and also fill up hundreds of books. So any question involving a current and/or voltage is at best an approximation. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2015 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ And just so you know, there are such comparison online, I just wanted to have one on this site, which should be a reference, instead of perusing through several blogs. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2015 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @bilbo_pingouin Ahhh the old reference idea! It's been talked about and attempted (Olin did one I seem to remember) but usually there is 50 for and 50 against. Rules is rules etc.. Comparisons online - please point me at one and I bet I can name several big gaps in the analysis (hint - I design very wide bandwidth radios on several jobs, current one might reach 200Mbps), but I'm still, a relative beginner on antennas compared to some guys I come across at consultancies. Finally, update your profile - it' something that helps answerers have a starting point instead of beginning at ohms law. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Sep 25, 2015 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @bilbo_pingouin On the quantum stuff, you might as well argue that cooking recipes are useless because one day, due to Heisenburg's U.P. you'll find a dead rat in the cake. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Sep 25, 2015 at 20:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka, so your point is that no one can ever start on a topic unless he/she studies that topic for years on. And that questions should not be answered by themselves, but with a correlated by the asker's own opinion about him/herself. And regardless what I know about wireless technologies, I know enough about physics to know that there is a stronger link between measured current and quantum effect than between a cake and a dead rat. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2015 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @bilbo_pingouin No that is not my point. If someone (irrespective of their background knowledge) asked a question about how far a transmitter could transmit I'd explain it clearly and with a few simple formula and that would be it. If the same questioner asked about modulation schemes (in the same question), it would be too broad. Either section on their own is OK. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Sep 25, 2015 at 20:55

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