I came across a random question about generic C programming, which was closed by 4 regular users and 1 diamond mod, with the following explanation:

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

Now if you read the text in the help center, it says that "the writing of firmware for bare-metal or RTOS applications" is explicitly on-topic, and "programming software for a PC" is explicitly off-topic.

This question is about neither, it is about general C programming.

According to Are pure C questions on-topic?: "the poster will be picking the community that better suits their taste and approach".

This seems like a strange policy, I would think that pure programming questions are more suitable for Stack Overflow. This site has a broad enough scope as it is, without allowing generic programming questions, algorithm theory etc.

It also seems a bit sloppy just to say that PC programming is off-topic, there's a whole lot of other areas of programming that are off-topic, such as desktop Linux/Mac programming, web & database programming, smart phone apps etc etc.

Therefore I propose the following changes to the help->on-topic page:

and it is not about…

  • a shopping or buying recommendation
  • consumer electronics such as media players ...
  • generic programming questions, or PC/desktop/web programming questions.
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I am sure for the occasional nitpicker this leaves many holes, like android apps... would be better to read something that really says "is not about anything not related to embedded things" \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Feb 9, 2016 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this is a frequent enough problem to warrant attention \$\endgroup\$ Feb 9, 2016 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman My main concern is that the diamond mods seem confused about site policies and I'm allergic against subjective site moderation. First you have one diamond mod closing that question as off-topic, then on meta you have another diamond mod saying that it is ok to post such questions. If not even the diamond mods know what's on-topic for a site, how can anyone else be expected to know it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Feb 10, 2016 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't see a diamond mod saying pure c questions are OK. He said questions on the border will come through. The question you pointed to is unquestionably NOT on the border. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2016 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman On the border to what? PC programming? There is no PC programming in the linked question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Feb 10, 2016 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, behavior of c features on embedded platforms as opposed to vanilla c. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2016 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman And where in the site policies does it say that "vanilla C" is off-topic? C is very commonly used inside/together with electronics, so it can't just be dismissed like that. This is my whole point: individual users should not just make up their own subjective, close-as-off-topic reasons. Or you soon end up with a site which is just for the 'clique' and not for the public. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Feb 10, 2016 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Where do it say that the fine points of baking blueberry muffins is off topic? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2016 at 12:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I bet you can't find d a half dozen questions over the course of a year that fall in the class you're talking about. If it ain't broke..... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2016 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman In help -> on-topic. "a specific electronics design problem". C, unlike muffins, is commonly used in electronics design. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Feb 10, 2016 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I fully get the point, I just disagree. I'd rather err on the side of having a migration to SO if its a good question (one of our few "official" migration paths) and closing if its a bad question than scaring off the borderlines. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2016 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see any real issues with the c tag in our history. electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/c \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2016 at 13:33


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