The Area 51 proposal Electronics & Electrical Engineering (nine months old) was recently flagged as a duplicate of this site.

While I've looked at your FAQ, I don't know the field well enough to be comfortable making the call on my own—which brings me here.

Can y'all review that proposal, and give your opinion here as to whether their on-topic questions would all be welcome on this site?


2 Answers 2


Yes, it is a duplicate for two reasons:

  1. The topics are the same; all their on-topic sample questions are on topic here.
  2. We want their expert users and questions!

We're called Electrical Engineering, but there has been significant support for a proposal to call our site Electronics Engineering or Electronics and Electrical Engineering. The commentary on the proposal supports that discussion.

We are derived from Chiphacker, which was started by a company which produced products for electronics hobbyists. At the time of migration, there were about 1,000 questions and many users which were hobbyist oriented. Sure, some users were engineers, and some questions and answers were at an expert level, but the majority was beginner stuff. It was pretty much the opposite of the situation advocated by this MSO proposal, and they never had to answer the "Primary Role/Interest" query which Cartaino implemented. I'd love to see the result if this survey was put to even a subset of our current users. Additionally, we get a huge flood of software people from Stack Overflow who are curious beginners (see, for example, the Netduino questions...), and the few experts we have are quickly drowned out. There's nothing wrong with hobbyists or SO users except they don't ask expert questions.

We've struggled for a while with the issue of non-expert questions (here, here, in the design discussions, also other comment threads/chat discussions), but we've not been united enough to implement the policies that would make this site an expert-level place, even though some members have a bent in that direction. (Relevant blog post and codinghorror post)

Some sites (Math, Theoretical CS, and Physics come to mind) segment themselves as being designed for experts, professionals, and academics only. If this site continues, it would need to segregate itself as a site for professionals and this site would have to accept a hobbyist bent. I'm not sure I'm willing to accept that. The community will have to decide.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I also want to trend towards expert, but honestly believe we can coexist. We will have to see. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    May 25, 2011 at 2:45

Yes, it does duplicate our site.

It is the same target audience and the same target information. When our name was recently changed we even requested that exact name.

When looking at their example questions the only ones I would worry about are those that are shopping questions, or boundary shopping questions, but I think that community would have the exact same problems. A number of their example questions I wish had been asked here.


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