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Double checking; there aren't any restrictions ahead of time for whom the "Stack Exchange network of websites" are available, are there?

Surely this is just a poor choice of words, and the author has been to busy to notice the up voted comment below the post.

If I'm wrong and SE is not for some people, please enlighten me.

The post goes on to explain the purpose of the site, but I think the idea that some people should be excluded from using SE because of who they are can't be the author's intention, and an adjustment to the language could make this clearer.

The answer goes on to talk about how users interact with the site, and that's certainly a reasonable way to approach the OP's question. So maybe a "Yes, but..." makes better sense than concluding that "SE is not for some people"?


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Somewhat related: Is this site for beginners?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You're right that there is no restrictions on the usage of this site ahead of time. But this doesn't mean that every contribution is welcome. Those (the posts, not the person) not following the rules aren't. People here are judged by the contributions they make (and are only judged on this). So, obviously, people constantly breaking the rules end up to be, themselves, not welcome (e.g. ban). I don't understand what more there is to say. You can disagree with the wording pipe used, but I don't undertand the purpose of making a meta post about this detail. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Mar 19 '18 at 12:18
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The help entry states

Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

Seems pretty clear to me.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Now all we need is an "enthusiast test". Imagine; "I'm voting to close this question as it is insufficiently enthusiastic about electronics and electrical engineering." \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 27 '18 at 11:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ An enthusiast makes an effort to inform him- or herself prior to asking for spoonfeeding. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Mar 27 '18 at 12:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It just isn't necessary to create and propagate images of bad people and assigning them imagined bad attributes; the despised other that we need to beware of. If a question doesn't show sufficient research, then say so. But the mythology of "the enemy of SE" is unproductive. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 27 '18 at 12:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @uhuh -- there's very little need to say so -- that's why we have close buttons. There are no enemies. There are questions that meet the rules, and questions that do not. Voting to close does not declare someone an enemy of the site, it just keeps the site clean. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Mar 27 '18 at 12:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Scott Seidman -- "enemy" is a strong word, but I think what uhuh had in mind was (if only indirectly) the atmosphere of SE and how people are treated, and the tone that is used. One can be assertive without being aggressive (or condescending, or..., etc.). This is an example of what I'm talking about. \$\endgroup\$ – user160409 May 5 '18 at 23:31
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Anyone can post.

If the writing doesn't stand to scrutiny, it receives negative feedback.

The founding principles of StackExchange have more in common with Wikipedia than with a web forum. Majority of our traffic think that StackExchange is just another forum, but that doesn't change the principle.

The biggest contribution of StackExchange to the world at large is the library of questions and answers which are high-quality. They are high quality, because we are voting down the low quality ones.

Everyone can read.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @uhoh I've adjusted the wording. Keep in mind that most of what we read on EE.SE it posted by a minority of users. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 19 '18 at 4:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep I know what you meant originally, but I like the way your adjusted wording keeps the focus on the way people interact with the site. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 19 '18 at 4:39
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I'm the author of that post, I have indeed read the comment, and I don't agree with it. It is a bit disingenuous:

The site is in fact for everyone but requires that they utilize it in accordance with the rules

Emphasis mine. What he is saying that everyone can try to post, but not everyone will succeed. They will break the rules or write a bad question or answer, and will have their post removed. For some people, this happens over and over again, and they are locked out by a moderator for a day, a week, or even a year. This website is not for them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's why I asked about "any restrictions ahead of time". Of course users that abuse the system are blocked or removed, based on how they interact with it. The original question and answer there do not have anything to do with violations of terms or rules. If that's what you were thinking about, then maybe it's better to add that explicitly. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 19 '18 at 8:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ behavior-related rather than identity-related exclusion \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 19 '18 at 8:41
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You are getting hung up on semantics. When interpreted literally, it doesn't matter who you are. Ultimately everyone is judged on what they do here.

However, in common usage, "who" can include that. This site is for electrical engineers and those with a interest in understanding electronics. That can be a legitimate answer to "Who is this site for?".

In the end, what matters is that you post high-quality content, and not do stupid procedural things like posting questions as answers, trying to chat with another user by posting a new answer, saying "Hi" in the beginning, "Thanks for the help" at the end, etc. These things are all spelled out in the rules.

So who is this site for? Anyone with a interest in electronics, and who can follow the procedural rules.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I surely agree with the last sentence and most everything else. I am not hung up on semantics though. In a busy, open site such as this, people do take cues from wording. I think it's good to take an opportunity to remind that the gating is on behavior. My most miserable experiences getting started in each new SE site is figuring out which trigger words will bring down the "you should not be here, go away, we will make your experience miserable to teach you a lesson!" folks. Anything that suggests one person can know "who should not be here" can reinforce those folks' attitude. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 19 '18 at 12:17
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"SE is not for some people"?

It's not for people who don't take the time and effort to write good questions that are on-topic, or for people who don't want to write good answers. So the logical choice would be to write well and according to the guidelines.

SE is a great place to get answers to questions, the reason why it is great is because the bar is set a little higher, requires some thinking and decent writing. This attracts quality people (and professionals) who can answer questions rather than dealing with the slop found in some of the other forums. And the answers are free.

There are plenty of resources on the internet for help, to get quality one needs to give quality. There are two choices, if one run's afoul of the moderation system. They can take personal offense, or realize that the post they wrote doesn't conform and spend some time and effort to make the post better and learn something in the process.

The people that actually read how to use the site and participate in the SE.EE community generally stick around.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I see, these people. What we need is a "bigger barrier", and Stack Overflow will pay for it? (humor, regional). I think the notion that there are "quality people" and then there are the rest(?) is not the optimal way to state the situation. My guess is that ultimately you'd agree that this SE site is indeed for everybody, but they should use it correctly, and not that it is only for "quality people". \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 26 '18 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Never once did I say you need to be a 'quality person' to post. Your missing my point, I will reiterate my answer. You don't have to be a professional to post here, you do have to write well and read the rules before posting. You get free answers from professionals. The goal of stackexchange is to generate a repository of good questions and answers, not to keep users around. \$\endgroup\$ – laptop2d Mar 26 '18 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay you're right, I did miss it a bit. I'm pretty sure nearly zero of us read the rules before posting, so the idea that you have to read the rules before posting doesn't quite mesh. Since there is both a registered and a non-registered track (i.e. no e-mail address, just start writing), it would be hard to implement even a 30 second walkthrough or tour, or any kind of a cooling-off period. Whether it "should" be or not, SE is set up functionally for everyone to just start typing away. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 26 '18 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's no mechanism for saying "this is not for you" until someone does something wrong gets told not to, then does it again. I wish there were a better way, but then it wouldn't be SE. (actually, I didn't know there were rules! Where are the SE rules per se?) \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 26 '18 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The guidelines in the help center are determined by the mods and community on the meta site. The global guidelines and how the global site looks and functions is determined by meta.stackexchange.com Odds are if there is a question, it already exists on the meta stack exchange. \$\endgroup\$ – laptop2d Mar 26 '18 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The guidelines are certainly possible to pre-read before posting, but I think it ends up being read-through only after you do something wrong and a helpful user comes by and decides to point you there to understand the hows and whys. Meta is is something you discover later, and is not pre-readable before ones first post, or ever for that matter. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 27 '18 at 1:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Meta is for people that want to be proactive and make changes to SE, if you think the barriers are high here, they are 100x higher on meta.SE \$\endgroup\$ – laptop2d Mar 27 '18 at 3:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you mentioned the guidelines and meta in response to "Where are the SE rules per se?" Otherwise I'm not sure how meta came up in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – uhoh Mar 27 '18 at 3:34

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