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My question about the origins of the berkeley socket API was quickly closed by moderators as 'off-topic'. It's a specific question about software engineering, so while I don't understand why that would be considered off-topic, can some one suggest a more suitable forum other than stack overflow? It's not immediately obvious to me that there is one.

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Your question was not closed by moderators but by community members. Stack Overflow is not a forum, btw. – Mat Jan 21 '12 at 11:12
Is this question yours too?… – Mat Jan 21 '12 at 11:21
@Mat: No, it's not, that's so weird. Somebody obviously wanted to know the answer and cut-and-pasted, but I swear it wasn't me, honest! – Dan Boswell Jan 21 '12 at 14:23
Out of interest, why is this question being downvoted? I mean, seriously? – Dan Boswell Jan 21 '12 at 14:24
Voting works differently on meta. – Mat Jan 21 '12 at 14:26
(And Dan is much friendlier than the author of that duplicate, @Mat ;-)) – Arjan Feb 2 '12 at 17:20

Check the faq for what is on topic on Stack Overflow. Let's see how your question fits:

  • a specific programming problem

You don't have a programming problem.

  • a software algorithm


  • software tools commonly used by programmers

No tool involved.

  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

Again, you don't have a programming problem there.

So your question doesn't really fit on Stack Overflow.

There are a few open questions about the history of various computing terms/language features and such over at Programmers (I'm not active on that site, so take this advice with a grain of salt).
I think you could also try it on the Unix & Linux, which has some questions and answers about the history of Unix and Unix-like systems, tools and terms.

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I don't have enough reputation to view your original post, but I suspect that you didn't really have a question about the practice of software engineering. Based on the word "origins," I think you had a question about history that happened to relate to software engineering.

There is currently no site on the SE network where such a question would be on-topic. (Side note: some people around here can get kind of prickly when you refer to SO or other SE sites as "forums.") If you were looking for a non-SE site to ask on, I don't know of one (and that would make your question off-topic for this site).

You could also try asking in chat, where the rules about being on-topic and constructive are much less strict. There probably isn't a room devoted to the topic of Berkeley sockets, but there are some pretty well-rounded people in the more active rooms who might just happen to know the answer you're looking for, or at least be able to point you in a good direction.

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The question title was Who actually invented Berkeley sockets?. The body of the question just added a small amount of background detail to the titular question, so you're not missing much. – Some Helpful Commenter Jul 27 '12 at 19:26

I would probably ask such a history question in a Unix/BSD/etc like mailing group or Usenet group. is a great place to find mailing lists. Most are quite strict about on topic questions, but some, and some Usenet groups, are specifically dedicated to a broader range of discourse and people filter accordingly. They aren't a perfect substitute for Stack Overflow of course, but serve well in their niche.

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