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I have a question in mind for, but I'm not sure if it's on topic. Because it's a new site I'm afraid to just ask and see what happens. I'd rather run it by first.

Is there a protocol for vetting questions on meta before asking on the parent site? For example, is there a certain tag I should use? Anything in particular I should know?

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There is no need for all that bold :P – Andreas Bonini Aug 18 '10 at 14:24
@Kop Yes there is. :P – gitignore Aug 18 '10 at 14:30
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think you should ask it. Just go ask your question. If it is decided to be off topic, it will be closed. Otherwise you will get answers.

That is how the system is supposed to work.

As Gnoupi pointed out, you may incur some downvotes if people feel the question is off topic. But I live for danger!

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Not really. Unless you really say explicitly "I'm not sure this is on topic, tell me if not", you are exposing yourself to downvotes and more or less unnice comments, depending on the moment and the community. – Gnoupi Aug 18 '10 at 13:33
Bear in mind this is a brand spanking new site. I don't care about personal exposure to downvotes, but I do care about strife within the community. – gitignore Aug 18 '10 at 13:37
@Patrick. I'm not going to lie, if a borderline question causes any significant strife within the community, then it is far too fragile to last. I say Ask Away! – devinb Aug 18 '10 at 13:41
@Pat, airing out a question in public is the reason for beta. More people will see the question and weigh in on the matter if you post it on the main site. – jjnguy Aug 18 '10 at 13:44
@Pat: Just ask your frigging question! It's a Q&A site. Closing as off topic is there for a reason. If there is strife, which you cannot settle by stating "Oops, sorry, will not ask this kind of question again" then the UI community is doomed in the first place. – Ladybug Killer Aug 18 '10 at 13:46

If your worry is about whether the question is on-topic, abstract the primary element of the question which worries you, and ask about questions regarding that element in general on the Meta site.

You can consider using your specific question as an example of that class of questions, but I wouldn't ask a question on Meta solely about one question.

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Okay, okay! I don't didn't want to ask the question (Why does the Redbox machine have barriers around the credit card swipe reader?) because if it gets closed I'm afraid it may torpedo the whole category of physical interface questions. I won't vet the question on meta. I'll just wait until better questions in that category have been asked.

Thanks, everyone. A simple "no" would have sufficed. ;-)

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...why not just ask "Are physical interface questions on-topic" on the Meta? Don't wait for an answer, seek it out. – Grace Note Aug 18 '10 at 14:09
Already did. And the answer is yes. But I'm not sure how my card swipe question will go over; it's kind of wacky. I'm guess going to have to think of a good physical UI question to get the ball rolling. – gitignore Aug 18 '10 at 14:19
I asked here, not because I'm paralyzed over a trivial decision, but because of general curiosity. I was wondering if pre-vetting questions was an established practice, especially with the new SE 2.0 sites. – gitignore Aug 18 '10 at 14:25
That's a concern less about the topicality of your question, and more whether it's a good question. A bad question that is on-topic is still a bad question, in which case you shouldn't be thinking about vetting on Meta but about reshaping the question into a good one. – Grace Note Aug 18 '10 at 14:32
I hate those barrier things!! They make it feel so odd to swipe a card in there... – jjnguy Aug 18 '10 at 14:33

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