Since it appears that no Area 51 proposal that can be covered by a tag on Stack Overflow is going to be allowed, I would like to know what we can do to develop first-class subcommunities on Stack Overflow.
Consider the Compiler Design proposal. This proposal differs from the other programming duplicate Area 51 proposals in several respects:
- It encapsulates a specific body of expert knowledge within the programming universe.
- That body of knowledge has a community of experts willing to share their expertise
- Programmers that do not write compilers can benefit from this expert knowledge.
The Compiler Design proposal had the potential to attract this body of experts, just as MathOverflow was successful in attracting the body of experts it has.
So why not just have a tag on Stack Overflow?
- It doesn't have a home page; it's just a tag (yes, I know about tag pages; they are a poor substitute).
- It doesn't have its own set of guidelines about what are considered good and bad questions (these can be more specific than the general guidelines used by Stack Overflow).
- It doesn't benefit from the community-building process that is available on Area 51.
Stack Overflow has an image problem among highly-qualified experts in fields such as compiler design. Namely, that the community at large doesn't interest them; how do you attract experts in compiler design when every other question is a question about how to fix my null reference error?
So I put the question to the community. Since we're not going to get individual sites, how do we make this work better on Stack Overflow?