I was pretty sad to hear that some sites are being closed. I understand why it's necessary, though.

But, some of the sites have overlap with other, established sited. TheoreticalPhy.SE and Astro.SE have quite a few questions which would be at home on Phy.SE (first example I found, lots more where that came from.)

There must be other overlaps (Lit.SE and Writers?), where a chunk of the questions are fine on either site. I don't know though, not seen those sites.

Could we, as a joint community (of the sites being closed and the overlap sites) get some time to organize a salvage? Maybe you can make the site migration-only or something after closing.

The only argument against keeping them read-only is that there isn't enough activity to curate/moderate the posts.

That argument is invalid for migrated posts, the communities of the receiving sites can handle the posts. Plus, this will preserve the discoverability of a whole bunch of content.

But it will take time and effort. I'm willing to chip in for the effort, but I need you guys to provide the time.


Looks like everyone agrees with the salvage :). I'll just keep this as a centralized location for the links. The "Also this" links link to the meta-post on the source site--but those are mainly announcements devoid of discussion (some comments only). Please use the destination site meta to discuss the salvage.

Feel free to add more if you find 'em :)

Partial migrations are being done by the site members via flagging. If you are a member of the source/destination site (better to be a member of the destination site), then please join in.

Full migrations are being done by the SE team, here's some more about them. Destination site members need to just sit back and relax (or you can powwow about the whole thing)

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    I really want the content of these sites to be saved :-). And I think TP.SE could be merged smoothly with P.SE and a large part of Astro.SE certainly too. Monday and Tuesday I would have a lot of time for helping with this, otherwise I have (as everybody els ;-) ...) other stuff to do too than having fun at SE ...
    – Dilaton
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 18:22
  • @Dilaton I don't think TP.SE can be just gobbled. Phy.SE deals with established theories, and rejects a lot of the stuff that is allowed on TP. Exact why we need to discuss this first. I was thinking of a mod-presided migration. Maybe give destination-site helpers temporary migration privileges. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 18:37
  • I think you are wrong about this. According to their definition, TP.SE dealt with accepted mainstream physics; fringe and cook questions got always closed pretty fast. Can you give an example for what was fine at TP.SE which would not be accepted at P.SE? I thought cosmology, beyond the standard model particle physics, quantum gravity, etc if this is what you are probably talkinng about is fine at P.SE too ?! Everything else would really disappoint and probably turn me away :-/
    – Dilaton
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 18:47
  • @Dilaton, Manishearth - there's an open discussion on this very topic in a more appropriate venue. Please don't waste your arguments in comments here...
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 18:49
  • @Dilaton I'm not talking about kook theories.. I din't have any examples, but I've seen a bunch of questions migrated to TP without explicit request so I assume that there is a difference. If there was too large an overlap, the site wouldn't have been created in the first place. One step at a time though. First we get this through, then we powwow on on-topicness. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 18:50
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    @Manishearth Yeah ok, agreed. I think we cover everything they did on TP.SE too. The only difference is that it had to be research level for TP.SE whereas on P.SE more basic questions about the same topics are allowed. Then have a sleep in peace ;-)
    – Dilaton
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 19:07
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    This sort of raises the question of why Theoretical Physics ever needed to be a separate community from err, Regular Physics. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 20:02
  • @TheE I think the area51 page may have some valuable arguments for that checks Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 20:09
  • @TheE discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/187/… Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 20:14
  • Ah, so my suspicions are correct—it's an elitist thing. Can't believe they just right out and admit that. More generally, I don't understand this idea that there can't be multiple sub-communities on a single site, encompassed by a larger community. The people on SO who answer C++ questions are very different than those that answer Ruby questions. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 20:16
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    @TheE I agree :) Hopefully, this will drum up heap big heap activity in our site as the survivors flee the wreckage of Astro and TP :D Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 20:20

2 Answers 2


Go for it - I explicitly mentioned migration in all of the meta posts for this very reason.

Start a meta discussion - on the destination site and the source site if you like - and start flagging high-quality questions that won't be out of place elsewhere. If the deadline hits and we're still in the middle of active migration, we can make allowances for that.

(It's probably worth noting here that if you wait until the deadline is nigh before starting in on it, we're probably not gonna take you very seriously... This is gonna get done reasonably quickly or not at all)

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    I'll do this tomorrow then, got to sleep soon. Good to know we have official support :) Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 18:53
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    It seems that the Phy.SE community is receptive to swallowing the entire TP site. We may need help on that :). Also, (if our community agrees..a mod has already agreed), could you make it so that questions coming from astro/TP get tagged as such automatically (instead of the [untagged] nonsense) on Phy.SE? Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 19:21
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    We're considering swallowing Astro as well. We're a hungry community :D Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 20:14
  • @shog: could you give an official 'yes' or 'no' on this one? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/130407/… (hopefully yes) Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 14:24
  • @shog by the way, does the 'deadline is nigh upon you' apply to full site migrations? The general opinion is that the migration ought to be done right before closing the site. (of course, we'll need dev help). We are discussing the nuances though. Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 14:48
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    @Manishearth: That's perfect, IMHO. The intention of putting a week+ between the announcement and shutdown was to allow for this discussion - if it's happening (and it is), then this is working.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 15:24
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    @Shog Awesome :) We're thinking of widening our scope to be able to accomodate all astro questions (instead of almost all). Yup, it's working :D Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 15:27
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    How would one go about requesting an extension to the deadline? We've been working on doling out questions from Economics.SE to other interested sites, but I suspect there's still a bunch of potential migration candidates left that we haven't spotted yet. Commented May 3, 2012 at 16:58
  • @IlmariKaronen: keep a detailed log of your progress. I'll step in to help if possible, or estimate a delay if needbe. But more importantly, this gives folks who want to chip in an idea of where they can help and avoids duplication of efforts. If you're running out of time to do detailed reviews, just start flagging possible candidates - I'll make sure outstanding flags are handled before shutdown.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 18:22

If these questions can be easily migrated to existing sites, then it must be asked why were the sites created in the first place? It's clear that sites which overlap with existing sites have a lot of trouble surviving, so in the future it should be considered whether an existing site should be a little expanded (the tags are enough to compensate for the expansion, the evidence is stackoverflow) or if the new proposal is separate enough to survive.

Also what will happen to questions on sites that have no overlap? There are still some useful Q&As that should be kept.

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    TP was due to a sort of snobbishness, putting it bluntly discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/187/… . Astro overlaps a lot as well, but it has a different tone to it. Question tone matters as well. Also, astro is not a full overlap, though we at Phy.SE are toying with the idea of expanding our coverage, and maybe even changing names to 'Phy & Astro'. Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 1:01
  • Nowadays, significant overlap is closed aggressively as a dupe on Area51, iirc. Remember, policies change. Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 1:02

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