The Arduino site proposal will cover all questions about the Arduino platform and will also include questions involving algorithmic issues as well platform-specific programming problems of Arduino.

  • What will be the pros and cons of making Arduino off-topic on Stack Overflow ?

  • What will be the benefits and problems in having a specific Arduino site that deals with programming problems (and a lot of other things) ?

This post discusses this issue in some detail, and I mostly agree with the views given there.

As this question deals primarily with the Stack Overflow community, I think it is appropriate for MetaSO

  • Don't forget about other sites in the network. Splitting off Arduino from Electrical Engineering would probably have a more noticeable impact there than splitting it off of Stack Overflow would on SO.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 7:24
  • @AnnaLear Didnt forget. meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/q/2656/18583
    – asheeshr
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 8:52
  • @AnnaLear I understand that SE does a sort of sanity check when a proposal reaches 30-40% commitment, and then and only then is it decided whether a separate site will be launched. Is this correct ? If it is, is it possible to request to have that check done a little earlier ?
    – asheeshr
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 4:06
  • That's correct (it's currently a 45% commitment check, though we're looking at moving that up to 40% for all proposals), but there's usually little reason to do the check earlier. The whole point of Area 51 is to let proposals define themselves first before we descend on them to evaluate what they've got.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 4:10
  • I added a banner to the latest Arduino proposal that points folks to the existing site. Other than that... I'm inclined to let the proposal develop as it normally would. If this version of it makes it to commitment (and to whatever % we do a sanity check at), we'll carefully review it again and see where it's at. Right now it is simply too soon to make any decisions one way or another.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 4:23
  • @AnnaLear Alright. Thanks :)
    – asheeshr
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 4:25

2 Answers 2


What will be the pros and cons of making Arduino off-topic on Stack Overflow?

A separate site for Arduino does not make Arduino programming questions off-topic here. It merely allows users to ask their question on whichever site they prefer (as long as they're not posting the exact same question on both).

What will be the benefits and problems in having a specific Arduino site that deals with programming problems (and a lot of other things)?

Pros: You'll have a separate site that covers a broader scope of Arduino questions.

Cons: The programming scope of Arduino questions will be split among two sites.

But seriously, that post you linked seems to cover this perfectly fine. According to it, there are a lot of Arduino questions that are already off-topic of Stack Overflow and have no home. Creating a separate site won't affect Stack Overflow in the slightest, except for maybe drawing away some of the Arudino question traffic. If it gathers enough support to warrant creating a site, it will get a site and a chance to prove it deserves that site.

  • If Arduino questions are not made off-topic for SO, won't it just split the network more ? The new site (if ...) will then be loosing a lot of traffic to SO.
    – asheeshr
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 3:55
  • A lot of sites do that. The fact is, Stack Overflow's scope allows for all programming related questions. We do not specifically disallow certain languages, software, or whatever just because it now has its own site.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 4:01
  • Similarly, Ask Ubuntu doesn't make Ubuntu off-topic on Unix and Linux, which in turn doesn't make those questions off-topic on Super User (and notice that there's a subset relationship there: all Ubuntu questions are also Unix and Linux questions).
    – cpast
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 16:04
  • @cpast Does SU cover Mac super users ?
    – asheeshr
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 3:23
  • Yes. SU covers pretty much any "regular" computer (no game consoles or smartphones, and web apps are off topic, but normal computer use and programs are fair game). I didn't mention Ask Different, but only because iPhones are off topic on SU, so it's not a strict subset (OS X is still on topic, though, so Macs are covered).
    – cpast
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 4:48

Will a site proposal that covers a subset of Stack Overflow work?

Depends, but it can work. We have a precedent. Mathematica.SE. As I've explained here, it worked (even though it was a complete subset), because the MMA community on SO lived in the walled garden of the tag. They didn't use the rest of SO, and, vice versa. So, when they "voted themselves off the island", it didn't affect SO, nor did it affect their own community.

On the other hand, a site like TheoreticalPhysics.SE (which was a full subset of Physics.SE), will fail because the community on Physics.SE didn't migrate over. Most just straddled the gap, but didn't contribute much to TP.SE due to lack of questions. In the end, this was due to there being no definite separation between the TP and non-TP community on Physics.SE.

With respect to SO, Arduino.SE seems to be more like Mathematica -- a niche, "walled garden" community. As I've mentioned in that post, however, it seems to be more like TP when we compare it with EE. But that's a separate matter here.

What will be the pros and cons of making Arduino off-topic on Stack Overflow?

You won't. The existence/non existence of another site doesn't affect the topicality of a question on a certain site. Scope doesn't change unless you meta post about it and ask for it to be changed.

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