I just read this this question about MathOverflow and Mathematics. After reading the answers and comments, I get and idea that every site that contains "Overflow" is meant for experts. MathOverflow is for expert mathematicians, Stack Overflow is for expert programmers, and Physics Overflow is for expert physicists. Will someday we will have Health Overflow, Language Overflow (should we change Linguistics to this name?), Hack Overflow (on Area 51), etc?

PS: I know that Physics Overflow doesn't belong to SE

As in ChrisF's answer, Server Fault is for expert withou the tag "Overflow". But that's is a legacy site. Maybe starting from now, should we name site for experts like that so that new comers can quickly indicate which site they suit ask.

  • 7
    Physics Overflow is not an SE site, it's a site which broke off from Physics by a group who wanted to focus on theoretical physics and did not like the civility rules. Oct 25, 2014 at 11:39
  • Always take the tour and read the help section to know what the site is about, don't judge sites by their names. It hardly takes a few minutes to take the tour. Oct 25, 2014 at 12:40
  • 1
    sticking the word "Overflow" at the end honestly rolls pretty stupid as a name in 90% or more of situations. -- post by an SE Community Manager.
    – user259867
    Oct 25, 2014 at 16:02
  • New comers can quickly identify which site they should be posting on... if they read the associated help center page (mathoverflow, math, stackoverflow, academia, physics, and so forth). This is also mentioned in the associated tour pages (academia, physics) that new users see.
    – user213963
    Oct 25, 2014 at 19:35
  • @Manishearth PhysicsOverflow has been started outside SE to not have to fullfill externally prescribed activity criteria, such as Area51 statistics for example. Also building up a small (in the context of SE standards) rather closed high-level academic community generally poorly fits into the SE model. See for example this discussion among former TP.SE members where they consider it to have been a mistake to start the Theoretical Physics site inside the SE network.
    – Dilaton
    Nov 18, 2014 at 16:33
  • The targetted audience of PhysicsOverflow is advanced students and "grown up" physicists, so we dont have to patronize our members and constantly tell them how they are allowed to talk to each other etc ... So we focus on the physics instead of putting up a large bureaucratic overhead of niceness rules, codes of conduct, and similar things. However, this does not mean that there is a wilde horde ravaging on PhysicsOverflow ;-), as unprofessional people who are for some reasons interested in misrepresenting the site often forcefully insinuate ...
    – Dilaton
    Nov 18, 2014 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


From the tour page on Stack Overflow.

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers

From the tour page on Server Fault:

Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators

So, no just because a site has "Overflow" in it's name doesn't mean it's for experts - and vice versa.

In addition it shouldn't have that meaning. That would make the naming of new sites even harder.

  • but should it? I mean like an indicator for new comers to easily know which site is suitable for the questions.
    – Ooker
    Oct 25, 2014 at 11:41
  • 1
    @Ooker - no it shouldn't
    – ChrisF Mod
    Oct 25, 2014 at 11:42
  • why does it make the naming the new sites even harder? Just "X + Overflow"
    – Ooker
    Oct 25, 2014 at 11:44
  • Many sites are professional based
    – user273376
    Oct 25, 2014 at 11:57
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    @Ooker - In general "X + Overflow" would be a crap name for a site.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Oct 25, 2014 at 11:59
  • 1
    and some would be a mouthful.... e.g. Mathematics Educators Overflow.... History of Science and Mathematics Overflow...
    – user273376
    Oct 25, 2014 at 12:35
  • @ChrisF: Then Math Overflow and Hack Overflow (in Area 51) will be crap names. Or Stack Overflow.
    – Ooker
    Oct 25, 2014 at 12:41
  • @Gone: yeah, lone names might be bad.
    – Ooker
    Oct 25, 2014 at 12:42
  • 3
    @Ooker, coincidentally ChrisF is an elected moderator on the site that that you think has a crap name - Stack Overflow Oct 25, 2014 at 14:37
  • @Ooker let me guess, you are not a programmer (unlike Infinite Recursion:)
    – gnat
    Oct 25, 2014 at 18:37

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