What is the right site on the Stack Exchange network for computer science questions?
None of the answers I can think of are remotely satisfying:
- Stack Overflow: Even if CS questions are acceptable (some get closed, which I think shows they're not getting the right audience), where is the expertise to answer them? It would be very difficult for a computer scientist to locate interesting questions. Also a site about computer science would need LaTeX markup, which SO lacks.
- Programmers SE: Same problems as SO, only worse (and the bulk of CS questions would be explicitly off-topic there anyway).
- Theoretical Computer Science SE: That's for research-level questions only, so what about the other 99%?
- Math SE: That's ok for questions that are at the intersection of math and CS, but not the other 95%: e.g. algorithms are ok in the abstract but not more implementation-oriented questions (e.g., not data structures).
- A SE2.0 site for computer science: the proposal was closed as a duplicate (of what? My impression is that the closers mainly had TCS.SE in mind, but that would be based on a mistaken perception of what TCS.SE is about, as seen above).
- Many different SE sites for subfields of CS: Practical Algorithms and Data Structures, Cryptography, Operating Systems Development, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, … But why not follow the SO and Math.SE model of one big site?
An almost identical question has been asked before, but that was before SE2.0 which has completely changed the scope.
On a closely related note, I've searched for a number of keywords where I would expect some activity on a computer science Q&A site. (Note: there is definitely a bias in the keywords related to my background — suggestions for an objective keyword list would be welcome — but I wrote the keyword list before I did any searching.) These are topics that are typically taught in undergraduate or graduate courses (so basic questions about them are out of scope for TCS.SE). I'm only considering hits in questions, since here I'm looking at the kinds of questions people ask, not what people might mention in passing in answers.
- theorem provers (debated on TCS):
abstract interpretation(16 hits total, few in questions, though most are good CS questions)
model checking: model-checking (3, not particularly science-y; some questions without the tag are more science-y)
bisimulation(0; 3 answers)
basic block(71 hits, ranging all over the board; I haven't counted the questions)
What this tells me is that a lot of subjects that I learnt about in CS courses don't receive any questions. There seems to be a gap between the first two undergraduate years or so (mainly introduction to programming and algorithms), which get reasonable coverage at SO, and graduate students' first research projects, which is where TCS.SE starts.
Computer science has more applied topics that don't fit well on Stack Overflow either. For example, questions about network protocols don't seem to fare well.