I've been learning VHDL and as I get some questions in my head, I wonder where should I put them. So where should VHDL, Verilog and other HDL questions go? Or does it depend on the question?

  • I'll see it in either place :). Interested to see what others have to say. There are two related proposals on area51: FPGA and VLSI.
    – Andy
    Apr 2, 2011 at 23:26
  • 1
    @Andy obviously these questions would go there if it gets created
    – Earlz
    Apr 3, 2011 at 2:25
  • I doubt that you would get much (usefull) responses on SO for something like this.
    – Devolus
    May 5, 2021 at 10:06

4 Answers 4


These should go on Electrical Engineering.

As much like a programming language as HDL appears to be, it's a Hardware Description Language. It's essentially a schematic, represented in code. It can be likened to an extremely parallel programming language, but the reality is that most people associate programming with procedural and object oriented programming, and HDL is inherently neither procedural or object oriented.

It would be like saying Ladder Logic is a programming language.

Ideally they should be answered on Electrical Engineering, and we should be trying to attract ASIC designers and such to Electrical Engineering.

As much as ASIC design is similar to programming, there is a big difference between an ASIC expert and a Java expert. The ASIC expert will feel more at home around hardware folk than system programmers, and the Java expert will feel more at home around software folk than hardware designers.

It can be confusing, but I think we need to consider the expert case - where should we encourage the experts and professional in a given topic to go participate.

  • 2
    +1 just for the "focusing all the experts in one place" bit
    – Earlz
    Apr 3, 2011 at 4:53
  • What about LabView? That seems to be a schematic, essentially implementing a parallel programming language.
    – Gabe
    Apr 3, 2011 at 5:02
  • @Gabe Labview is similar to matlab and simulink in many ways. I don't think it's a great fit for either Stack Overflow or Electronics, but you'll find people in both places that can help you out. Labview is meant to help visualize sensor measurements and control hardware, so it might tend more towards Electronics, or possibly robotics. I know there are a fair amount of scientists who use it as well. Unfortunately it's an odd duck. If we had a test and measurement stackexchange it would go there. NI has made a big push into robotic competitions, so you would find it on robotics.
    – Pollyanna
    Apr 3, 2011 at 5:21

Ok I'm going to try and answer this question myself and see what you guys think.

I'd say if it is more on the line of digital design, it belongs to Electrical Engineering. One instance: Is there a more optimized way of making an incrementer than a full adder? This could clearly be answered by a schematic as well as VHDL source code.

If it is more about the semantics or syntax of VHDL, it belongs to Stack Overflow. For instance: Purpose to providing more than one architecture?. This is clearly very VHDL specific and in theory, the example program could have been a regular "non-synthesizable" program designed to not translate into hardware.

There are of course edge cases such as "What's wrong with my full adder VHDL code?". This could be a syntax problem or it could be a logic problem. Either way, I'd recommend that by-default, we post VHDL questions to Electrical Engineering. Though I'd say between SO and Electrical Engineering there are more than enough people who know VHDL to answer the questions.


I would send it to where you feel you will get better input (you can try one, if you don't get an answer in a reasonable amount of time, let's say a few days, try the other, keeping a link to the first place).

Many questions are closed as off topic in SO, but those are usually way off-topic. If you are asking this question here, then you probably have enough common sense and you won't have a hostile reception in either place. Good luck! :)


Recently the SO burninated the "electronics" tag (but not the *HDL one).

They can not see any bad in this burnination. It is a nice result for the MSO community.

Minority opinions are handled as usual on the MSO.

For this reason, I believe, already Electrical Engineering is the better choice. It seems that the Java/JavaScript/.NET programmers have a difficulty to understand that programming is a more broad thing, than generating HTML with various script languages.

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    Electronics is a meta tag. A more precise tag is fine IMO. We burninate meta tags, with site-meta consultation all the time. Feb 27, 2021 at 6:27
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek It does not reason, why it should be removed. Other "meta tags", like [cheminformatics] or [declarative-programming], could remain. I see no reason, why [electronics] was nit-picked. Of course they can generate false reasons. The true reason was, imho, what I mentioned in the post: now that most of the programmers work on/for the internet, the lesser educated ones tend to believe that not web programming is not programming et al. And the MSO is dominated by them.
    – peterh
    Feb 27, 2021 at 9:58
  • @JourneymanGeek I think also [cheminformatics] would be likely killed if a similar guy finds it. Fortunately, they only very rarely go to any content which is not web programming, and typically they click away on the spot.
    – peterh
    Feb 27, 2021 at 10:00
  • What does "it" refer to in "They can not see any bad in it"? To the tag that wasn't burninated? To the tag that was burninated? To the process of burninating the tag? Something else? Can you make it clearer? May 12, 2021 at 11:32
  • @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q They can't see any bad in the deletion of the tag, it is a nice result for them.
    – peterh
    May 12, 2021 at 19:44

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