I'm trying to ascertain whether or not questions about IP phones (in my case, Cisco) are on-topic or off-topic for SuperUser. I read this question, which basically says:

If its problems using phones or devices themselves, then the only possibility is the electronic gadgets site. If your question is about interfacing it with a computer (sync, data transfer, etc), then you can ask it on Super User, but this is the only case.

If its problems getting USB hardware to work with a computer, SF is a good bet, but again, device specific forums are probably your best bet. Exception being getting data from a device, such as GPS, into a computer program, SO is the best place to try.

However, the Electronics StackExchange FAQ says:

and it is not about


  • electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as designing or hacking their electronic for other use

So I'm fairly confused. If I had a question about configuring or using my Cisco IP phone (just an example in this case), would it be on-topic on SuperUser (as the phone interfaces with the network and with a TFTP server to retrieve its configuration)? Would it be off-topic on Electronics? Is there another StackExchange site where I can ask these questions?


Example Questions:

  • How can I configure the directory of names?
  • How would one write a service for this phone?
  • Can SIP and SCCP be used at the same time on phone xyz?
  • What file extensions should my configuration files have for firmware xyz?
  • "If its problems getting USB hardware to work with a computer, SF is a good bet" Odd SF isn't about USB stuff at all, it's about the professional server and networking side. Either way, there isn't a Stack Exchange site for everything
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 20:32
  • There is an Area 51 proposal for a SE site that would cover this.
    – Patches
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 2:01
  • Thanks @Patches, I'll take a look at that proposal and see if it takes off.
    – squircle
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 2:09
  • Please note that it's not Electronics StackExchange. It's Electronics Design StackExchange.
    – AndrejaKo
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 14:54
  • 2
    The "electronic gadgets site" being referred to is gadgets.stackexchange.com which no longer exists. See: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/pruning-season
    – ale
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


Are you writing code or a library for the IP phone? Then it sounds like you're programming in which case, Stack Overflow is the place to ask.

Otherwise, then it's not on topic for Super User unless you're hooking it up with your computer.

Configuring a phone would fall out of scope unless the previously mentioned rule fell into it.

Sadly not all questions have a home on Stack Exchange.

  • Thanks random! :)
    – squircle
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 2:09
  • @squ configuring ip phones for an office is often on topic for sysadmins / server fault as well -- see serverfault.com/tags/asterisk Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 7:17

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