After seeing the question Is it possible to throw DD-WRT on a F5D8235-4 v2?, I found out that neither Super User nor Server Fault allows questions on home networking. Should we be opening the scope of the FAQ to allow such questions?

I feel home networking is both on the hardware and software level. Since it is directly connected to computers, it interacts with it constantly, and I feel we should be supporting this.

  • Makes sense to me. – Flimbus Akimbo Oct 9 '11 at 20:52
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    I agree that allowing home networking questions would probably be reasonable. Home networking is something that every Super User needs, right? – nhinkle Oct 9 '11 at 20:56
  • @nhinkle wouldn't survive without it ;) – Simon Sheehan Oct 9 '11 at 21:00
  • I believe this question is a good home networking example that's exactly on topic for "Super Users" in particular having 8k views superuser.com/questions/19184/… – Nick Josevski Oct 12 '11 at 6:58
up vote 18 down vote accepted

I was never aware it was off topic.

Home networking is one reason the site got started and unless a question is particularly bad I don't see why it should be unacceptable.

I consider home networking something most Super User's deal with regularly. I know I do. Each question should be rated on merit, but it is 100% on topic in my mind.

Any existing closures should be discussed with the moderator directly for clarification.

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    I think we need to explicitly state in the FAQ that we allow it. – Simon Sheehan Oct 9 '11 at 21:02
  • @Simon We don't necessarily list every allowed topic in the FAQ. It's the first time in 2 years the question has been raised, and I know off very few networking or router questions that have been closed. – BinaryMisfit Oct 9 '11 at 21:06
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    that is true, but perhaps this marks the time to start saying it, since it appears to be considered off topic by some – Simon Sheehan Oct 9 '11 at 21:08
  • After some looking around, I've found a lot of open networking-only (no specific mention of the computers involved) questions, and a few closed ones (including some closed by Diago, and some closed by others). I had been under the impression that networking questions that were only about the networking devices (and not about their use with computers specifically) were off-topic. It seems this might have been an incorrect interpretation. Perhaps this should be made more clear though? Obviously we can't state every on-topic subject in the FAQ, but this is easily interpreted as an edge-case – nhinkle Oct 9 '11 at 21:34
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    since it isn't specifically "computer hardware or software". Perhaps we could add "computer networking" to the "question about..." list, or say "media players, cell phones or smart phones, or electronic devices except for home networking equipment or insofar as these devices interact with your computer". Obviously, as Diago has pointed out, home networking is a very super user kind of thing to do, so if we want to accept these questions (which I think we should), we ought to make that more clear. – nhinkle Oct 9 '11 at 21:34
  • I support that idea @nhinkle – Simon Sheehan Oct 9 '11 at 21:37
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    @nhinkle I won't denying closing some networking questions, but often it would not be because it was a networking question, there would be other reasons behind the close. If anything we can make the change to the FAQ, but until now majority of the community has always assumed it is accepted. I do not deny there are edge cases, but those are handled like any other question that is closed. – BinaryMisfit Oct 9 '11 at 21:41
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    +1 to this and @nhinkle's comment-Jeff has always said that the FAQ is just guidelines and not "law"/strict. I think I've answered many networking questions that are not specifically related to computers - to me, it is a perfect fit for this website.. Now you got me thinking - I asked a question about printer/scanners not to long ago, pretty much unrelated to computers - should that be closed as off topic? :/ It is certainly "more" off topic than networking, but, I wouldn't want to see printers.stackexchange.com and I personally think it was alright here - maybe we need bigger FAQ changes? – William Hilsum Oct 10 '11 at 5:12
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    I support your ideas to change the FAQ – what would be the formal way of doing this? It seems we have an agreement here. – slhck Oct 10 '11 at 10:17
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    @slhck Create an official question to update the FAQ with the relevant wording as a feature-request. – BinaryMisfit Oct 10 '11 at 11:27

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