Update at 20/0 — Hm, any chance of updating the FAQ? If this isn't community consensus, I don't know what else is.


Brought up by the overwhelming consensus in:

I hereby officially suggest the FAQ be changed to include – as nhinkle ♦ proposed:

media players, cell phones or smart phones, or electronic devices (except for home networking equipment), or insofar as these devices interact with your computer

The rationale being that a "super user" most certainly includes having to deal with home networking equipment. Also, the FAQ currently does not address this in any way.

Please feel free to edit the actual message – this is a community proposal!

  • 2
    I agree and lend my support. +1 – studiohack Oct 10 '11 at 19:00
  • Agree, home networking is certainly a super user topic. It may be appropriate to check whether such questions veer more towards ServerFault territory, where a question is a bit beyond the typical home user's needs. – Grant Palin Oct 10 '11 at 21:15
  • @GrantPalin Yes, we will probably do that on a per-question basis, just like we currently do. I think our SF migrations are pretty fine. – slhck Oct 10 '11 at 21:17
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    In the same vein as @Grant's concerns, we also shouldn't use the new clause in LordT's answer ("not for professional/corporate IT support") as a reason for rejecting questions that are on-topic (about computer hardware/software) and happen to be taking place in a workplace. Question about deploying a Windows image to 200 computers? SF. Question about recovering data from a dead hard drive that happens to be in a corporate setting? Should be fine for SU. – nhinkle Oct 10 '11 at 21:28
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    If and when this is changed, the off-topic help text ("Questions on Super User are expected to generally relate to computer software or computer hardware, within the scope defined in the faq.") should also be changed. – Pops Oct 19 '11 at 19:24

Good idea, but the wording in the question contains a double negative — "not about ... electronic devices except for home networking equipment" — which is a bit awkward. My wording proposal:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …

  • computer hardware
  • computer software
  • personal/home networking ← NEW

and it is not about

  • videogames or consoles
  • websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress
  • electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer
  • professional/corporate IT support ← NEW
  • a shopping or buying recommendation

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

EDIT :
We could expand the second new line to "IT support issues unique to the corporate level" (or "specific to professional environments," or some combination thereof) to address the point nhinkle brought up under the question. I agree that the new rule shouldn't be abused, but I'm on the fence about whether the added value justifies the increased wordiness.

  • 4
    This answer has my genuwine stamp of approval. – BinaryMisfit Oct 10 '11 at 19:36
  • Yes, that is great. Having a double negative is kinda confusing. – slhck Oct 10 '11 at 20:07
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    Much better wording than my version; thanks. I guess there's a reason you won the editing award in the anniversary contest, eh? – nhinkle Oct 10 '11 at 21:23
  • @nhinkle not to mention his 300+ edits without having the privilege yet! – Simon Sheehan Oct 10 '11 at 22:42
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    Where does that second line come from? This might prevent users from asking questions that arise at work, but aren't necessarily exclusive to corporate settings (see @nhinkle's comment to the question). – Daniel Beck Oct 11 '11 at 5:58
  • @DanielBeck I agree that could dissuade some people. Perhaps it would be better written as "professional support of servers or managing corporate networks", as those are things that don't apply to SU and belong on SF. What do you think of that wording? – nhinkle Oct 11 '11 at 6:21
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    Maybe it would be better to skip this for now and discuss it separetly? @nhinkle – slhck Oct 11 '11 at 8:15
  • Who decides what's unique to the corporate level? You'd probably be surprised about the insanity of what some users build at home. Another issue is that quite a few questions that usually only arise in corporate or university networks (mostly troubleshooting) are perfectly on-topic here. // Given that we migrated only 72 questions to SF in the last 90 days, it's a non-issue (stats for 10k+ users). We should prefer to having two sites for some questions (SF and SU) instead of none. – Daniel Beck Oct 19 '11 at 22:40
  • @DanielBeck has nicely illustrated why the FAQ's on-topic/off-topic summary is not a good place to write an essay. No matter what games you play with wording, there'll always be some edge case out there that generates complaints and requires mod intervention. Since we have to rely on human judgment -- both users' and mods' -- anyway, we might as well keep the FAQ short and sweet. – Pops Oct 20 '11 at 13:33
  • I'd take issue with the professional/corporate level IT line being included. I've asked several questions here that pertain to my position in IT. With an upcoming job change most of my questions will probably move to SO and SF, but right now most of my issues are with desktops, which are generally better asked here than elsewhere. I'm experienced and competent at computer support, but I don't know everything, which is why I ask questions here. Excluding questions simply because they could be relevant to a corporate/professional IT issue seems to toss the baby out with the bathwater. – music2myear Oct 21 '11 at 15:30
  • Where it's obvious the user is attempting to circumvent their local IT staff, we should encourage them to take up the issue with the correct responsible party. But otherwise they ought to be left here. – music2myear Oct 21 '11 at 15:31

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