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If we were to accept Raspberry Pi questions as on-topic, we would be taking a huge amount of traffic away from the Raspberry Pi.SE community. People will find our community instead of theirs, our community doesn't contain much Raspberry Pi questions so people will find the wrong place.

Closing Raspberry Pi questions as off-topic can be seen as wrong to some, but that's just their mind playing tricks on them. It's perfectly right to close someone's question and telling them there is a better place for their question; not a better place for us, but for them; for various reasons:

  • The user now has access to a collection of other relevant Raspberry Pi questions, those that he would never came across if he wasn't pointed to that fact on Super User.

  • The Raspberry Pi community now has a question Super User would have otherwise stolen away.

  • The questions would be answered by multiple owners, and not just one or two users; again learning the user much more than he could ever learn here.

Just because we can keep Raspberry Pi questions around doesn't mean we should.

I don't see why we should hurt them in the long run, even when it's beta, that feels pointless to me...


Some moderators seem to currently be enforcing a personal policy based on their personal thoughts, others are clueless about what to do and seem to leave some questions untouched unless they can be closed under another reason; for an example, see this question which has been closed twice (see the lines with "state" here) which means that at least 10 different people wanted to close that question and 2 different moderators decided to go in against that and reopen it twice.

Why do I think this is happening?

  • No community consensus has been made on this yet.

  • Some people house Raspberry Pi under the category "electronic device" (off-topic), others house it under "embedded device" (considerably off-topic) and yet others assume for it to be a computer (on-topic).

    Although under that last logic an Android phone running Linux could be interpreted as a computer as well, but that would oppose to the off-topic route we would have for Android and the "mobile devices" (off-topic) policy; oh wait, I could consider the Raspberry Pi as a mobile device as well, just give it some wheels and you have a robot driving around! Or some wings and you have an airplane, the possibilities are endless. But not all of these are answerable by SU...

  • Some people know about Raspberry Pi, don't want to end up hurting that community; and want t have the question be asked again (or migrated) on that other community instead of here.


So, I ask you to make a community consensus on the Raspberry Pi, answering these questions:

  1. Is the Raspberry Pi in general on-topic or off-topic? Why? Be clear about it.

  2. Which Raspberry Pi questions are to be considered on-topic or off-topic?

  3. Knowing that there is the Raspberry Pi.SE community, do you think we hurt them?

  • Most of the RasPi qs on SU aren't like the ones on RPi.SE. There already are established rules for site overlap an migration which straighten such issues out. Flag posts if you want them to be migrated (just to be clear, flag new posts, not old ones). Do not close them as off topic. – Manishearth Dec 8 '12 at 9:10
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    I'm quite offended by your statement that Super User's hurting Raspberry Pi, and even more offended by you enforcing your personal beliefs and then projecting yourself as a saviour of the other community and then blame it on the mods. You've been here long enough to know what's on-topic, what's not. There's no need for all these façades. You also know the regular drill - Super User accepts questions which are on-topic for this site and another Stack Exchange, and it's up to the OP to choose where it needs to be asked. I really don't understand why all this ridiculousness. – Sathyajith Bhat Dec 8 '12 at 9:17
  • @Sathya: It could possibly hurt them in the future, the current low amount of questions isn't actively doing that though; I'm not blaming it on the mods but asking them to poke for a community consensus, they didn't do that thus hence this question. The Raspberry Pi is fairly new, so I for once do not know whether it's on-topic or not and hence wanted to make that clear. Thanks for calling this ridiculous! – Tamara Wijsman Dec 8 '12 at 9:19
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    @TomWijsman If it hurts our growth significantly then it's a perfect example of why RaspberryPi.SE shouldn't be allowed to graduate. That is why sites start in Beta after all. – Jivings Dec 8 '12 at 9:21
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    @TomWijsman if all you wanted was to make clear if RaspeberryPi questions are on/off topic, there are better ways of framing. Explicitly stating that we're hurting other community and then personal attacks stating they are enforcing personal opinions is baseless. I'm really appalled to read this from you. – Sathyajith Bhat Dec 8 '12 at 9:21
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    @TomWijsman it's been established from previous experiments (and failures) that "seeding" a beta site from an established site is not effective. I understand that you may not have been aware of that previously and don't fault you for it, but you may want to take that information into account henceforth. – nhinkle Dec 8 '12 at 9:21
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    As a side note, even if it were determined that R.pi questions would be better sent to the new site (which I think we've established is not the case), out-right closing them when there's no direct migration option is far more harmful to both communities than leaving it open here. A new user whose question is closed right off the bat for no apparent good reason is unlikely to want to become a returning member of either community. First impressions are important, and this sort of thing does not leave a good first impression. – nhinkle Dec 8 '12 at 9:24
  • @nhinkle: An example (or a Meta.SO / Area 51 thread pointing that out) would speak more than a thousand words. Thanks for taking into consideration from which point I come from. – Tamara Wijsman Dec 8 '12 at 9:27
  • @Sathya: Why do you set up yourself offensively each time I voice an opinion? I didn't refer to you; don't feel so offended, geezz... Some moderators were indeed doing that, is it therefore wrong for me to point out where my confusion comes from? No. I do care for both communities, is it wrong for me to point out I think they're hurting one another? No. And yes, I did clearly put out my thoughts so that everyone who is remotely interested could see why I'm thinking the way I do and to learn the hard way why moderators have been opposing that train of thoughts. – Tamara Wijsman Dec 8 '12 at 9:32
  • Let's just say I would never have single-handedly voted to reopen the question if I wasn't sure these questions were considered on topic before. I'm sorry if that personally set you up in some way, but saying "Some moderators seem to currently be enforcing a personal policy based on their personal thoughts" is simply not true. And this is why people might react negatively to your statements, because they are in itself accusing—not the ideal way to start an otherwise constructive discussion. But I guess this is settled for now, I just wanted to comment on that part. – slhck Dec 8 '12 at 11:24
  • @Sathya: I'm quite offended by the way you handled this meta question, and even more offended by the way you need to personally point out mistakes by others. You've been here long enough yourself to know that it needs to be decided by the community whether something is on-topic or not for edge cases. No such decision was made yet and multiple attempts to ask the relevant moderator(s) yielded no community decision, thus it is fair to assume that moderator act on their own. Hence, there is a need for a façade like this to get that community decision going; an accusation beats ignorance. – Tamara Wijsman Jan 2 '13 at 17:51
  • @Sathya: It's not for the OP to choose that if the FAQ doesn't have any mention of the subject, I don't see any community decision mention that; this is why we can VtC and if a moderator overrides our decision then he should be able to base that on a community consensus, which didn't happen in this case. My statements hence were well framed and were not ridiculous, which you should have seen based on closer inspection. I'm glad you felt the most offended; because you have acted with the worst response to this situation, you have negatively commented without doing prior inspection. We are quit. – Tamara Wijsman Jan 2 '13 at 17:57
  • @slhck: "Some moderators seem to currently be enforcing a personal policy" has "seem" for a reason; stating it is simply not true is impossible since you can't change what others see from you, unless you can point to a place where you told me so prior to this question, which you and others didn't. This way was the most ideal way, see the above two comments; it's better than to say nothing, I like resolution > ignorance. There's both sides to a discussion, if one side ends up being ignorant you shouldn't be surprised for the other side to be negative; and this goes both ways. An eye for an eye. – Tamara Wijsman Jan 2 '13 at 18:05
  • Notice StackOverflow doesn't migrate ALL SQL questions to DBA Exchange. – surfasb May 28 '13 at 1:09
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Speaking on behalf of RaspberryPi.SE, questions should not be off-topic here on the basis of them being about the Raspberry Pi. That's not how things are done, and there are rules in place for this.

However, if good questions cannot be answered here then we will (and do) happily receive them from migration.

If this damages us in the long run and we are seen to not be able to stand on our own then we will not be allowed to graduate. This is exactly why new sites have a Beta period.

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    Contextual note: Jivings is a ♦ moderator on the Raspberry Pi beta site. – nhinkle Dec 8 '12 at 9:19
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    It didn't seem like a bad idea to indirectly bring you in, thank you for representing your community. I haven't considered the "stand on our own" perspective; and saw this as a possible "form of promotion for your community", not knowing it could possibly hurt the community as a whole instead of being a benefit to the user. – Tamara Wijsman Dec 8 '12 at 9:40
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    @TomWijsman No problem. Glad we've settled your mind. – Jivings Dec 8 '12 at 9:45
  • questions should not be off-topic here on the basis of them being about the Raspberry Pi Why not? Programming questions are off topic here even though they are about computers, because they fit better on SO. Conceptual programming questions could easily fit on SO, but are frequently migrated to Programmers. Many computer electronics questions here are migrated to Electronics and computer game questions are migrated to Arqade. I don’t see why Rπ questions shouldn’t be migrated as well. If this damages us… It’s not about damage, it’s about fit and likelihood of getting a good answer. – Synetech Dec 8 '12 at 14:56
  • @Synetech The point I was making is that a question regarding the Raspberry Pi is not necessarily off-topic here. I'm not sure how that can be debated. – Jivings Dec 8 '12 at 18:06
  • Three years later, it looks like rasppi is doing just fine, and given the new guidelines for graduation that you'll probably be getting a new layout and better advertising soon. =) – corsiKa Jun 10 '15 at 17:08
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  1. A Raspberry Pi is a computer. Super User is a Q&A site about computers. Therefore, Raspberry Pi questions are on-topic. I think that's pretty clear.

  2. All Raspberry Pi questions should be considered on topic. Why? See answer to question (1). Just because a question could be on-topic elsewhere does not mean that it must necessarily be off-topic here. If the sole reason for a topic to be off-topic here is because there's a specific community for it elsewhere, it should not be off-topic here.

    Part of the reason for this is that it is the user's choice where they want to ask their question, so long as the question is appropriate for that site. If I want to ask a Raspberry Pi question on Super User, I am perfectly within my rights to do so, and I may not want somebody else telling me where to post my question. Same goes for Apple computers, Ubuntu questions, Unix and Linux questions, etc.

  3. Knowing that there is a Raspberry Pi beta site on Stack Exchange, I would very much like for them to succeed. And you know how a beta site on the Stack Exchange network succeeds? Through growing its own community organically. That happens by attracting interested users and by growing the community "from the ground up". There are examples of Stack Exchange sites that were "seeded" with content from previous sites, and in almost all cases, that has resulted in an overall weaker site.

    If we want Raspberry Pi to succeed as its own Stack Exchange site, which I expect it will, then we need to allow them to grow without sending them all of the questions that end up here. Forcing all of Super User's R-pi questions on the new beta site is what hurts the new site, and our own.

As an addendum, I would like to add that it is a general Stack Exchange policy not to migrate questions to beta sites unless the question is entirely off-topic on the originating site and entirely on-topic and welcomed by the site targeted by the migration. A policy of closing R-pi questions on Super User would be illogical, since there is no normal migration path to that site, and if the site does not graduate from beta, those questions would then be effectively gone forever.

  • I deleted my questioning comments since the votes on both the question and the answer made (1) clear and Manishearth has answered (2) and (3) through examples. Thank you for explaining! – Tamara Wijsman Dec 8 '12 at 9:48
  • Thanks for your understanding @TomWijsman. – nhinkle Dec 8 '12 at 9:50
  • “A Raspberry Pi is a computer”. True, but so is an Android/iOS/Blackberry/Symbian phone. So that doesn't automatically make Pi on-topic here. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 8 '12 at 14:11
  • Even if Rπ are considered computers, the majority of SU users are arguably WinTel people, so asking an Rπ question here is less likely to get a good answer than on RaspberryPi.SE where presumably everybody there is an Rπ user. I certainly wouldn’t ask a Windows question on Apple, Ubuntu, or RPI even though there is a chance of getting an answer. I think the issue may be that there is no dedicated Windows SE site, but of course it is too late to do so now. Plus, even though Rπ is a computer, it not really perceived as one since it does not even come with a case by default. :-P – Synetech Dec 8 '12 at 15:01
  • The first point alone is enough to satisfy the entire discussion, in my opinion. Also, we've been through this discussion a number of times before (think Ubuntu.SE, Unix & Linux.SE, Apple.SE, etc). – studiohack Dec 9 '12 at 2:54
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This is more of an addition to Jivings' answer.

Most site overlap rules go like this:

If it is in the overlap region, leave it where it is asked unless it doesn't get good answers, OR if you are sure that it won't get good answers. This generally is a win-win situation for both sites and the OP as well.

IIRC, Mathematica.SE and SO have a similar agreement, though now that the community has migrated itself, the questions get sent over more often.

Currently, you have a thriving RPi community on SU. Slowly, it may move over to RPi.SE, but it's better not to force things--that doesn't always work1. If you inject the community there with rep from upvoted migrated posts and users from here, it won't get to grow organically. The mindset/spirit on that site will be similar to SU, and maybe the types of questions that are preferred as well.

1. Case in point: when TheoreticalPhysics.SE and Astronomy.SE closed, Physics.SE absorbed the two sites. Quite a few active community members on those sites never really became active on Physics.

  • Thanks for throwing in some examples! – Tamara Wijsman Dec 8 '12 at 9:45
  • If it is in the overlap region, leave it where it is asked unless it doesn't get good answers, OR if you are sure that it won't get good answers. This generally is a win-win situation for both sites and the OP as well. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the site with the most narrow range would be the one to get the best answers? Think of it like CSS: broad rules are overridden by more and more specific rules. – Synetech Dec 8 '12 at 15:02
  • @Syne yes, except you risk losing the community in the process. See my note about Physics/Astro. Also, the injection of questions is harmful, it skews the rep and all like I mentioned. – Manishearth Dec 8 '12 at 15:35
  • Well if RPI.se closes, then I would think the same thing would happen, but not because questions were migrated. And I don’t know what you mean about injecting questions. – Synetech Dec 8 '12 at 17:01
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    @Synetech what we mean by "injection questions" is that if you send questions to a beta site from an established site, instead of letting the site grow organically, that can end up harming the site in the end because the content is essentially being determined by outsiders instead of the people trying to nurture that new community. Anyways, it's a policy on the Stack Exchange network not to migrate questions to beta sites except under very specific conditions, which are not met in this situation. – nhinkle Dec 8 '12 at 17:42
  • it's a policy on the Stack Exchange network not to migrate questions to beta sites Ah, okay. (I didn’t even notice that it was still in beta because I have not been to it in a few months. Maybe if I can ever get one… ☺) – Synetech Dec 8 '12 at 18:29

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