compare how two different SE groups deal with the same question:

Software Engineering

Electrical Engineering

i stand by my observation (that was deleted): "Whatta bunch of pricks." (the exception is B.J. who showed interest in being helpful and who had experience doing exactly what it is that i want to do.)


1 Answer 1


Why do you want to compare how we handle an off-topic question with how another community handles a question that may or may not be on topic? Every community is free to decide (to some extent) their scope, what is expected of questions, and what to do when questions violate the site rules.

Our rules about topicality are spelled out here, in the Help Center. It clearly states the types of things that are considered on-topic (with links to Wikipedia articles that define the terms, to make sure everyone is clear what is meant). It also lists the types of questions (and links to the appropriate Meta discussions, where applicable) that are not permitted here.

Not only is the question that you linked not about one of the things that is on-topic, it explicitly falls into one of the categories of questions that are off-topic here ("finding or recommending products or services, including tools, libraries or packages, programming languages, books, scholarly papers, tutorials, articles, or blogs").

We have also decided how to handle questions that fall into our off-topic categories. We favor fast closure, and if the question is explicitly in one of the categories of off-topic, fast deletion. This helps to ensure that people don't abuse the system - asking off-topic questions and getting answers (as answers or comments) is abusive and tends to lead to other people asking low quality or off-topic questions and expecting help.

  • 1
    well, it wasn't about voltage or current or about electrical connections. the question was about protocol and this group had a tag called USB about the topic in general. Protocol is a software topic. now i am finding out that the USB chip has some of this protocol built into it's hardware (which bothers me, because then i don't understand how different manufacturers would use this chip for different classes of USB devices). Nov 25, 2017 at 19:08
  • @robertbristow-johnson Of the four bullet points that are on-topic here, which one does your question fall into? None of them.It also explicitly falls into one of the categories of unacceptable questions. And even if it fell into one of the things that are on-topic, resource requests are simply not permitted here and get closed and deleted.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Nov 25, 2017 at 19:10
  • strictly speaking, the second bullet point. now @Thomas, can you explain why this group has a tag for USB if one is not supposed to ask a technical question about how USB devices communicate? is protocol not a software engineering topic? Nov 25, 2017 at 19:16
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    @robertbristow-johnson Don't use the existence of a tag or other questions (which may have gone under the radar) to justify why you should be able to ask your question here. Instead, explain why your question falls into one or more of the things that is on-topic without being one of the things that is not permitted here. You won't be able to - you are asking for a reference or resource, which is explicitly not permitted.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Nov 26, 2017 at 1:45
  • 3
    The USB tag is indeed misguiding for this site, it should probably be removed. "Protocol design" in general is surely a software engineering topic. But in-depth technical details for a specific protocol like USB is not in the domain of expertise of this community. So be glad you found a site where experts for this topic are, instead of insulting our ones here. I am sure when you try to ask about a software engineering at EE.SE, the reaction of the community there would not be so different from ours here on your former question.
    – Doc Brown
    Nov 29, 2017 at 21:20

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