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A newbie friendly and non-judgmental site focusing on Q&A related to Cloud technologies

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A newbie friendly and non-judgmental site focusing on Q&A related to Cloud technologies covering all main vendors like Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

There will be:

a. questions posted by community members that can be answered by other members and no question will be a silly question.

b. separate articles section where community members can publish their work

c. sandbox environments for all Cloud offerings with training modules for new members (to our site / to Cloud technologies) to use a playground and practice.

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6 comments

I like the idea of something a bit more focused than "all programming", and certainly I'd love to have help learning about using all those new-fangled cloud technologies. But since a lot of usage can involve "traditional" programming as well, could I ask questions, about, say Node if I'm using it for an AWS Lambda, but the same Node question wouldn't be on topic if I'm using it for a traditional on-premise application? I'm just trying to understand the line of what counts as "cloud"-related. Peter Cooper Jr.‭ 8 months ago

As long as the question has context associated with cloud computing and is ultimately related to learning or implementing cloud technologies, they are all welcome. Further our site should not shun questions asking for guidance, best practice and opinion, again pertaining to Cloud. I believe such question lead to better understanding and would benefit the community. Guru Pasupathy‭ 8 months ago

Personally it makes me cringe whenever I see a site which is based on a marketing buzzword instead of the engineering/science term describing what the site is actually about. Including "IoT", "DevOps", "Machine learning" blah blah. You can break these down into the actual technologies used by engineers instead. For example "IoT" is just a broad BS marketing term containing Network communication & security + misc 2.4GHz wireless and RFID technologies + embedded systems. Lundin‭ 7 months ago

Similarly, without knowing much about it, I suspect that "Cloud" is just network communication & security + server administration + database administration. Then you'll have various user interface products on top of these, which might be marketed as Cloud-whatever. Lundin‭ 7 months ago

@Lundin That's interesting; I was under the impression that "IoT" specifically excluded any considerations about things like security, patchability, or update delivery (let alone long-term such). That said, I agree with your basic point, and that was what prompted me to write https://meta.codidact.com/a/275914/275962 (to which I see no followup after a week...). DevOps is a bit of an odd one here, I think, because it is both a methodology as well as a catch-all term for tools to support it. Canina‭ 7 months ago

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3 answers

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What's Cloud?

I'm honest in asking about that.

You wrote in a comment:

As long as the question has context associated with cloud computing and is ultimately related to learning or implementing cloud technologies, they are all welcome. Further our site should not shun questions asking for guidance, best practice and opinion, again pertaining to Cloud.

The problem is that "Cloud" (in IT; meteorology is a little different here) doesn't really have an objective definition (that I am aware of) which would help delienate scope for such a site.

I do believe that there are parts of what gets offered under a "Cloud" umbrella that most people would agree are "Cloud" technologies.

It gets a little hairier when you consider edge cases.

While not meant to be an exhaustive list, some edge cases I can think of that might well influence scope might be:

  • Would questions about SaaS (software as a service), when accessed via a web browser, be on topic? What about end-user-oriented services accessible via protocols not commonly implemented by web browsers?
  • Would questions about private clouds be on topic? There are private on-premises clouds, and "private" offerings from cloud-based vendors that use their equipment; should there be any difference there?
  • Would questions about "dumb" hosting solutions be on topic? (You are, after all, using someone else's computer to do something you can't do with your own.)
  • Would questions about cloud-hosted gaming (as opposed to cloud-enhanced gaming) be on topic?
  • Would questions about shared VPS (virtual private servers) hosting be on topic? What about using such a VPS? And, in line with the matter of private clouds, if those are on topic, is there any reason why similar questions about something on my private Linux KVM instance hosting a handful of VMs, or FreeBSD jails, shouldn't be on topic?

Non-judgmental is good. However, to keep the signal to noise ratio high, clarity about scope is also good. Having at least a good idea of the scope a site is intended to serve, even if not all of the edge cases are ironed out ahead of time, helps. Especially with what at least I still feel is a marketing buzzword like "cloud"1.

  1. As in, doing something by using the resources of someone else's computer. Which we basically had in the 1960s; we just mostly called it mainframes back then, when it was called anything specific at all -- and it was the only game in town. Then in the latter half of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, personal computers started to become available...

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1 comment

Non-judgmental is a delusional phantasy. Of course people will judge you by what you write, and then will naturally react to you accordingly. When someone naively says they want "non-judgmental", they are really saying they don't want to hear about the judgements, usually because they fear looking stupid. So in other words, they rather have people laughing at them behind their backs instead of telling them straight up what is stupid. Now that is stupid. Olin Lathrop‭ 7 months ago

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I like this idea so far. I do have to shoot part of it down, sadly:

c. sandbox environments for all Cloud offerings with training modules for new members (to our site / to Cloud technologies) to use a playground and practice.

This isn't possible. Right now we don't have anywhere near the developers and resources we'd need to build something like this. This is the kind of thing that entire companies exist to do with dozens of developers; until we reach that level, this isn't something we can consider doing.

What this new site could have instead is another category to contain those "training modules" you're talking about: experienced users would write long, in-depth articles about a topic using a particular cloud provider and publish those. With community editing, these could become really useful resources.

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0 comments

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Questions about cloud technologies are on-topic on Software Development, which didn't exist when this suggestion was posted. I encourage you to ask cloud questions there. If later there is consensus that cloud technologies should have their own community, we can spin it off then.

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