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Site Proposals

Software Engineering && Mathematics && Computer Science

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I am a coder mathematician computer scientist and would love to see a community for each of those identities.

  1. Software Engineering: This strikes me as an ideal early community. It's users are likely to provide useful bug reports and technical feedback and are likely to have a high threshold for unpolished or incomplete software.
  2. Mathematics: Mathematicians tend to be on the cutting edge of new internet technologies. We were among the first adopters of Google+ (RIP) and currently have a massive community on SE. We are also among the central driving forces of the Open Access movement in academia, demonstrating a cultural affinity for the ideals behind FOSS and Creative Commons.
  3. Computer Science: I would think this community would share the good qualities of the previous two communities.

I am not yet familiar with how Codidact works, but if it takes someone to do the legwork of "making" the community, I am happy to volunteer.

Why should this post be closed?

2 comments

Welcome! We'll want to separate this into one post per proposed site to make discussion easier, but first, as Art said, we'll want to make sure we'll have users for any of these. All of these topics are rich and should have lots of interest; are you working with any others (whether from SE or elsewhere) who'd be interested in helping to build these sites? Monica Cellio about 2 months ago

I'm interested in a maths site, particularly enumerative combinatorics. But learning a lesson from SE, it would need a clear policy on "problem statement questions" (i.e. effortless homework posts and other questions which appear so to be) from the start and ruthless enforcement. Peter Taylor about 2 months ago

3 answers

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Let me refer you to an answer I wrote a few days ago.

One person can't start a community - it simply doesn't work. To get a successful site moving, there needs to be a group of people willing to put in the time and effort to seed and curate high-quality content and to get the word out about the community. If you're willing to do that, that's a great start! What you need next is other people who are also interested in helping you do so. "If you build it, they will come" is a punchy line, but it's not much more — setting a site up and hoping doesn't work, it needs continuous effort over a lengthy period of time.

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My thoughts regarding a software engineering site:

Overall, the site needs to be relaxed and tolerant. There needs to be a list of what is on topic and what isn't, but it shouldn't be set in stone, least of all initially. We simply can't have a site where people burst in with different opinions of what's in scope and therefore close questions out of the blue. Better then to close one too few than one too many.

The community needs to have a higher tolerance towards subjective and opinion-based questions than other sites dedicated to practical programming or science. Software design in particular is fairly subjective in itself and software design questions must have a place on the site.

That being said, answers should preferably be backed with sources rather than opinions.


On-topic

  • Software design, architecture and modeling.
  • Practical design and design review - which item goes where, when using a certain technology.
  • Software development process and project cycles specific to software engineering (requirements, design, testing etc)
  • Best practices, where there is "best" criteria in the question and answers can be given based on sources and expertise consensus.
  • Software life cycle management, including build configurations, version control, release and deployment.
  • Software documentation and tools used for such.

Off-topic

  • Implementing, trouble-shooting or explaining specific code.
  • The use of computers or software for other purposes than software engineering.
  • System/network/server administration.
  • Recommendation questions about which tools, libraries, technologies etc to use or where to find them.
  • Project management questions not specific to software engineering.
  • Career/study advise and workplace issues.
  • Financing and legal advise.

Unclear and open for discussion:

  • Database management may or may not be on-topic depending on if there will be a separate site or not. In case there will be a separate site, we should not have overlapping scopes.

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This post covers three different proposed sites and has several upvotes, indicating some level of interest -- but it's hard to tell which parts. See also the recent proposal for Professional Coding, which overlaps two of the three proposed here. I'd love to see some well-developed proposals for technical communities. As another answer says, that includes gathering people who are interested in building the community here. I encourage anyone who wants to pursue any of these ideas to create a new proposal covering one site in more detail. Thanks!

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