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As a graduated site, we can set up (a limited number of) so-called migration paths. That is other sites on the SE network that show up when normal users want to close as "offtopic because it belongs on another site".

That is, community moderation will be able to migrate questions away, to a limited set of target sites.

The question is, which sites do we want to have in that list?

FWIW, here are our stats for the last 90 days:

  1. SO -- 7
  2. math.SE -- 4
  3. cstheory.SE, SU -- 3
  4. english.SE, stats.SE -- 1

Things to think of:

  • Which targets are most important in terms of volume?
  • Which targets are unproblematic w.r.t. our knowledge of their scope? (We don't want to migrate questions to a place where they are not wanted!)
  • Do we want offer a low-resistance path for moving on-topic questions away to sites with overlapping scopes?
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  • $\begingroup$ Note to self: find out where to actually manage migration paths. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 17 '15 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ We can't. Only SE staff can. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Oct 17 '15 at 18:23
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    $\begingroup$ What about academia.SE? It doesn't come up? $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Oct 17 '15 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @YuvalFilmus I don't have access to statistics that go farther back, but I only remember one or two cases. We probably don't need a dedicated migration path for so few questions. That said, everybody is invited to extend the pro/con lists I created, and post new answers! $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 17 '15 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael Are these migration paths materializing? $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Nov 15 '15 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ @YuvalFilmus We have to take action and request them of Oversight. Putting it on my ToDo list. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Nov 16 '15 at 0:08
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Stack Overflow

Pro

  • Programming questions are the largest group of offtopic questions.
  • Most of us can tell what a programming question is.

Con

  • We'd probably migrate bad questions as well (which we should not do).

To note

  • Most such questions need heavy retagging on SO, which ideally one of us would do.
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    $\begingroup$ I'm in favor of this migration path. Community voters will have to act responsibly and not migrate over bad programming questions. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 17 '15 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, I seem to remember chatting with Stack Overflow mods regarding individual questions. IIRC, the answer was: "Please don't bother (us), just send them over. If they are bad, we'll just kill them; no matter how much you migrate, you won't add to our workload significantly." (About right, @Gilles?) Of course, the danger is that they'll start to "hate" us if we send lots of crap, but chances are they'll never notice because of the sheer volume they handle. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 19 '15 at 10:54
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    $\begingroup$ OK. It sounds like the worst plausible case is that we cause insignificant trouble for SO. We should definitely include this migration path. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Oct 19 '15 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ I have requested this one be established for us (staff see feature-request posts). It should be up shortly. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 5 '16 at 16:57
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Mathematics

Pro

  • We get pure mathematics questions regularly.
  • We are usually inclined to keep mathematics question if they are CS-ish in any way, so it's unlikely we'll migrate over something that would be offtopic.
  • We all know what a mathematics question looks like.

Con

  • There is at least the potential danger of moving TCS questions there. I don't think this would be an issue today.

To note

  • math.SE has a more liberal stance regarding question quality than we do. They may want us to migrate (pure) mathematics questions even if they don't reach our "not a problem dump" threshold.
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    $\begingroup$ I am in favor of this migration path. I don't think any harm can come from it. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 17 '15 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ I think this would be a useful path, especially in the first-years-learning-recurrences season ;). I don't think the con really exists - would any of us not recognise a TCS question as on topic here? $\endgroup$ – Luke Mathieson Oct 26 '15 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ The current "crew" wouldn't, certainly. The question is what happens once more of the practically inclined crowd gain enough rep. We'll have to wait and see. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 26 '15 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ We (moderators) have decided to postpone this one until significant volume emerges. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 5 '16 at 15:35
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Computational Science

Pro

  • People mistake Computer Science for Computational Science, it seems like something that could be dealt with quickly and easily automagically.

Con

  • May not happen often enough to be worthwhile (I've personally seen a few, but they seem to have dwindled).
  • scicomp.SE is still in beta, and I guess we can't have migration paths to beta sites (might be useful in the future though).
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with your cons. We don't migrate there at all, most of the time. Question: should we? Do you have examples of questions that should have gone there? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 26 '15 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael, I have memories of questions being "verbally" directed that way, but it's a tricky one to search for. $\endgroup$ – Luke Mathieson Oct 26 '15 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ In principle, this would be a reasonable migration path. But we've only migrated 8 questions there all time. This is by far too rare to warrant a migration path. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Oct 26 '15 at 17:47
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Theoretical Computer Science

Pro

  • Advanced questions in certain areas of TCS may be more likely to get good answers there than here.

Con

  • By definition, all questions that we would migrate are actually ontopic here.
  • cstheory.SE has no scope definition beyond "I know it when I see it". It is not per se clear how we can decide what is ontopic there.
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    $\begingroup$ I'm against this migration path. I think we should only migrate there upon OP request (which would be implemented by flagging and moderator action). $\endgroup$ – Raphael Oct 17 '15 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ I'm with you on this one. Migration upon request seems like the best way to handle it. $\endgroup$ – Juho Oct 17 '15 at 15:26

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