Why are Hardware and Software (which is programming) questions off limits when both are fundamental aspects of Computer Science. Since they are off limits, is there a stack exchange community dealing with Hardware and actual programming questions?

  • $\begingroup$ "when both are fundamental aspects of Computer Science" -- they are not. Case solved. ;) $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 15 '18 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science - are so :) $\endgroup$ – user83052 Jan 15 '18 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ Where does this article mention that hardware and software were part of CS? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 16 '18 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ We know that many people use a very different definition of computer science, and one that laughs into the face of what "science" means. (Much like, in the US, "maths" has become a synonym for "arithmetics", a very unfortunate development.) We disagree, and use the academic notion of computer science as is only right. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 16 '18 at 8:49

As you might guess from the name, this site is about computer science. Note the word science. Science does not include engineering or technology. The science underlying computer hardware and software is on-topic, but not hardware or software engineering, nor how to use computers.

Likewise, it sure takes some physics to build a car, but if you want help with tuning your engine, that's off-topic on Physics and on-topic on Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair. And if your question is about using a car to get from A to B, it might be on-topic on Travel.

There are many Stack Exchange sites about computer technology, including sites about programming and sites about using software and hardware. (Programming is only a subset of all software topics!) See the big list on the main meta site.

  • $\begingroup$ science | ˈsīəns | noun the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment: the world of science and technology. • a particular area of science: veterinary science | the agricultural sciences. • archaic knowledge of any kind. $\endgroup$ – user83052 Jan 15 '18 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, but I majored in "Computer Science" about 23 years ago, and it included hardware, software, repair, etc. So, I found Super User which does answer hardware/software/programming questions. So, not sure how you are defining the word science, since science is what created technology, engineering, etc. $\endgroup$ – user83052 Jan 15 '18 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Jody Most “computer science” degrees include some engineering topics, sometimes even focus on engineering topics. These days such degrees tend to be called “software engineering”. I use the word “science” in its usual sense (not in the general sense of “knowledge”, which as you note is archaic). “Science is what created technology” is neither true, nor would it mean that technology is a subset of science. Super User does not answer programming questions, please take a minute to read the sites' descriptions. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 15 '18 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ The archaic definition was knowledge of any kind. Sorry my copy and paste from the dictionary didn't transfer over well. If Science is knowledge and study through observation and "experimentation" then what was experimented on - "the air". No, knowledge was gained and applied. For instance Health Science - knowledge gained about human anatomy then applied to the human body. So tell me, what do they teach in "Computer Science" degrees these days? Science - ORIGIN Middle English (denoting knowledge): from Old French, from Latin scientia, from scire ‘know’. $\endgroup$ – user83052 Jan 15 '18 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ Here is wikipedia's explanation of "Computer Science" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science >>>notice "everything" that is included in this field. Ya'll should change the name of this forum. $\endgroup$ – user83052 Jan 15 '18 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles I thought hw/sw/computer engineering was ontopic here, if kept towards the academic end of its spectrum? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 15 '18 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael Engineering, no. Theory of engineering, maybe. We've discussed it on meta, and leaned towards yes, but there have only been a handful of questions on the main site. There's no expertise on the topic. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 15 '18 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles That is true, even though there arguably should be. (Not sure what "theory of engineering" would be. :'D) Given this old but "current" answer maybe we need to revisit the discussion and try to find a clear(er) line? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Jan 16 '18 at 8:46

The interplay between Hardware and Software is a main field of Computer Engineering and as such, a part of Computer Science and a part of this site.

In fact, many questions on this site deal with hardware and software, see for instance the , and the tags.

Programming by itself is off-topic since the StackOverflow site covers this topic. Hardware by itself may be more appropriate in Electrical Engineering but, IMHO, is on-topic here as well, as long it is computer hardware with relation to computer behaviour and performance.


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