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The Programming Language Design proposal, which has begun with a very healthy start is one that I think a lot of people here might find interesting.

If you are excited about the launch of a new site, or curious to experience contributing to a brand new site, or otherwise have interest in participating in a new site about programming language design, I encourage you to visit the proposal for Programming Language Design SE and to click on "commit"! If you haven't ever done this before, make sure to click on "sign up" instead of "log in", but you won't have to do much more because Area51 will sign you up based on your existing SE credentials.

P.S. I got permission to post this here.

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To me, I wonder if it would be possible to combine forces, and encourage folks interested in the PLDI topic to post their questions here. I wonder if that might work better than creating a new site. The topic seems largely within the scope of the existing CS.SE site and thus I have the impression that a community interested in that topic could be accommodated here.

I have seen the comment suggesting that "these questions receive little attention" when posted on CS.SE, and to me it seems like one natural solution would be to have people who are interested participate here. That comment also mentions "these questions [..] are of questionable on-topic-ness". It would be helpful to elaborate on that. That post mentions the following as types of questions that would, it suggests, be off-topic elsewhere:

  • Questions about best practices in the design of languages' syntax, implementation, or major design choices (such as paradigm or type system)
  • Questions about general strategies for optimizing languages
  • Questions about ways to implement particular language features

To me, the last two seem likely to be on-topic here. For the former, questions about "best practices" are often a poor fit for the Stack Exchange format (1, 2), but in many cases can be asked in a more productive way after more thought and focusing. Questions about "design of languages' syntax, implementation, or major design choices (such as paradigm or type system)" seem likely to be generally on-topic here.

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  • $\begingroup$ We don't think questions about syntax are very likely to be well-received (1). Have you tried going though the example questions? $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Mar 1, 2023 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Seggan, that's a fair point. Without any additional context, I'm not sure whether "What are the advantages of semicolons as line endings?" will be well received here, as it sounds like it might lead to answers based on opinion rather than evidence, and it sounds rather open-ended. I'm not sure that this is a matter of scope, though, as opposed to what fits in the standard Stack Exchange format. $\endgroup$
    – D.W. Mod
    Mar 2, 2023 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ Would CS be willing to be flexible in their scope to include the suggested scope of PLDI? If so, how far? Multiple people wonder about combining forces, maybe CS can send a representative to talk about it informally, to check how compatible your scope would be with their ideas. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Mast, could you elaborate on what flexibility would be required? That might help jumpstart a conversation on this site's Meta about what this community is willing to go for. What is your thought on the extent to which this is a matter of scope vs a matter of the which questions work in the Stack Exchange format (e.g., opinion-based, degree of focus)? It's not my decision -- it would have to be the decision of the community. $\endgroup$
    – D.W. Mod
    Mar 2, 2023 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ It definitely would have to be a community decision, it's not something to be decided over the weekend. Having some experience on a site with open-ended questions (Code Review), I know open-ended questions can work if you put some clear rules in play (community decided, which can be the hardest part). If everyone can work with that (sometimes it's as easy as rephrasing a question, but there has to be a willingness for people to work with it from both sides). Some degree of objectivity is required. Other SE sites (CG&CC, Puzzling, Worldbuilding and UX, among others) have their own approach. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ "How would you design" questions would probably not work. Despite the meta about best practices you've referenced, Software Engineering (previously Programmers) managed to do something similar SE-style. List-type questions work on multiple SE sites. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ Every SE site has to find an approach for them that works and sometimes that (approach and scope) changes over time. Such an approach can change the dynamic of your site and having an influx of 100 new users from their own sub-community has its own challenges. But it can work, if both parties want to. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Mast, I'm not sure that Software Engineering likes "best practices" either: softwareengineering.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8221/34181, softwareengineering.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8591/34181. Do you have examples of SE site policies on list questions that you think are working well? (I doubt there's going to be enthusiasm to change to something as different as Code Review or Puzzling -- those are extremely different from our current model -- but UX sounds more plausible to me. I'm not familiar with the UX model. Do you have any pointers to UX policies that are working well?) $\endgroup$
    – D.W. Mod
    Mar 2, 2023 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ I think those 2 questions perfectly illustrate why guidelines are necessary and how to approach it. And there will always be people who simply can't stand it. If CS primarily has the latter, it's not going to work. But Software.SE did manage to get 661 questions with a score above 5 and at least 1 answer just on the tag programming-practices. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ UX has a couple of scope questions about lists. One of them has an answer starting with """ When I read the title of your question, I thought: "this doesn't belong here." After I read this meta question regarding it, I thought: "maybe this belongs here." """ If that's the kind of compromise that works for CS, PLDI and SE in general, I see possibilities. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ You were wondering if it was possible to combine forces. Is it? IMO, yes. Do all parties want to? It's worth a talk between experts from both sides, I think. I know you and Raphael are not a fan of splinter sites. If that's the general consensus, there's something to work with. If everyone thinks "it should work, but I don't see it happening", that's an outcome too. Then we can stop wondering. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Mar 2, 2023 at 19:33

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