What is appropriate is mysterious

I recently posted this question on cs.stackexchange.com. In the question, I am essentially asking about whether anyone can point me towards references on ARM programming. It was closed as off-topic with the response not appropriate for this forum, and try the main stackexchange.

First, I have no idea what the main stack-exchange is. A link would have been great.

Second, I do not understand why this is off topic. I wrote the question frustrated that hours of digging through the internet -- left me with nothing, so maybe it was not well worded. However, the cs.stackechange about page says "CSSE is a question and answer site for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science."

This is certainly a question about cs, so can someone explain why this is off topic. Maybe, also, changing the about page needs to be done.

• See here, here and here. There is absolutely no "mystery" here, you were just not informed well. :) – Raphael Mod Apr 5 '13 at 9:30
• +1: Because I sympathize with you. There are multiple sites, whose scope (open to different interpretations) would allow overlaps and it is not really clear where to post (even if you knew of their existence). That said, you are more likely to get a good answer on stackoverflow, rather than here. – Aryabhata Apr 5 '13 at 18:45
• stackexchange has many written & unwritten conventions. takes awhile to get a feel for it. but it helps lots if you read (FAQs) & search the site before posting. & there is tons of bkg in meta. so its all there, its just not nicely organized. – vzn Apr 5 '13 at 20:39
• Thanks for posting this question on meta! the moral to our community should be: (1)better explain closing votes; (2) questions that belong in other SE, should be migrated there fastly (maybe we should have "migrate" vote, like closing votes, so there's no need to wait for a mod); (3) remember that not everyone know all the (written and unwritten) codes. Add a link to the FAQ when commenting on a new-user posts. – Ran G. Apr 5 '13 at 23:58

First of all, apologies for not making the reasons for closing the questions clear. The main reason I think is that this is not a programming related forum. Even though this is essentially a reference request (by the way, there is a tag for that if you need it in the future), it is about a programming language for a particular platform. Essentially, it is along the same lines as "Good references for C/C++/Java/Python" etc.

Such questions are generally a good fit for the "main stackexchange site", which is StackOverflow. You even have a separate tag for ARM processor related questions, and the tag info page also lists this as a reference (which may or may not be what you need).

Also, note that the "programming-languages" tag that you used for your question deals with "design, implementation and analysis of programming languages", and not usage. Have a look at the about link for more details on the tag. There is a fine line, and this question might be borderline on-topic, but in general, such questions will get good answers on stackoverflow, and considered off-topic here.

If you still feel that the question was closed incorrectly, please feel free to edit and flag for reopening.

Hope that helps.

• I hope I didn't give the impression that I was ranting about having my question closed. It was just that I was confused because I had checked the about page, and said to myself, oh this seems like an appropriate place to post after reading "Computer Science Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science." – Jonathan Gallagher Apr 10 '13 at 17:38

Eeep, we really need to put something in this FAQ. Thanks for raising this issue.

Still, this question is clearly not computer science. It's a question about a specific piece of engineering used in an engineering context. It belongs on a site about engineering, which when the goal is to engineer software means programming: Stack Overflow.

(“Main stackexchange” is improper terminology for Stack Overflow.)

I don't think your question would fly on Stack Overflow, however. While it would be on-topic, it is not a good fit for Stack Exchange in general. Stack Exchange is a questions and answers platform. “Send me a link” isn't a question (and it's not a matter of phrasing: “what's a link to …?” wouldn't be any difference), it's a request for links. Stack Exchange isn't a link collection.

It's no longer /faq but the on-topic list and the about page, and they now say something. Feedback on Whats on-topic on CS.SE? please.

• Yes, we need to write up the FAQ. By the way, the stats seem fine to my eye, do have an idea of when CS is going to be graduated? – Kaveh Apr 7 '13 at 2:20
• We should have written this FAQ part long ago, but we could never quite agree on what should go there. (here, here) Is it time to try again? – Raphael Mod Apr 7 '13 at 12:24
• @Raphael, there seems there is more agreement about the scope now. If we just try to write it and not try to redefine it then I think this time we can do it. Or at lease we can write the part that there is a consensus and defer the more thorny parts for later discussions. – Kaveh Apr 8 '13 at 5:44
• @Kaveh I agree. I'll have a look at it next weekend, maybe sooner. – Raphael Mod Apr 8 '13 at 8:03
• Thank you for suggesting something be done. I am always confused about where to post, and what is appropriate. I am not one that is big on having written rules and such, but they can be helpful in guiding. I literally looked at the about page and thought that, based on the, "practitioners of computer science" that it would be a good fit. Also, note that I was not asking for a link, I can google myself. My question stated that I had googled, and found a bunch of links, and was curious if any were canonical. It seems this is a use case that should be allowed somewhere. – Jonathan Gallagher Apr 10 '13 at 17:42