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22

The core question here should be, why do we even have separate CS and CS Theory sites? And the most convenient answers to this can be found by reading this thread on the CSTheory meta. If you have time, please read through it before continuing here. If you're still stuck in line at the DMV after that, read this. But if you have time to read nothing else, ...


17

It seems to be the case that our biggest problem is separating CS from related disciplines to some extent. I think this can be best achieved by analogy to fields people have more intuition for. I have attempted to create such a table: Software Buildings Generalprogrammer construction worker performs assigned tasks software ...


14

Don't let yourself be fooled by the similarity in names: these are pretty different topics, with different audiences. Computer science is a broad subject, with a somewhat misleading names because it's not just about computers: computing science would be a better name. Computing refers to applying systematic treatment to information. Computational science, ...


14

Sure, programming language design is one of the things computer scientists do. You'll find programming language design questions under tags such as programming-languages, typing, type-checking, type-inference, compilers, interpreters, etc. as well as under tags for specific programming paradigms such as constraint-programming, functional-programming, meta-...


13

Analysis of the questions on the proposal I went and analyzed the 40 questions with score 10 and above that define the proposal, checking their suitability for Computer Science. When creating a programming language, should I choose an LL or LR grammar? Too broad as is. Squarely on-topic once edited to add information about the language. What are the ...


12

I suspect some of the problems come from the private beta stage, since many of the early adopters came from cstheory/math. My hope is that once the beta opens up, 'regular CS' folk will come in and start posting questions. I do agree that currently the questions are 'theory heavy' even though they're not necessarily CSTheory-appropriate questions.


12

Theoretical Computer Science Stack Exchange (“CSTheory.SE”) is for research-level questions in theoretical computer science My eyeball evaluation is that about half the questions so far are about theoretical computer science, and I don't know that any of them are research-level. I don't want to declare that research-level questions in TCS are off-topic ...


12

The way I was taught -- yay, one data point! -- questions about how to build CPUs from (abstract) gates (and that includes flip-flops) is part of computer architecture. Construction or physical properties of gates, on the other hand, would be offtopic.


11

I think algorithms and data structures should be on-topic, but not going from theory to the actual implementation. So regarding your example: How do I get the symmetrical difference of two lists in Java? We should remove the "in Java" and address it at a more theoretical level.


11

I don't think pure programming questions should be on topic here - no matter how easy or difficult they are. You should decide whether to ask here or on Stack Overflow based on the topic, not the difficulty. Questions of all levels of difficulty are on topic on Stack Overflow and the same is true here. Questions should go to Stack Overflow if they're purely ...


11

Computer Science is the science that studies computation and related issues. It has strong connections with other disciplines, particularly with: mathematics, computer and electronic engineering. There are various lists of topics which are considered part of computer science: ACM Computing Classification System ACM Special Interest Groups arXiv Subject ...


11

We do have the programming-languages and language-design tags. As long as your questions fall into these categories and are (mostly) language-agnostic they are very welcome!


11

There have been a number of past discussions of this. Based on the outcomes of those discussions, my reading is that asking for implementations of an algorithm is off-topic. Others may have a different view; I don't know. To get an sense of past discussions, you could start by taking a look at Is asking for implementation (any language) or detailed ...


10

Misquoting Justice Potter Stewart: I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description computer science; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But we know it when we see it ... so if in doubt, ask on meta.


10

Frankly, this is what teachers and teaching assistants are paid for. You can also ask peers or more advanced learners you trust. Reviewing material is generally a bad fit for this platform: it's a task that requires lots of reading (as opposed to a snappy, self-contained question) and has no clear-cut answers. You may also want to consider carefully if ...


9

I think the goal was not creating a site for TCS but a site for general CS (including those you have listed), so they should be on-topic.


9

SO also gets a fair number of homework questions. I think they should be accepted here IF (1) they are otherwise good questions - well worded and on-topic, and (2) the student has made some effort to solve them (that should be evident from the question). When answering such questions, users should be encouraged to put forth guiding advice, not just give the ...


9

I am deeply ambivalent. I love cs.se, but we haven't been able to attract the critical mass of OS experts required to make a vibrant community, and we only rarely get good OS questions. (Look at the operating-systems tag, of the 17 questions with a score of 5 or above, 16 were asked in 2012, and the one that was asked in 2013 is closed as off-topic.) ...


8

My personal reason for being quite active in this private beta is that I'd like to answer people's questions and help them in understanding Computer Science. I can't really do that on TCS, as the general level is too high (and my specialization, parsing, doesn't really come up that often). Glancing at the list of questions so far, the list of users and ...


8

I was REALLY excited when this site went into public beta because I've seriously been waiting for a forum to which I can get guidance on my CS homework as I go through my classes. Math.se has been great for the problems I have that require a mathematical answer (like when I measure time complexity, etc), but I've had problems where I need to come up with an ...


8

I think the question is of high quality, it it certainly connected to computers and there is a lot of computer science connected to viruses. However, even if the topic is connected to Computer Science, that doesn't mean every question related to the topic also is. The first paragraphs describe some business concerns and some IT concerns. The OP mentions two ...


8

I think most questions that ask for implementations in a specific language are offtopic here. Possible exceptions are questions like "How do I deal with language peculiarity X when implementing nifty thing Y?" if you can not expect the average programmer to have encountered and understood Y. In this particular case, the OP did not even ask for help ...


8

Computer Science is the science of computation; that much seems clear. Less clear is how to define science and computation in a useful and meaningful way. Generally, we might divide science according to two classifications: formal versus empirical, and pure versus applied. Whereas formal science (such as mathematics and much of computer science) relies on ...


8

In principle, your questions would be right at home on this site. However, note that you should post good questions only. Some problematic types of questions are "Please solve this exercise for me." "Please check my proof/solution." A good question focuses on a specific problem (e.g. "I got this far with this exercise, and now I am stuck. I feel like A ...


8

Anything classically considered computer science is OK for CS.SE. For instance: Operating system is on-topic. Computer architecture is on-topic. (Note that this might potentially include some questions that could be classified as "hardware", so one implication is that I'm arguing that the "hardware vs. software" distinction probably isn't the right one.) ...


7

The CS.SE site was set up, in my understanding, to satisfy a need: the need for a place for CS students, academics, and professionals to ask questions related to CS, which do not meet the criteria for sister sites (especially StackOverflow and CS Theory). Naturally, a mature CS.SE should be expected to overlap (to some degree) with Math.SE, StackOverflow, ...


7

Based on comments under the question, there seems to be several interpretations of what is being asked. This shows that the question is not well-defined at the moment. If the OP edits it and makes it clear what he is looking for then it can be reopened. At the moment it should be closed as "not-a-real-question".


7

I think as a rule of thumb, if you need to write actual code, the question is a programming question and belongs on Stack Overflow but not here. If pseudocode is good enough and any language of the right variety would do, it's an algorithm question and is likely to be on-topic here. Rule of thumb means that if you go looking for exceptions, you'll find them....


7

I don't think this kind of questions belongs here. Where to study or work in computer science is not a question about computer science but about job markets and academic curricula. Furthermore, it's very hard to give generic career advice; most career-type questions are not constructive and too localized. This subject came up on Programmers, where career ...


7

I don't see a problem with HCI questions in this forum. The more, the merrier.


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