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Proposal: LEGO

There has already been comments about this to the proposal.

It will probably boost the popularity of the proposal to include others, and the tag system in StackExchange will work well to separate the questions between the different types.

Another comment suggests to rename the proposal to "Brick Overflow" which I think is a great name, and it also includes other brick families.

  • I agree with the idea of adding other bricks. But to limit the topic to bricks and derivates, excluding Meccano and other construction games that are too different. Brick Overflow is a great name... Brick Exchange would be nice too. – Coyote Oct 3 '11 at 12:58
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In my view, SO sites work best when there is a clear focus - i.e. the topic is well-defined, so people can easily tell whether

  • their question is relevant
  • the site caters to their interests
  • a posted question is on- or off-topic

The advantage of "Lego" as a topic is that it provides that clear focus straight away. However, I think with some work it should be possible to expand the topic while maintaining focus (with the advantage being that more people with the right mix of interests would be attracted). But it would be necessary to draw the boundaries quite carefully. For instance: what sorts of building materials would be covered? Lego, clearly; Erector Set (=Meccano)? Capsela? Sticklebricks? Balsa wood?

The definition would either need to list the types of material explicitly (e.g. Lego+K'nex+Erector/Meccano, but nothing else), or give a definition that sets out what is covered (e.g. sets where models are be constructed out of pre-made pieces, without cutting or gluing).

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    I agree that it is important to have a well defined proposal. I am looking to the original SO where programming is the general category, and all sorts of programming languages are allowed. I think it will be too narrow to specify specific brands explicitly, as the proposer would probably not know all possible types that exists out there. I think your last phrase there is a very good definition: "Sets where models are constructed out of pre-made pieces, without cutting or gluing" – awe May 20 '11 at 6:42
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    I for one would have no problem with knexx and the like, as long as I can select my LEGO tag and not see the other stuff – mplungjan Jul 4 '11 at 17:41
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    mplungjan is right. Lego should be delimited with a Tag otherwise it would be like creating instead of stack overflow a C++ site another for Java... And then you would have small languages without enough interest to deserve a QnA site... Same thing goes with Bricks. I would certainly use the Lego tag most if not all the time But it would be very nice to have a look at other bricks from time to time... even to do some mixing sometimes. – Coyote Oct 3 '11 at 12:55
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My main problem with limiting this site to just Lego is that it is a single product, made by a single company, and making a SE site for that purpose doesn't seem quite right. It's debatable as to whether this goes along with the Area 51 FAQ too. Despite this, I can't think of what else to call it. Construction toys?

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    Construction toys would be a great name. And they are similar enough to justify a combined site. – Toon Krijthe Jun 2 '11 at 22:13
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    From the comments on the main page I've gotta say, Brick Overflow is an awesome name, we should use that... – Tom Medley Jun 4 '11 at 23:19
  • @fredley, would users get the joke in that name? – Kortuk Jul 11 '11 at 16:17
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    @kortuk Does it matter if they don't? – Tom Medley Jul 16 '11 at 20:40
  • @kortuk, you have a good point there. It does matter if they don't get the joke, and are not known to Stack Overflow. We do want to target all users, not only those that started out in SO. – awe Jul 28 '11 at 6:29
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    @awe But brick overflow does still have a meaning that's relevant to the site! – Tom Medley Aug 1 '11 at 7:52
  • @fredley: I agree. I still think it's a good name. – awe Sep 8 '11 at 7:38
  • There are other SE sites that are specific to single products. Apple and Ubuntu, off the top of my head. – Kevin Sep 28 '11 at 15:19
  • @Kevin True, but Apple and Ubuntu are (families of) platforms on which a very great number of applications run. Lego is Lego. Lego connects to other Lego, bare feet, and that's about it. To exclude other construction toys would be silly! – Tom Medley Sep 28 '11 at 15:41
  • @fredley, I agree, and I like the idea of "Construction Toys", I was just addressing the specific objection about single product sites. – Kevin Sep 28 '11 at 17:40
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As a pure LEGO enthousiast, I don't really like to expand to all construction toys. I believe that the way LEGO bricks interlocks is sufficiently different from other construction types (such as Meccano) to warrant a specific site.

I do however agree that it should cover all "interlocking bricks" toys, be it LEGO or its various concurrent/clones. This also would help avoid trademark issues, as LEGO may not be used as any part of the future site name (see http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/corporate/fairplay.aspx).

"Brick" is usually a good substitute, as seen on bricklink and brickset, although it lacks the clear indication that it's a toy we're speaking about. Maybe "building bricks"?

  • Megablocks are aside from branding physically identical to LEGOs, for example. – Kalamane Sep 14 '11 at 4:17
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    They have the same dimensions so that they can interlock with LEGO, yes, but the quality may not be the same :-) – Joubarc Sep 14 '11 at 4:25
  • LEGO's patent to the shape of the blocks has expired. See this and this. Mega Bloks use the same peg and tube design as LEGO blocks now. – Kalamane Sep 14 '11 at 23:24
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    I'm aware of that, just saying that the quality isn't the same. I will stay convinced of that until someone builds a high tower entirely of Mega Bloks. Although I have to admit that the quality gap isn't that big nowadays. Of all the clone brands, Mega Bloks is by far the best, and a few bricks here and there in a LEGO model will usually go unnoticed. Plus, they do have useful shapes that LEGO doesn't make (the 2x2 plate with studs on both sides for example). So yes, they should be part of the proposal, as any other interlocking brick systems. – Joubarc Sep 15 '11 at 4:24
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I've been using Meccano and Lego for decades and I'd have a strong interest in keeping them separate. The techniques, problems, models, approaches in each are just different, yes they're both building 'toys', but the usefulness of the community is what's most important here.

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    I agree. That Meccanos are too different. But Legos and other bricks (compatible or not) could coexist on one site. – Coyote Oct 3 '11 at 12:52
  • Like SO there are different programming languages, and they can live together because there are probabilities that a person who knows one language also know another. You say yourself that you are familiar with both Meccano and LEGO, so you are actually a living proof that this also applies here. People with interrest in one building toy is likely to be interested in others too. – awe Mar 14 '12 at 14:20
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I'm liking the "Construction Toys" suggestion. If the site was widened to include K'nex, Meccano, etc, then there could be questions and discussions that compared and contrasted different building toys and how they applied to specific kinds of models; or "I built a model like X using Lego; how would that translate to K'nex?"

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