Proposal: Computer Science

The title of the computer science proposal is now presentable, thank you. The site description has also been edited, but that edit threw out the baby with the bathwater. Before:

for computer Science practitioners, researchers, and CS students interested in topics like theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, programming language design, digital logic, or any other area of CS not directly related to programming.

Ok, “not directly related to programming” is bizarre, and I agree with taking it out. I believe this clause was meant to say that the proposal is not about programming (in the way Stack Overflow is about programming). But that's already covered by saying the site is about computer science. Science.

Now the description is completely misleading:

Proposed Q&A site for Computer Science academicians.

The intent of this proposal has never been to cater to academicians alone, or even primarily. Please revert to the former description, except for that last clause.

  • 3
    Agreed. I would suggest reformulating to the more sleek: "for computer science students, practitioners and researchers interested in abstract and applied aspects of computer science topic."
    – Raphael
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 15:37
  • @Raphael I like your formulation (with an s in topics). Could you repost it as an answer for better visibility? Thanks. Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 20:27
  • It should contain tricks like bit programming logics which existed even before computer science & programming, but can be included in since computer science can take advantage of the algorithms..like what is the easiest and quickest method to find whether a number is even or not? or is the product of 2^n or not. Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 9:07
  • @Nikhil that is too specific to be in the main description, and certainly included (although it is so low-level that most computer scientists probably won't care).
    – Raphael
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 9:36
  • @Gilles: "computer science" is not science; it's mathematics and engineering. But that's a detail; I strongly agree with what you're saying. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 11:18
  • @Nikhil maybe speaking to deeply of algorithme is out of topic, especially if they're aim is to calculate number, it's more close to Maths Science than Computer Science for me. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 11:18
  • @reinierpost what definition of "science" do you use? Based on the Wikipedia article, I can not see why computer science is no science. We just build our own (virtual) universe.
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 11:53
  • Then it's virtual science. Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:18
  • @reinierpost, I am not sure if you are qualified to make such claims. Computer Science is related to Mathematics and Computer Engineering but it is different, and it is generally categorized as science whether you like it or not. In any case, this is not the place to discuss this.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 18:38

3 Answers 3


Why not

For students, researchers and practitioners of computer science.


For Computer Science students, researchers and practitioners?

The word "academicians" is somewhat elitist and exclusionary, which I thought we were trying to avoid.

  • I like the first alternative better.
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 22:48
  • 1
    @Raphael Is it possible to change the description? Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 9:52
  • Not for us, I think. It has been done before by mods, though.
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 11:54
  • 5
    I would like them more if "practitioners" were before "researchers".
    – Kaveh
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 0:33

I still think the one-line description of a site should describe the subject matter, not the intended auience.

  • 2
    The title is the subject matter; "computer science" is a set phrase. Too bad so many people don't understand it. I think the current description makes clear what flavor of related questions will be ontopic. Any attempt to describe computer science topic-wise will take several paragraphs at least (without being complete), anyway.
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 21:13
  • It's not necessary to do that, as far as I can see. The description says: Proposed Q&A site for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science. I think it means to say something like: for learning, applying, and further developing computer science. This explicitly excludes discussions on other sorts of topics and it loses the perceived elitism. The description should describe what can be discussed, not who can discuss it. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:48
  • 1
    It is usual for proposals to describe the intended audience in addition to the intended question topics. A site is defined as community, not as a topic.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 18:40

When a proposal reaches about 45% commitment, we perform a final check to make sure the site is ready to be launched as-is. Part of that process is making sure the description clearly describes the target audience of the site. It answers the question "Who is this site for?"

All that excess stuff ("this site includes discussions about X, and Y, and Z, etc") are stripped out. The question of scope and topicality are decided in the early beta and enumerated in the FAQ; not the site description.

That's why all the excess was stripped from that description and where it should end up.

  • 8
    Thanks for replying. My issue with “for academicians” is that it does not adequately describe the intended audience of the site, which includes people applying CS in a non-academic setting. With the current description, the site would appear to be a slightly broader Theoretical Computer Science, which was obviously not the objective of the proposal's proponents. Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 19:49
  • 2
    the last thing we need is another research level site like CSTheory ... making it for "academicians" (why not use the term "acedemics") is too exclusive ... SO is very open and non-elitist why can't CS proposal be equally inclusive.
    – Moog
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 22:09
  • 2
    @Gilles Can you suggest a better description? "Computer Science, a site for computer science practitioners" just seemed sort of meh. Hey! Should it just be "Proposed Q&A site for Computer Scientists"? That I can get behind. Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 22:38
  • @Merlin ^^^ Pinging you, too. Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 22:39
  • 1
    @RobertCartaino Even “computer scientists” sounds like it's aiming to be for researchers (the people who make new science), like Theoretical Computer Science. The proposal is rather like Mathematics, Physics or Biology. So, errm, “researchers, academics and students” is both redundant and restrictive (but if P.SE and B.SE have no complaint I'm not going to mind their business). I'm not too fond of the M.SE wording either. Is “computer science practitioners, researchers and students” so bad? Or “computer scientists, students and practitioners”? Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 22:52
  • 4
    @RobertCartaino Proposed Q&A site for Computer Scientists of all levels
    – Moog
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 1:15
  • @Merlin I like that if you (and @Gilles) feels it clarifies the concerns about misleading the audience. Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 1:19
  • Unfortunately I feel like we're losing the roboticists again on this one, but if it resolves the CS debate, perhaps we can have another one good proposal merge for robotics. See what @Gilles thinks
    – Moog
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 1:34
  • @Merlin I'm ok with your formulation. Including robotics is a difficult point; it's a transversal field and rather bigger than, say, cryptography or machine learning: I'd sooner integrate these (but I am not arguing to break down the existing crypto site). Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 9:14
  • 1
    I like the snappy and complete version of Dave Clarke's answer better. @Merlin, so you think that it is too much of stretch to say robotics is somewhere between "theoretical" and applied CS?
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 12:04
  • 5
    "CS is by all accounts EVERYTHING to do with computers" -- big, big misconception. We busy ourselves with principles of how computers work and how to apply abstract results to reality. We will not, for instance, worry about overclocking, issues of MS Word or similar stuff. The keyword is science. In the context of roboters, you can have both: tinkering as a hobby and scientific/engineering work on roboters (and/or their control). The former would not be ontopic on cs.SE, I guess, while the latter would be (beware the grey zone).
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 18:22
  • 6
    @RobertCartaino: How about For students, researchers and practitioners of computer science. as suggested in the other answer to this question? Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 9:53
  • 5
    The other answer that got 10 upvotes, mind.
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 11:53
  • 5
    @RobertCartaino I am confused. You changed the description (for the worse, imho) without consulting the community and now you delay incorporating the community's clear suggestion/wish? What are you waiting for? I do not mean to offend but I feel that the longer the current, wrong description remains out there, the more trouble it might cause.
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 14:28
  • 6
    Thank you @RobertCartaino
    – Raphael
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 21:56

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