What's wrong with the Electrical Engineering site? Arduino is supported there.
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What's wrong with the Electrical Engineering site? Arduino is supported there.
The main question here is: Is the EE.SE Arduino community willing to shift itself to an Arduino.SE? The current Arduino.SE scope is pretty much a subset of EE.SE (the parts which aren't EE overlap with Robotics.SE)
There are precedents to this: Mathematica (subset of StackOverflow) and TheoreticalPhysics (subset of Physics.SE). MMA.SE was successful, TP.SE was not. Why?
Point was, the MMA community on SO was a "closed" one. They only participated in the mathematica tag, and had little interest elsewhere. While Mathematica is a form of programming, the stuff you program in Mathematica is much different from the stuff a normal programmer writes. So, there was a site proposal for it, and it was successful.
Now, let's look at the flipside. TP.SE was a subset of Physics.SE, geared towards research level questions. Unfortunately for the site, most of the TP community was happy on Physics.SE, and most TP questions got asked on Physics.SE. The site was closed due to lack of activity in the end. A similar thing happened with Astronomy (not a complete subset at the time, but the scope was pretty much covered by Physics.SE and Photography.SE)
Alright, where does Arduino fall? I believe that it is in the latter category. Folks who use Arduino will be having tons of EE-related questions, and those who are proficient with the board will be proficient with electronics in general. I use Arduino from time to time, and that certainly is the case for me (I'm not proficient, per se, but I manage pretty well). So, what gain does the EE.SE Arduino community get by migrating over? I don't see much of a gain.
The best thing to do would be to put up a meta post on EE.SE asking what the EE Arduino community feels.
goldfish environmentis a myth. The bigger fish dont always let the goldfish live :) Also, once enough goldfish have been lost, more of them will stop to come. Its not as good a situation as you make it out to be. Although I may be wrong. You have more experience on the network than me. Feb 9, 2013 at 5:07
The Arduino community is large enough to generate enough activity for its own site. Plus, the Arduino platform consists of both hardware and the software. EE is able to handle the hardware questions and to a certain extent the software, but not completely.
Implementing A* on an Arduino ?
Also, EE has 9.6% questions(around 1343) based on Arduino. SO, has 1400 questions. This should speak for itself about the interest in Arduino in the SE universe itself.
Also, looking around the popular forums, you will see that even though significant, the proportion of the Arduino community within Stack Exchange is minuscule compared to the overall community. Bringing them together is in part what this proposal will (try to) do, IMO. This format is much better suited to technical problems than forums in general.
To make an argument with respect to the existing network, the majority of users of the Arduino platform are not hardcore coders. Some are barely starting out, as I had done. Neither are they electrical engineers. They may in fact not have a background beyond basic electronics (and sometimes not even that). They are delving into both coding as well as embedded systems. Questions from such users would get downvoted and would not be welcome on SO, as they would delve into hardware and would border on beginner level. When we consider EE, as the site deals specifically with Electronics more than coding, users are not comfortable of posting there (this I got from speaking to some of my friends). Such multiple domain questions are being lost out, and/or may not be handled properly.
What hardware will work optimally for localisation with the Arduino ?
Lastly, considering the type of questions. EE is more towards dealing with electrical engineering problems as the FAQ states as well as the majority of questions show. SO is more suited towards pure code problems not involving specific platforms (majorly).
Neither seem to handle beginner questions well which is what a large portion of the Arduino community is made of. Expert questions about the platform also seem to be missing for the same reasons. This proposal will bring together the different fractions and make it one whole and more.
After looking around a little, it seems that this proposal is the third Arduino site proposal in as many years. That also speaks for itself.
My issue is arduino users are very often those starting into electronics, it is the same as being a beginner in the EE field, we have many that are active and have found us for arduino and have grown into the community from that point. I consider this one of our major trunk lines to gain users who then grown into a full electronics knowledge. Many universities are using arduino to allow EEs to do real world interfacing and avoid having to teach real embedded systems in class.
We cover coding, as long as you are doing a bare-metal type application. This would cover using RTOS, working on arduino or just writing everything yourself. We just dont cover general coding questions outside that(or we would be SO with some electronics questions). We help in the area where you need to know that you are interacting with the baremetal.
This is a primary recruiting path for our site and I feel we serve it well, we occasionally have grumpy experts feel that newbies should pose their questions better, but that has only slowly improved and the moderation team and the community have been working to make it better.
I think it's wrong to think of Arduino users as a subset of EE. It's true Arduino users may not know much about EE, but that's the implicit objective of the platform. To use an Arduino requires a set of knowledge that is enabled by, but not dependent on EE knowledge. That has real value, and I can prove it it: people pay at least $20 more for an Arduino vs. the AVR that could be assembled to do the same thing.
Is an electrical engineer just a beginner physicist? Is a physicist just a beginner mathematician?
No: each field is built upon the next, and each field has a unique body of knowledge. Physicists ask questions in EE and EEs ask questions in physics. Yet, I don't think anyone would suggest merging these sites.
This answer made me realize something: There are three kinds of Arduino users.
Kinds #1 and #2 don't present a problem. #1 type people are already established users on EE. #2 type people are elsewhere on the internet, because they realize EE is not the right forum for them, and there is no Arduino.SE.
It's #3 and the lack of Arduino.SE that makes a problem. There's nothing wrong with these people, they just need to be informed and have a place to go. Arduino isn't any more basic electrical engineering than knowing how to put air in your tires and gas in your tank is basic auto mechanics. Some people don't want to learn about auto mechanics. They just want to drive the car.
When these people ask questions on EE now, we can't say "this is a good question, but I think would be much better served by the Arduino community," and then migrate their question where they will get the answers in the language they want. Instead, all we can say is "read the datasheet" or answer in the language of electrical engineering, which they can't, and don't want to understand. Because, as I said, the nondependency on electrical engineering knowledge is precicely what some people find valuable in Arduino.
Here's a recent example of this problem: How do I light an LED when a revolving disk is in motion?. That the user has re-asked the same question three times is an indication that he is unfamiliar with SE, but also that he's frustrated with the answers he's received so far, despite that they are fine from an electrical engineering perspective. Note the assumption that an Arduino will be used despite the absence of any good engineering reason for it, and the comment to that effect. He doesn't realize there's a whole field underneath him that assumes even at the basic level requires some familiarity with stuff like "voltage". How could you respond?
This last option, migrating or suggesting another site, happens not infrequently when it's possible. See Getting several light switches to control the same lights without extensive rewiring
I don't think so. You're all kinda looking at the arduino as an embedded controller purely its not just that.
I'll use my self as an example. I'm no EE infact my knowledge of EE is very very limited. I am however a Software Developer. I use arduinos for many things, media streaming centre, audio over wifi, server cluster status monitor etc. All of which are 99% software and usually a pre-built shield which gives me exactly what I need so the only EE extent is connecting a couple of wires from point to point.
Because the arduino can be used for both embedded style work and also as a more general application mini-pc we need to consider both.