Many questions on this SE are posted by hobbyists and DIYers and newer users who may be looking for a quick fix, and not interested in more detail.

I had some push back on a particular answer where I provided a more industrial approach that I believe was appropriate due to the safety implications of the question (it can be found here).

Should there be a requirement or expectation, that answers respect a "DIY" or amateur point of view?

My approach thus far at RPI.SE is to always provide the correct way of doing something, even if it is beyond what OP is asking for in terms of technical detail and difficulty.

  • 1
    While I have not yet catched up on the answers and comments on that particular question I think it is safe to say that there is not such a DIY requirement and IMHO there shouldn't be either. It is probably right that many people asking questions here are amateurs and will be fine with DIY solutions that does not render answers with a more industrial background invalid nor unwanted.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Jan 10, 2018 at 23:45

3 Answers 3


Most of the users asking questions on the site are going to be hobbyists who just want a quick and simple solution. The reality is, from my personal experience, we don't get too many questions about industrial applications.

However, there is nothing wrong with providing an answer focused towards an industrial application, but you need to keep in mind who you are primarily providing a solution to. In the case of the question you answered here it's not clear if the Pi was to be used in an industrial application or not. As a general rule of thumb most questions are not being asked in relation to some kind of industrial application.

The answer you have provided is well detailed and clearly written but it could be considered "overkill" in terms of the solution the OP might have been looking for. This is why your answer received negative feedback. Although I'm glad you took the time to outline the safety risks involved with the other answers. But please don't start a flame war in the comments section with another user, its not useful to anyone looking at your answer.

As a final point the question you answered was lacking in detail anyway which always makes it harder to answer. Before diving into answering such a question it might be useful to use the comments section to get some more information out of the OP.

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    To me as the answer writer, I derive value from writing up a detailed answer even for an undetailed or DIY question. With respect to the rule that SE is not a blog, I use the answers a chance for me to brush up on a topic or review/track down documentation I haven't had a reason to.
    – crasic
    Jan 11, 2018 at 7:01

I thought that objective answers was preferred over opinion based.

And from my opinion I agree that the OP didn't ask for a "DIY" or "Industrial design". I was thinking about elaborating on the safety concerns myself.

As the question was asked I just present a short answer with details that covers the basics and then can a discussion start with OP about a more detailed solution. As in guiding the OP to a more detailed solution.

To present the OP with a "Industrial design" and to state that all other answers are wrong has the wrong focus as in, my opinion is the right and others are wrong, when the OP's solution should be in focus!


I looked at the question, but refrained from Comment or Answer.

The question was too vague, and should really be closed - however it already had "answers".

In fact, while some of these answers/discussion may have been relevant (at least to a competent engineer) there was only one appropriate answer - what you are proposing is dangerous, and illegal (in most countries).

Also, as a professional engineer, providing an answer would be in breach of professional ethics, and possibly a failure to exercise "duty of care".

I would be tempted to add a comment, that anyone who HAS to ask questions like that obviously doesn't have the training/expertise to implement the solutions.

In short I do not believe what you posted was helpful - it wasn't relevant to the Pi.

In fact NONE of the "answers" was about the Pi.

  • I absolutely see your point, however the reality is that the suggestion would be to code if wired by an electrician, at the very least the legality would be known to them. To me the OP appeared to be someone working in a small office/business that was asking for integration into their lab. The context I read was that the question asker was going to be using professional labor for their work already, and felt comfortable indicating how to commission this.
    – crasic
    Jan 11, 2018 at 7:03
  • In any case, I am inclined to delete it, or perhaps edit it to add a large disclaimer. After thinking about your point, specifically that it does not address the raspberry pi as a platform. My intent is to always circle back to the platform and maybe missed the mark here.
    – crasic
    Jan 11, 2018 at 7:35
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    @Milliways, what do you mean that no answer was about Raspberry Pi when the question was "Is there a way to disconnect the whole room's electrical power supply from a Raspberry Pi"! With this attitude, not many question is about Raspberry Pi. Most are about Linux, electronics, mechanics and other technologies related to a owner of a Raspberry Pi and their challenges to get things working.
    – MatsK
    Jan 13, 2018 at 13:46
  • @MatsK Read the answers! They discussed external devices in detail, and debated their merits BUT NOT ONE bothered explaining how to actually interface these to the Pi.
    – Milliways
    Jan 13, 2018 at 23:28
  • Well we have a different opinion on how to read the OP's question and how to interpret it to then formulate a answer. But the fact is still, its what the OP asks that should be in focus, not our opinions! And as it is stated in the help-center, its about Raspberry Pi peripherals, not just about Raspberry Pi! And if the OP had asked about a detailed instruction on how to interface a Contactor, Relay, SSR or whatever, then the answer could have been different or flagged as "to broad".
    – MatsK
    Jan 14, 2018 at 11:46

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