Someone asked a question, which was put on hold for "This question does not appear to be specific to the Raspberry Pi within the scope defined in the help center".

Then the asker went ahead and proposed a OPi.SE.

Why is this SE specific to RPi (yeah, I know that the name is RPi)? The OPi.SE proposal will probably not be accepted. Isn't there anywhere this person can get an answer for his hardware in this SE?

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    Short answer: That was the scope defined for the original site and it has not changed. WRT where to go then, yes it is an issue -- Please read: meta.raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/567/… While on the surface I think expanding our scope may seem like a good idea, in practice I am not so sure and so have never made an effort to push for it personally. Steve, who's been a mod here since the beginning, has more thoughts about this which over the past year I've come to see the wisdom of. – goldilocks Nov 28 '15 at 14:56
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    @goldilocks the question you linked is very different, but very similar. RPi and OPi are like green and red apples, while RPi and arduinos are like apples are oranges (still, both are vegetables). Most cons stated there wouldn't happen if you allowed RPi-like hardware, as they are still apples. – Ave Nov 28 '15 at 15:05
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    My point with the other question was just to indicate that there have been ongoing problems trying to create a broader site -- note that was the second attempt at an "Embedded" -- and why I don't think it would be productive for us to take on those problems here. – goldilocks Nov 28 '15 at 15:32
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    WRT to the Pi and similarities to other predominantly linux based boards, what makes them similar vs, e.g., Arduino, is that they are predominantly linux based. And there is already a Unix & Linux; expanding in that direction is basically saying we are for "dev board hobbyists who don't want to use U&L". At that point we might as well take on python programming for "dev board hobbysts who don't want to use Stack Overflow" (which hopefully clarifies why such an SE site makes little or no sense). – goldilocks Nov 28 '15 at 15:32
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    ...the obvious conclusion of which thought process is that the existence of this site is already a mistake. – Chris Stratton Nov 28 '15 at 20:51
  • @ChrisStratton Only for the thought processes railed by the one track mind. – goldilocks Nov 28 '15 at 22:53

Your question presupposes that StackExchange and RPi specifically should provide an answer to everyone's question.

One of the strengths of this site has been its narrow focus. There are an ever growing number of boards including, orange, banana etc. While some are similar and even run Raspbian etc., there are also some significant differences, which this community may not be equipped to answer (lacking experience with or access to a physical board). So raise the same issues as the Arduino vs. Pi question @goldilocks mentioned.

One of the strengths this site has had is its narrow focus (Raspberry Pi only). It has allowed us to grow a community of knowledgeable users willing to help others. To provide a little context the Pi was the first of the Pi boards (orange, banan etc.), and has sold (several million boards) a number I doubt any of the others can even approach.

As @goldilocks pointed out this question has been raised repeatedly. You can gain some insight into the thinking behind this issue by exploring the links on the right.

A new SO site proposal may fail for many reasons; but the relative sales figures for these other boards, may hint that lack of a demonstrated need or too small a pool of knowledgeable users to service that need. Again, can or should this site or SO as a whole be all things to all people or will that only serve to diminish the site and brand.

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  • I don't say that StackExchange and RPi specifically should provide an answer to everyone's question. I say that you might consider providing an answer to more people. – Ave Nov 28 '15 at 16:07
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    @ardaozkal Shouldn't these other boards have a dedicated support channel in place to answer these questions (like the Raspberry Pi Foundations forums). It is not like if we don't do it they have no alternatives. Also, what would be the advantage(s) to the community in doing so? – Steve Robillard Nov 28 '15 at 16:15
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    No - the reality is that slicing too finely is extremely detrimental, as while various platforms like the pi and Arduino have unique quirks, most of the actual intended work done on them has overwhelming commonality with other embedded Linux and barebones MCU platforms respectively, and the experience and resources there are often better than those limited to a specific platform. This question ultimately exposes the fact that neither the pi nor the Arduino site should exist as distinct entities, because the model of one site per platform is not sustainable. – Chris Stratton Nov 28 '15 at 17:44
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    @ChrisStratton detrimental how, and again what would be the advantage to the community? How far do you suggest we take this should we cover every MCU? should we include the TI launchpads, what about the mbed platform what is similar enough and what is too far a field? The model of one site per device /platform may not scale but the failed embedded proposals argue that it does not have to. – Steve Robillard Nov 28 '15 at 17:47
  • @ChrisStratton I'm very copacetic, but the repeated failure of the Embedded proposal is illustrative of some realities. There is nothing people working on a serious - professional level need that they cannot get from a combination of U&L/EE/SO, or non SE resources. No void to fill there. A community requires people to answer questions, but before that it requires people to ask them. It's not you (asked 0). It's not Steve (asked 3). It's not me (asked 13, 9 self-answered). This place may or may not be sustainable, but one ring to bind them all is not even feasible. They won't show. – goldilocks Nov 28 '15 at 20:36
  • The proper places for embedded questions are Stackoverflow itself and EESE (the fact that they are distinct, and not merely tags is itself questionable, but livable). Clearly both those sites have some community flaws, but also overwhelming expertise that is so painfully lacking here and similarly on the Arduino site. As for asking questions, why would one ask what one can solve on ones own? Many sources of strong answers don't ask, while many who ask do so far before they have made any serious attempt at research or problem solving themselves. – Chris Stratton Nov 28 '15 at 20:40
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    To the "knowledgeable folks don't ask" problem, it may be a good exercise to actively solicit some "best-of" questions that might not already exist in the community. Yeah, I get that I'm asking for people to think about the pearls of wisdom they've gleaned in the few years of working/tinkering with the Pi. – WineSoaked Nov 28 '15 at 21:49
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    To the scope question, I think that keeping it tied to the market leaders (Pi here and Arduino for that board) is destined to serve the most people possible. People who come to tinker with Arduinos and RPi don't know that they could be posing their question to U&L, or EE or SO, so it inevitably falls to this community to be the bridge (and trolls) helping educate newcomers to how SE works. – WineSoaked Nov 28 '15 at 21:53
  • @ChrisStratton We absolutely do lack expertise. I came from U&L and am regularly appalled. I could have put in much less time collecting a lot more points by staying there, which probably makes us very different people, which begs the question why you would care one way or the other. RPi.SE is not a problem; it does not stop anyone from creating anything else, WRT "what's best for everyone" I make a lot of effort to point out EE/SO/U&L. Some listen, some don't. I don't think throwing them overboard, however, will help. – goldilocks Nov 28 '15 at 21:58

This is a matter of overlap of scope. If orange-pi were a simple clone of the raspberry-pi, running all of the same hardware, firmware and software, then this might be a good place to ask questions about it.

The fact that a question such as this one exists, suggests that it isn't a simple clone however. If answers about the orange-pi are not appropriate for or relevant to raspberry-pi users, it suggests that questions wouldn't be relevant either and this put questions about the orange-pi outside the scope of the site.

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    The various Raspberry Pi offerings aren't exact clones of each other, either - and once you start running windows on them (as is supported here) they might as well be a different product, far more so than a banana is.. Fundamentally, "brand name" identification is a broken basis for an SE site. About the closest thing to a viable one is the Mac site, but a hackintosh or darwin question would presumably be on topic there. – Chris Stratton Dec 12 '15 at 18:31

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