I recently participated in the Embedded Systems private beta. It will be closing down next Friday, because there was not enough activity. In the meta post on the closing of the site, Andrew, a Robotics pro-temp moderator suggested that four beta sites are merged together to create one viable Embedded Systems site:
- Arduino (542 days in beta)
- Raspberry Pi (1151 days in beta)
- Robotics (1018 days in beta)
- Embedded Systems (10 days in beta, closing down)
I collected some statistics from Area 51 for each beta (as of Aug 8, 2015):
Site | Q : day | Answered | Users (200+ / 2K+ / 3K+) | A : Q | Visits / day ----------+---------+----------+--------------------------+-------+-------------- Arduino | 9.5 | 72% | 150 / 13 / 6 | 1.9 | 5106 Rasp. Pi | 11.9 | 82% | 438 / 24 / 17 | 1.8 | 21548 Robotics | 2.3 | 88% | 125 / 9 / 3 | 1.8 | 1516 Emb. Sys. | 7.7 | 85% | 24 / 0 / 0 | 1.6 | 80
Some numbers may be lower than normally due to summer holidays in the northern hemisphere.
Currently, Raspberry Pi seems to be the most viable, followed by Arduino. However, I think every site could be helped by a merge, because they have actually a lot in common.
- A search for "Arduino" on Raspberry Pi.SE yields 215 questions (2.6%), of which only 11 closed
- A search for "Raspberry Pi" on Arduino.SE yields 71 questions (1.9%), of which only 3 closed
- Robotics.SE most used tag is Arduino (208 Q). It also has a Raspberry-Pi tag (57 Q)
- Raspberry Pi.SE has an Arduino tag (100 Q)
- Arduino.SE has a robotics tag (35 Q)
To illustrate the great overlap between these sites: I myself am a hobbyist and a computing science student. I own a Raspberry Pi and some other embedded systems like Particle's Photon. I also own I have worked with LEGO robots and Arduino. I have several modules that can be used with an Arduino which I use with PIC microcontrollers. I am currently working on a PIC32-based standalone text editor.
I do not think we would have many issues defining a scope which is distinguished enough from Electronics, Programmers or Stack Overflow. After all, your site and the others have been doing that already for quite some time. Think of the suggested merge as the least common multiple of the four sites.
I have looked through the questions on all four sites and have the impression that questions on many of these sites are of interest also to users on other sites. I'm most sceptical about Robotics.SE. Anyway, this overlap is what makes me think Andrew's suggestion might be a good idea. But what do I know? I'm not active on any of these sites!
So, what do you think? Would your community benefit of a merge with (some of) these sites?
Disclaimer: I do not know what SE, Inc. thinks about this. Polling the communities seemed a good idea to me.