Please read this ↴ and understand that this is a non-issue:
Respect the community – your own, and others’
You cannot reasonably hope to create a site for:
"professionals and students of engineering [except for those in electrical, computer, aeronautics, <this>, <that>, and <the other>]."
It's a gerrymandered scope that is ...
As engineers and students of the discipline, we ought to know how to do some basic investigation into X. When we need clarification on something, we can ask "What is Y?" or "How do I Z?" Specific, answerable questions about engineering problems will provide answers useful to an engineer. 90% of recommendation questions give instead ...
Yes, ethics questions should absolutely be allowed.
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, a requirement in most cases for engineers in the United States to become professionally licensed, has a section devoted to professional ethics. (For those readers not familiar with the FE, I should note that it is a multiple-choice exam.)
I'm happy to see this question on our Meta site and I like the idea of incorporating the site into classroom activities. I'm not an educator but I would like to give a bit of a reaction from the perspective of what the site is looking for, in terms of what types of activities might be more productive vs. more annoying for our users.
I would not generally ...
Qualified No: Exception for questions about relevant code(s)/standard(s)
The reasons (copied below) not to allow these kinds of questions outlined by GlenH7's answer are well considered.
Recommendation and sourcing questions end up attracting the following types of answers:
SPAM - including both blatant and thinly disguised
Ephemeral answers that will ...
I'd like to put myself forward as a possible moderator pro tem.
Although I might not be the most evangelical moderator in terms of promoting the site externally, I have been an elected moderator on EE.SE for about a year now, and have a good deal of experience with the nature of the material on an engineering site and the kinds of users who hang out on such ...
This is pretty much going to be a concurring opinion with Glen, but it sounds like he doesn't have a lot of CAD and modeling experience, so this comes from the perspective of a mechanical engineer whose primary function at work is creating and editing models and drawings.
My gut tells me that the example questions posed would be on-topic. But it also tells ...
Conforming to legislation is an important part of engineering.
I would expect to be able to ask and answer questions about engineering legislation on this site; from how to comply, to what our duties are.
The fact that an engineer has been able to answer your question, further confirms this; in my view.
Let's be careful about setting up a bunch of rules before you have an actual problem. Otherwise we are only setting this site up to be one big rule book making this place very user-unfriendly, even for engineers.
Don't worry about this nebulous idea of "hobbyist questions." Wait until you are actually inundated with questions about how to build a lightsaber....
Are academic guidance questions on topic?
Before delving into the first part of the question and explaining what these questions are and why we shouldn't accept them, I want to make sure that we use our on-topic page as a basis for these. Thus, questions that are purely academic can be considered off-topic before this discussion even begins. This ...
I nominate GlenH7
He seems like a nice chap. Oh, yeah and he's clever and good at moderating and stuff too - I suppose that should come into it somewhere :P
Edit from GlenH7:
Thank you, and I accept the nomination. I'd be happy to serve as a pro-tem moderator for the site.
Up until Engineering went into Beta, my primary SE site had been Programmers. I'...
Your example question is certainly on-topic.
The non-existence of an oil-engineering tag does not mean that questions on the subject can't be answered. The question you give as an example I would never think to tag with oil-engineering unless you specific called out this as an oil tank. It's fluid mechanics, pressure vessels, mechanics of materials, which ...
The Engineering Stack Exchange is best able to answer specific questions that have a right and wrong answer. While we are populated by engineers, we can't solve all levels of engineering problems, because broad questions require weeks or years of research, modeling, calculations, and analysis. They also require a lot of specific information about usage ...
My whole measure isn't necessarily about "effort". My measure of whether or not a question is good stems from the idea of building a repository of high quality information.
Effectively, when I look at a question, I ask myself 4 things:
Is the problem clear and well described?
Is the problem focused and reasonably scoped?
Is this an issue that someone else ...
On larger, older sites in the network, I've seen some users scolding other users for answering questions that, apparently, ought not be answered. There's a strong movement on Stack Overflow in particular to oppose what some call "help vampires" (a term that I personally find unnecessarily antagonistic) by punishing users who offer "undeserved" answers.
Physics.SE has what I think is an excellent policy on homework questions, which has also been adopted by the beta earthscience.se site.
It's nuanced, and worth a read, but in summary it requires that the asker doesn't simply copy/paste the question, but identifies the specific concept that they are having trouble with, so that answers can address that ...
Our industry is such that often the best source for something is research conducted or presented by a manufacturer. We should use a standard level in critical thinking in making sure that information we present is real research data, not just marketing material, but information isn't invalid just because it comes from a profit-making enterprise.
Navier-Stokes is one of the fundamental equations in the field of hydraulics. From that fact alone we can be confident that:
A significant portion of our target audience will find this question and its answer(s) useful and relevant to engineering problems.
A significant number of our users will be uniquely qualified to answer this question because of their ...
Inline equations are surrounded by dollar signs; $\sin(x)$ gives $\sin(x)$.
Equations on their own line are surrounded by double dollar signs; $$\tan(\theta)=o/a$$ gives $$\tan(\theta)=o/a$$
Subscripts and superscripts are denoted by the _ and ^ operators; E_i^2 gives $E_i^2$
Brackets can be used to extend the influence of operators over multiple ...
This is a tough one, and I've been thinking about this myself too. I don't want more questions like the house boat one, but it wasn't obvious at first why.
No, we don't want "Why doesn't everyone <insert crazy idea>?" questions
The problem with these types of question are usually:
They are open ended, or usually "too broad" in SE-speak.
They are ...