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This topic has been discussed previously but not seemingly clearly resolved. (ref. Are questions that are only related to Arduino by the parts used on topic?).

Recently (early 2022) some community members have been implementing a strict policy that seems to me to have low utility, and to be somewhat harsh (ref. Looking for vibration sensor, Continuous servo motor).

I would argue that questions about using Arduino MCU's often relate to the parts selected and interfaced. That's why the community has tags to identify these topics. Some of the tag info wiki's specifically encourage such questions. (e.g., Sensors tag, "Use this tag for questions about selecting, connecting, using, and debugging sensors.") If the spirit of the question is about using the arduino ecosystem, then I think the community should start the conversation in as friendly and as tolerant a way as possible in the spirit of exploring what might be a useful question.

Currently the on-topic help says (regarding General Electronics being off-topic) that, "If knowledge of Arduino would improve a question, it's on topic.". If an OP is asking about connecting a widget to an Arduino board then while they might not know if the issues are specific to Arduino, I believe they are hoping that we as a community might. Similarly, if a widget might possibly be connected to something other than an Arduino that shouldn't automatically make it off-topic.

Is the community able to:

  1. agree a more objective policy
  2. if so update the help page
  3. follow a more tolerant implementation strategy?

My suggestions regarding implementation are:

  • Leave a couple of days before closing doubtful questions of this type
  • If the question generates useful on-topic comments or answers, then it should be deemed on-topic
  • If there is a history of similar questions and answers being on-topic, then the question should be deemed on-topic (but may possibly be a duplicate)
  • That the community should focus on the OP intent more than the letter of the "on-topic" law
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    I've seen literally most of the question posted here downvoted or closed, which doesn't help anyone. It's probably the "problem of small authority" in an over-zealous mod, but perhaps the acceptability criteria need loosened. Or whomever is just being a jerk needs to chill a bit...
    – dandavis
    Jan 19, 2023 at 3:11

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What is on topic on Arduino SE is in Help Center in What topics can I ask about here?. Some type of questions, even on-topic, is not suitable for Q&A format. There is Help Center article What types of questions should I avoid asking?.

Some questions are in the gray zone for on-topic and/or Q&A format. Then it is on community members with close vote privilege to decide about the question with close votes.

On-topicness should not be discussed in comments under the question. The right place is the Meta. If you see such a comment, flag it as "no longer needed".

On-topicness of the question about the vibration sensor linked in question, depends on the solution. I for example don't know if there is a couple of established ways to measure vibration with Arduino or the answer is generic and opinion based.

I don't see a reason to change the Help pages about scope of Arduino SE.

Your suggestions are valid but it is on the community members to implement them. As a moderator I only close questions which are clearly off topic or miss important details and could attract low quality answers (Then I follow the question to reopen after it is completed).

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    Keep up the great work you are doing here on Arduino SE :)
    – VE7JRO
    Mar 18, 2022 at 18:54

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