Looking at https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/3924?phase=definition I can see who proposed it and a few other details but I cannot find the original proposal.

It this available somewhere I've missed?

The current site definition is given by https://unix.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic I assume it has not changed significantly over the years.

The roots of unix&linux are hinted from some of the links below as being because superuser was attracting poor answers to unix type questions. Is that true?

Why am I asking? Mostly historical interest but like others I occasionally get caught out for posting in the wrong place. I am first and foremost a software developer and with this role I find myself mostly on stackoverflow. My various roles have required me to write software in all kinds of programming languages and more rarely system admin. This is not uncommon.

There is considerable overlap between stackoverflow and unix particularly in the areas of APIs and script so I'm particularly curious about why APIs and scripting were explicitly included when those could easily have been left on stackoverflow.

Shell scripting is a special kind of programming but so are many kinds of language.

I guess the argument was "programs, pipes and filters" was a pattern unique to unix. Though this is doable in some 'proper' programming languages as well these days.

There is a sort of answer to the API question here

A whole other can of worms

An argument for using separate sites rather than just tags is to do with moderation and curation.

I don't have a fully formed opinion on this subject.

We don't have say C++.stackexchange or Cfamily.stackexchange because a tag is generally sufficient for those cases. Why wasn't a tag on stackoverflow sufficient in this case?

But this is a whole other can of worms

See for example:

  • 1
    Why would you say it was split from SO? If anything, it was split from SU, but it wasn't really "split" at all. Like all of the ~178 sites of the SE network, this site was created because a community of users wanted it. Other sites were not because there wasn't enough interest to create them. Also note that the vast majority of questions asked here are not on topic on SO. Only the scripting questions and some Linux API ones would be.
    – terdon Mod
    Apr 19, 2022 at 18:15
  • I don't know the full history hence the question. Scripting and API ones are exactly the ones that interest me because they would have been on topic for SO. Apr 19, 2022 at 21:06
  • 2
    But there is always overlap between site scopes. Certainly in the technical ones: there are some things on topic on SF that could also be asked on SO, and some things on topic on SO that can be asked on SU. I can't think of any site that is 100% unique with no scope overlap. So I am having trouble understanding what answer you are looking for other than "the U&L site was created because enough people wanted it".
    – terdon Mod
    Apr 20, 2022 at 8:14
  • I am looking for the original proposal and the discussion around what should or shouldn't be in scope for it. Apr 20, 2022 at 8:27
  • 1
    Ah. OK. Dunno if that's still around. Also, note that a lot of the discussions for scope happen after the site has been established in the first months (and years) right here on meta. See questions tagged with scope.
    – terdon Mod
    Apr 20, 2022 at 8:36
  • 1
    To chime in with the comment from @terdon (and sorry for wandering off-topic in the comments): The fact that sites' scope overlap with some topics, sometimes many topics, means that you pick the site to ask on depending on the audience you want for your question. This is a more relevant distinction than asking whether a question is more on-topic here or there when the topic overlaps.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Apr 21, 2022 at 14:23
  • To put this in perspective I had issues with a mod on SO zapping my question as being about a linux API rather than programming. I think they're wrong but the meta community mostly disagreed with me. See meta.stackoverflow.com/q/417497/1569204 Apr 21, 2022 at 15:33
  • many technicals site in SO galaxy overlap each other, like AU (Ask ubuntu), rapsberry pi, AD (Ask Different), SF and SU who overlap with U&L on unix question (e.g. use of find command, bringing up eth0 ... ). You certainly can't find for a given question a site that all will agree on.
    – Archemar
    Apr 25, 2022 at 12:37
  • @BruceAdams SO is hostile and unwelcoming place. I stopped asking questions there, there's no point. May 27, 2022 at 16:48


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