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After a brief discussion in chat I have posted a start for a collection of relevant IoT resources on the main page. It is inspired by reference gathering posts around SE like this one on ELU. I have created it on the main site however, since meta posts cannot be used as dupe target for reference questions. This is the post in question: List of important IoT references

I am explicitly asking for opinions of the validity of such a post and created it and one Community Wiki answer to have a discussion basis. If it is positively received we can add more answers—and I will ask the SE staff to make the complete post CW. IoT relevant specifications has already been suggested in chat as another category. Maybe we find more categories that could be sensible answers.

Of course, the feedback can also be that the idea was bad all along and I will gladly delete the question in that case.

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    You're just asking this question that get one of the much sought-after Aurora-Hats. – Ghanima Dec 19 '16 at 13:54
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It doesn't make sense for a QA site. The whole point of a QA is that you can look up questions and get answers. This will just be a blob of information that is not a question nor answer so the current system we have doesn't makes sense. While resources are important, this is not the way to do it on SE sites as I've seen many in good intentions fail for many reasons.

  1. It will never be complete. You'll always be able to find more resources.
  2. It will require a ton of maintenance that we won't be able to keep up with. New resources will be added, old ones will rot.
  3. Even if we can maintain it correctly, it will grow to an unwieldy size and not be useful because it is too open ended.
  4. It will attract spam entries. Let's say I'm an IoT blogger and I see this list. I have advice on my blog so what's stopping me from adding it as a resource.

It's not to say that we can't have the list housed on the meta and eventually use it for our community ads, but I wholeheartedly object to allowing this question on the main site.

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    I like that you made a list complaining about lists ;) No, kidding, thank you for your contribution. I worry about one to three too, but from my other site as a mod and thus going through most of the edits I can say that with respect to 4) - such things are catched pretty efficiently due to the review system. – Ghanima Dec 20 '16 at 7:48
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I have mixed feelings on link lists* and list based Q/A in general. The basic idea of making it a dupe target for reference questions sounds good at first thought. However I am not sure how well it works out in real life. One of the bigger dangers is the open-endedness of such questions and I am not sure whether this can be mitigated by drawing narrow confines.

Related: List questions: Community Wiki?


* Link-only answers are very much undesired but this list is supposed to provide context, so we're fine on this part.

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Big lists have been tried for years on many Stack Exchange sites. They don't work.

What you end up with is a mess. What do you expect to find in a list of books for programmers? Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs? The C Programming Language? The Art of Computer Programming? Design Patterns? Clean Code? Thinking in Java? The C Programming Language?The Mythical Man Month? The Art of Computer Programming? The C Programming Language? The Tao Te Ching? The Joy Of Sex? All of the above?

(Hint: it's “all of the above, and many, many more”.)

Community wiki does not magically make a question work.

Stack Exchange does have a place for this kind of list: tag wikis. A list of relevant standardization bodies belongs in the tag wiki. A list of network protocols belongs in the tag wiki, and references for each protocol belong in each protocol's tag's wiki.

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I think it's simply a case of weighing the following factors against each other:

  • will the question be useful to multiple readers in future? Personally, I think the question could be useful, although I can only speak for myself.

  • is the question likely to be left alone, falling out of date and becoming less useful to others? This point depends entirely on whether the community wants to maintain these types of questions.

  • will the question be useful as a canonical question to mark others as duplicates? Potentially, yes, but I think it might be a case of jumping the gun to assume so at this point. On the other hand, doing it now in the private beta will stop some questions from ever needing to be asked, which could be a positive if they're simply 'What does [insert acronym here] stand for?'

My opinion is that we should, considering the above factors, keep the post, mark it as community wiki and carefully curate it to make it useful to as many other users as we can.

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Personally I think its both a good and bad idea. Firstly I can see that its will contain a vast amount of useful information. However the information is going to be spread over a number of answers and is just going to degenerate into a post where the information is so jumbled it is useless (As mentioned above).

The information is more suited to a Wiki, and I know that's now what SE is. However if all of the information from the answers was stored in the original post, sorted, consistently and clearly formatted then I think the post would be beneficial.

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