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There have over the past several months been many questions about CSR Bluetooth chips posted, all by the same user. Many of these have gone unanswered, and there's no clear relevance to classic IoT goals or issues in any of them.

Additionally, many of the older questions seem to be about Bluetooth Audio - which typically means the classic BT headpiece or speaker type of application.

Are these on topic just because someone "could" use Bluetooth for an IoT purpose, even absent any suggesting that they are doing so or that such a desire has any specific relevance to the question being asked? Or especially when there are counterindications that the application is not IoT, for example in the audio questions?

Some points to consider:

  • There is a long history of covering similar questions about details of competing BLE-enabled MCU from Nordic and TI on Electronics Stack Exchange. If CSR has less coverage there, it's likely because they've historically made less technical information publicly available and provided their own support to the corporate customers using their parts. Is it healthy for the SE system overall to have two manufacturers chip's covered on EESE, while a third builds a tradition on IoT just because one anonymous user put it there?

  • There is a long history of covering both PC and mobile (iOS/Android) programming for interacting with both classic Bluetooth and BLE devices on Stackoverflow itself. This includes both traditional BT use cases, and some of the newer more gadget-like BLE ones, such as location Beacons, etc.

  • Substitute WiFi for BT, and it would likely be clear from the popularity of non-IoT uses that generic questions are probably off topic unless they are closely aligned with an IoT need. Substitute Zigbee, and opinions might lean more towards relevance, but then, unlike BT or WiFi, the most well-known applications of Zigbee have been in systems of the sort which have come to be be called IoT.

It's also worth noting that many of these questions are poorly stated - especially when considering the reaction that someone may get when trying to post them elsewhere. Both EESE and Stackoverflow tend to deal quickly with poorly stated questions on the basis that they are unanswerable, and that may at times be mistaken to mean that they are off-topic, when in fact well stated questions on the same topics have been handled there well.

Of course a question involving Bluetooth where the question itself was about an IoT-specific problem would be clearly on topic, and if well stated appropriate here. The meta question is rather if being about Bluetooth alone is enough for a question to qualify as on topic, absent any IoT specificity to what is being asked.

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  • Something I will occasionally drop in a comment is something along the lines of "Please edit your question to show how it relates specifically to the IoT." If the bluetooth question has nothing to do with the IoT, IMHO, it's off topic. On the other hand, if we’re talking about an IoT device or application that is embedded with bluetooth, with a question specific to the bluetooth side of the device, I see no issue personally. That said, I tend to let the queues bring on at least 2 or 3 close votes before acting, since the mod vote is binding. :) – anonymous2 Jul 8 '17 at 11:06
  • Seems like nobody is going to argue that generic bluetooth questions which do not demonstrate a specific IoT relevance are on topic... so why is the community allowing these to remain open??? – Chris Stratton Jul 11 '17 at 17:06
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    Probably because people have different views on what's generic and what's specific IoT relevance. Furthermore, people who don't know protocols or technology well often cast close votes conservatively since they cannot properly judge the applicability. – Helmar Jul 12 '17 at 9:22
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No. Generic Bluetooth Questions which do not actually invoke any IoT-specific application are, off topic and should be closed unless edited to show a specific relevance of the question actually asked.

This would be in keeping with Wifi and similar generic communication questions where the means of communication does not make something "IoT", but the information being communicated could.

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