A few recent questions have asked about how a specific IoT device should be constructed, like so:
It's almost certain that these questions will be too broad, but it's worth considering whether these are actually on-topic at all - are these questions really about IoT or are they just software and hardware design questions in disguise?
I propose that we create a canned off-topic reason for these sorts of questions; something like this would be ideal:
Questions asking about how an IoT device should be constructed are off-topic at Internet of Things because they are often not related to the topic of IoT, rather they are questions regarding hardware and software design. Consider asking about specific design choices rather than asking "how should I build this?".
As I discussed in a comment below, I think that a lot of software/hardware questions are beyond the scope of this site anyway:
- questions about problems with code are on-topic at Stack Overflow
- questions about hardware problems when designing a circuit may be on topic at Electrical Engineering
- 'shopping' questions asking us to find resources or the best tools/devices/libraries to use are off-topic on all Stack Exchange sites.
There is certainly precedent on Stack Overflow and other SE sites to make certain classes of questions that are mostly closable anyway off-topic completely. Take, for example, the "debugging help" reason on Stack Overflow:
Questions seeking debugging help ("why isn't this code working?") must include the desired behavior, a specific problem or error and the shortest code necessary to reproduce it in the question itself. Questions without a clear problem statement are not useful to other readers. See: How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example.
These will often be 'unclear what you're asking' anyway, but Stack Overflow make it clear that this class of question is inappropriate by providing an off-topic reason.
The reason I chose the wording, 'Consider asking about specific design choices rather than asking "how should I build this?"' is because I would imagine there are some questions that can be good and on-topic for the site. Questions asking "Why should I use _____ for an internet-connected LPG indicator?" could easily form a great question, but could start out as something like the example I linked at the start of the question.
- making "build my device" questions off-topic sends a clear signal that these aren't within the scope of the site
- although most can be closed with too broad, questions about software/hardware might be out of scope anyway, so explicitly calling these questions off-topic could help to define the site (although this needs more discussion)