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4:27 AM
@MichaelKjörling Looks good to me. We really need some more users besides just the four who have edited it to be editing it. More thoughts = more things to talk about = better article.
10 hours later…
2:00 PM
I'm wondering about the "Software useful in worldbuilding" point, though. It seems to allow quite a bit, since much software can be useful in worldbuilding. (I could easily press PowerPoint or LibreOffice Impress into service as a worldbuilding tool.)
Maybe we need to narrow that down to perhaps "Requests for software which specifically relates to worldbuilding", to go hand in hand with the "not welcome" "Requests for software that doesn't directly relate to worldbuilding" and "General computer software use"? Maybe also allow for "how the eff do I use this cool worldbuilding tool you showed me to do X?" though I'm not sure exactly how to phrase that.
2:41 PM
@MichaelKjörling on Writers we say this in our scope summary on meta:
> Software tools:
> On-topic, as long as they're about specialist writing tools or features of generic tools that writers use. General tech-support questions should be closed or migrated to Superuser.
We don't explicitly mention software (currently) at all in our on-topic list in the Help Center. I think the thinking is that yes it's on-topic, but it's not a big-enough topic to merit being called out as one of ~5 bullet points. (But we're planning to update that help-center page due to some other scope changes, so that might change.)
Is software a major topic on WorldBuilding, or more of a tangential topic that will get only a handful of questions?
2:54 PM
@MonicaCellio I can't recall us having seen a great number of questions, but it has come up in a few. "Software useful in Worldbuilding" was listed as on-topic in revision #1 of that answer.
With "Software that doesn't directly have to do with Worldbuilding" listed as off-topic in the same revision.
@MichaelKjörling yup. Just offering some phrasing that seems to work on another site with this issue (software as a minor aspect of the scope), but then I noticed we only list it on the more-detailed meta post, not in the help center, so that got me wondering if WB should do the same. But I don't know much about WB-related software; I've never used anything but text editors or wikis myself.
My only exposure to more writer-specific software is Scrivener, which I've given a try after so many practically praise it to the stars, but for the most part I'm ready to go back to a plain old word processor. :P World-building software? None. I guess like on Writers it makes sense to allow questions about software which relates to worldbuilding, but I'm far from certain how to scope it.
If we do allow software questions (generally speaking), IMO we'll want a clear demarcation between WB and SR/SU, and preferably Writers as well.
There might be overlap with Writers, and I think that's ok. For example, both writers and world-builders might need to build indexes, or manage links among concepts, and so on -- some of the same tools will probably apply to both. That's ok.
For technical writing I've used some specialized tools (and have recently asked a question on Writers about one of them), but for my "recreational" writing I don't.
@MonicaCellio Yes, but there will be plenty of software use questions which are about the writing process and not really relevant to worldbuilding.
Just like there are plenty of software-use questions posed by writers which aren't specific to writing.
Like I said an hour ago, I'm really wondering about that one.
On the one side, software can make the job easier. On the other, a good question on worldbuilding is likely independent of the tools used.
3:09 PM
We might want to just redirect software questions to software recs, it might reduce some of our issues with this.
On the other hand, I can see how those would be useful questions/answers
WB is going to have some pretty serious overlap with several other sites in any case, and I don't mind that; I just want it to be clear for an asker (and closevoter!) where we draw the line between WB SE acceptable (for example) software questions and WB SE not acceptable software questions.
Probably we want things that have to do with WB and not writing. So not "what is the best text editor to use while writing worlds"
The question about making maps was good
@DonyorM That one would be shot down on SR and SU alike, though :)
@MichaelKjörling True, that's kinda a bad one
@DonyorM I know it was just an example :)
3:12 PM
The question would be is Liath's about programs for linking everything together on topic?
Do you mean this one?
Q: What software is available for keeping and organising notes about your world?

LiathI'm currently writing a story based in another world. I try to keep the story outline and the world in fairly separate notes obviously dipping into the world notes when I need to remember names, locations, descriptions etc. Currently I'm using trello because of it's flexibility. I've got lists f...

@MichaelKjörling agreed. And I think we're going to need to see a few more such questions before we can work out that line, so for now it might be best to say nothing in the help center/tour and work it out on meta as we get more data.
@DonyorM definitely not that. That's boat programming.
@MonicaCellio Heyyyyy... what's wrong with programming? :D
@MichaelKjörling programming is fine, and important to my livelihood. :-) Hang on -- "boat programming" is an SE idiom that I guess you haven't seen, so let me go find a link.
@MonicaCellio Honestly, I'm tempted to agree. Better to not say anything in the help center until we are sure where we want to draw the line.
3:15 PM
@MichaelKjörling yeah, people hate it when you take things away -- "you said that was on-topic and I put all this work into those questions/answers and now you're saying no? How dare you!" etc.
Better to acknowledge that we're early in beta and we don't know yet - caveat poster.
We can, though, try to be proactive about tagging such questions appropriately, so once we work it out they can easily be found.
@MichaelKjörling yup, agreed.
A: What is the boat programming meme about?

XMLbogjjnguy's answer captures the part about the history of the meme, but I don't think he captures why it became a meme and what the meme represents. Basically, the boat-programming question was at the core of what it meant for a question to be programming related. At the time, SO had a lot of quest...

@MonicaCellio You wouldn't believe how much controversy there's been on Amateur Radio SE every once in a while over whether a particular question gets closed or not. I think we've worked out the worst kinks in the site's scope now, though.
It's only taken the better part of a year ;)
@MichaelKjörling how long has AR been in beta? (Too lazy to look.)
@MonicaCellio We entered public beta some time back in November last year.
At least, that's when I got an email from Tim Post about becoming a pro tem mod. I'm too lazy too to look it up at A51.
3:18 PM
Ah. Yeah, early in a site there are going to be scope questions, and we're going to refine our ideas as we get more questions and start poking at edge cases. We need to be comfortable with that. And meanwhile, I recommend only calling out the main points, the almost-no-brainers, in the help center.
@MichaelKjörling ah, so you've been a mod there from the beginning? That should help if you become a mod here -- early beta is different. (I'm a pro-tem on Writers but I was a mid-term replacement, so to speak; the site was already something like 1.5 to 2 years into beta.)
@MonicaCellio I committed to and participated in the private beta, and self-nominated. Fared pretty well and then I got that email basically asking if I was still interested right around the time the site entered public beta.
Curiously, I got user ID 29 there, and user ID 29 here.
@MichaelKjörling you now have a mission in life: collect user 29 on as many sites as you can. :-)
@MonicaCellio Something like that!
And yes, we had some fairly extensive discussion for probably the first 6-8 months or so of what exactly the scope should be. It has now been captured in reasonable detail in our help center though, which absolutely helps voting.
(Yes, it was pretty recently.)
I think my lowest user number is 31 (Pets).
@MichaelKjörling good to hear y'all reached some consensus.
Ok, got to run -- back later.
@MonicaCellio It's more like something that nobody spoke out too much against than actual consensus, but it works. ;)
Have fun!

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