There is a long and lively discussion on whether this question is appropriate for the forum which should be moved to meta. Is this an appropriate question for bioacoustics stack exchange?
Having asked the question I would strongly advise that we allow these types of questions on the forum for these reasons
- Computer hardware, even if it is applicable to other fields is a vital component of bio-acoustics research and there is nuance in how it is applied to acoustics. For example FFT calculations are integral to our field and perform differently on different types of processors.
- There is a specific question here which is about how much faster these processors are when applied to a deep learning model.
- If this question is closed because it is too broad then what else - only stats questions that are absolutely specific to bioacoustics? We can't talk about how to use the ADC on an Arduino or ask about ocean equipment because it's widely used on other fields? It doesn't make any sense to me.
- Finally, there is a balance here between allowing an open forum and restricting content to have good quality questions/answers. If we move too far in the former then we will put people off using this site - we are still a small community and I would be mindful that overly enthusiastic moderation will have long term negative effects.
I am not saying the question is perfect - I'm sure we could modify it to make it better but closing (and thus setting a precedent for what is allowed on the forum) is not appropriate here in my opinion.
1$\begingroup$ Your rhetorical questions "what else" e.g. stats, ADC are not helpful, in my opinion: indeed, there are stats questions for which I would advise you to use stats.stackexchange.com and ADC questions for which I would advise dsp.stackexchange.com If the question itself, and a "good" answer to your question, would not really contain anything bioacoustics-specific, then why not ask somewhere else? There's no insult or harm in doing so. S.E. is not a closed world, we can happily use those other Q&A sites, and get more+better answers! $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2022 at 15:34
$\begingroup$ My original response to your question was not an attempt to shut it down, though you seem to have reacted as if it was. My first response was "what makes this a bioacoustics question? Why do you feel bioacoustic deep learning would be different from other deep learning" - and these are questions I would expect you to clarify, in the wording of your question. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2022 at 15:45
$\begingroup$ @DanStowell - you are right. I should not have used the word instantly as you did coment beforehand. I have edited the answer to reflect that. I still think that these types of question are applicable to bioacoustics because it is cross disciplinary and the bioacoustics context in both the question and answers can be more valuable than a stack exchange which is more immediately focussed on the topic. $\endgroup$– user213Aug 5, 2022 at 21:22
2$\begingroup$ @DanStowell. I have edited the question to add context. I feel this has been a useful exercise. I think the main issue here was that this type of question is still (in my opinion at least) appropriate but it was not explained in the question SPECIFICALLY WHY it was appropriate. That's a lesson for me and I think the community as a whole and should be taken forward as we moderate the site. $\endgroup$– user213Aug 6, 2022 at 9:07
A general roadmap could be (not only for hardware-related questions):
If the question is very broad and is associated to general knowledge of computer/stat/etc, it should go to the associated SE site (hardware, signal processing, physics, engineering, stat, etc). Very general questions will find better answers in specific sites.
If the question is borderline, the author should add a note below their question to say why they need to ask it in the context of bioacoustics, with significant arguments, and/or why an already existing question/response on another SE site is not enough in this context.
Justifying the site relevance of questions in notes below the question will help:
- the community to upvote or downvote the questions
- the editors to review the questions (e.g. vote for a closure), also based on the community upvote/downvote balance
- the future moderators to take decisions in case of conflicts
When we disagree on the borderline definition, after a small discussion below the question, we could trust the community according to the number of users who upvoted a comment saying it should be closed, as compared to the upvote/downvote balance.
Probably we should also have a look at other meta SE sites, as I guess it is a common issue in new SE sites, even if ours is probably more multidisciplinary than the average.
$\begingroup$ I like Noil's phrasing of "If the question is borderline" here, and Noil's way of expressing the rule number 2. It's "borderline relevant" questions that are the issue we need to resolve. @Shannon this is exactly why I posted a comment on the OP's question, to give a chance to edit it and clarify the relevance. I think Stack Exchange's built-in mechanisms already allow a "grace period" for this kind of thing, since it requires multiple moderators to vote to close a question - it's almost never going to happen instantly, for good-faith questions such as the OP's. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2022 at 15:38
$\begingroup$ Yes, I think that a combination of guidelines as Shannon has suggested along with the mechanisms Stack Exchange provides should provide a good framework for us to moderate the site. $\endgroup$– user213Aug 5, 2022 at 21:31
Bioacoustics, at its core, is multidisciplinary-- and that is fundamentally WHY we created this site. And so this will be an ongoing problem. I see 3 problems here:
- What are guidelines to ask a good cross-discipline question?
- How should community/moderators respond to cross-discipline question that do not follow guidelines outlined by (1)?
- One question per post! I feel this is an ongoing problem, and this is why I feel that (1) and (2) should be DIFFERENT questions, so that there can be individual answers/debate on each question independent of the other!
To that end, I will post two different questions (or 3!) here on Meta to allow our community to address each one independently.
If you agree with this post, please upvote.
If you disagree with this approach, please downvote this answer. I do not take this as a hit to my ego-- this is just how our community expresses their opinion to what we are saying.
If you have a more nuanced view-- comment!
$\begingroup$ Well done, these 2 questions (and associated answers) would be very helpful as references in the future $\endgroup$– NoilAug 5, 2022 at 15:37
$\begingroup$ Agreed, I think these guidelines are definitely needed and means we have a framework to solve disagreement. $\endgroup$– user213Aug 5, 2022 at 21:27
Thanks for bringing this up @Jamie. This reminds me of a question I'd raised early on about 'only software' questions on this SE ("how to do X", "Solving Y error message...") - arguing that all 'only software' questions need to go on SO or we can just point out their non-bioac analogs somewhere else on the internet.
What changed my mind was @Henry Ecker's (one of the SE staff) detailed answer to the question. My summary of it is even if the question could be answered on another SE - as long as there is enough bioacoustics content in it, it's still worth being kept. (keeping tracking of various SE's is hard, common problems need accessible solutions, etc.). So, if the hardware question is bioacoustics'y at all - we need to keep it here for posterity.