As you probably know, all stackexchange sites have a FAQ. What you might not know is that the community can edit part of it through their moderators. Specifically, we can edit this bit:
What kind of questions can I ask here?
Crypto - Stack Exchange is for software developers, mathematicians and others interested in cryptography.
(Actually, without the section title. We can add more sections (with new titles) here, but the part from What kinds of question should I not ask here onwards is not changeable.)
Currently, this part doesn't say much, as you can see. This is a valuable opportunity for us to have a place where our scope is defined. For example, the programmers FAQ has a lot of detail about what constitutes a good question and what does not - including a nice graphic.
So, what do we want to put in ours? I suggest an approach that goes something like this:
- We draft some examples in this meta question. Post your draft as an answer.
- We vote.
- We come up with a final(ish) version.
- Your moderators copy and paste.
Of course, I'm fully expecting this process will take time and of course, as we go along we may want to change our FAQ. I know. I just think we should get the ball rolling.
Things to consider in our FAQ:
- This question: Are questions on specific implementations on topic?
- Questions like this: How can we reason about the cryptographic capabilities of code-breaking agencies like the NSA or GCHQ and this: How does a beginner get started with cryptography? I initially closed the first one but there was a lot of support for it to be asked, so I re-opened it. The second one I think isn't a great fit here... but crucially it isn't just my, or any moderator's, decision. It's yours.
Defining the FAQ is important. At the moment, only 7 users have close vote privileges, so it would take most of them (or a moderator) to close a question. Until such a time as it becomes about votes, the more community guidance on what we (the whole) want, the better. When it does become about votes, we have something we can all use to be consistent.
Feel free to edit this question, make suggestions for the process and of course, answer!
Also, remember we have a chat room where discussions can be had. Please feel free to join us in there!