Why have we burdened ourselves with the phrase "for advanced users"? I see many problems with this:

  1. Do we have a definition for "advanced"?
  2. Why would we want to keep "beginner" users out of this site? Are we really two different communities?
  3. This distinction is being used to justify distro-specific SE sites, which is a dangerous precedent.

Because we don't have a clear definition of "advanced", and don't actively kick out "beginner" questions, the "for advanced users" phrase is totally inaccurate.

Discouraging any level of user from participating in this SE hurts the entire site.

After spending a lot of time on this SE, I would expect many "beginners" would become "advanced" and help out other n00bs. This natural growth will be a lot harder if we actively segregate our community.

I am worried that the "for beginner users" argument will result in a SE for each distro (that's the argument that worked for the Ubuntu SE), when so little of what we discuss here is distro-specific, and what is distro-specific can easily be tagged as such.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The word "advanced" has been removed from the site description.

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Agreed, I do not think that we need the word advanced, I feel that the tags work well to identify the issue at hand.

In StackOverflow there are questions that are both from beginners and advanced hackers on every possible realm of the software programming world. I do not believe we need this one to be flagged as "Advanced"

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+1 on removing the advanced. The problem with that word is everyone has their own idea of what "advanced" is, so people might refrain from participating because they feel they're not "advanced" enough, and other people might flame due to the question not being "advanced" enough. All in all, it can limit participation.

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+1 for this. Remove the word "advanced".

Let me offer a quick explanation why it's there in the first place. I proposed this site on area51 and created the definition. I used the word "advanced" as an afterthought because the form suggests that:

We're creating sites for experts.

Your site should focus on pilots, not passengers; lawyers, not lawbreakers; professional photographers, not Uncle Marv with his digital point-n-shoot.

If the site can attract the experts, the amateur enthusiasts will follow!*

So, I threw out the word "advanced" to see if it would stick. I was hoping the community would suggest better phrasing.

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Thanks for providing the background on this. It's extremely informative, and I'm glad to know I'm not going against the spirit of your proposal! –  Sandy Aug 14 '10 at 5:17
    
@Sandy: Thanks for noticing and fixing it! –  Stefan Lasiewski Aug 14 '10 at 10:49
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Presumably, a beginning user will grab a reference manual and read it, look at the man pages and read them, and finally use a search engine with a well structured query to answer any other questions they're unable to answer on their own.

Then, the more advanced user, having exhausted all obvious resources is left asking other "advanced" users for help.

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