It seems to me that this community is doing everything it can to drive new users away and delete their questions. Will it destroy the community if somebody asks a question about the usage of port 443 versus port 80 ? Is it that hard to let tell the user to try other forums also but let this question open ? It is not like this community is drowned in questions or anything like that.

Just let people ask their question. If it is that offtopic nobody will answer and the user will ask on other forum too.

  • 1
    This is not the first time your point has been brought up. I agree entirely that the restrictions are too strict. And the community tends to heir on the side of dismissing questions than answering questions. But so it is said, I am not in agreement with leaving off-topic questions open, I just think that a few more questions types/categories/subjects should be included in the "on topic" list.
    – Eddie
    Dec 1, 2016 at 7:24
  • 2
    I share your concern: networkengineering.stackexchange.com/q/38381/33726 The community gives the impression of being quite elitist. Compare that to unix.stackexchange.com which on an equal basis deals with questions of both professionals and hobbyists. I cannot see why this should be any different for RouterOS compared to Linux. I wanted to contribute to this young community, but this will probably be my first and last post! Jan 26, 2017 at 17:42
  • @SergeStroobandt maybe by contributing you can contribute to a change in this community. I saw many people's questions turned down because, as you said this community is elitist.
    – yoyo_fun
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:07
  • 1
    @yoyo_fun Yep, they sent me off to SuperUser but a question like that will hardly receive any appropriate answer over there. Instead of contributing here, I would rather support the advent of a homenetworking or mikrotik stackexchange. This can be done in Area51. Jan 26, 2017 at 22:15
  • 2
    I absolutely agree. Because of some ass moderator like Ron Maupin, so many topics are flagged as off topic.
    – Oxdeadbeef
    Dec 12, 2017 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


The question of which port(s) to use in an application is up to the application developer. The choice of which applications to use is up to the business management. The application deployment is up to the software and server engineers.

None of the above has anything to do with network engineering, and this site is for network engineering. Before Network Engineering was created, network engineers has to ask and answer questions on Super User and Server Fault, and it was difficult to wade through all the noise of completely unrelated questions. Network engineers got together, proposed a site dedicated to network engineering, and jumped through all the hoops SE requires to get it up and running.

The network engineering community decided what would be on-topic here, and what would be off-topic, in order to serve the needs of network engineering professionals for business networks, which is the whole reason for this site.

Every SE site has rules about what you can or cannot ask on a site. For instance, Server Fault is more than happy to entertain network questions, unless you ask about a home network, at which point, you will find your question either unceremoniously closed, or the question migrated to Super User. On Stack Overflow, if you ask a PC support question, be prepared to get a lot of anger and abuse directed your way.

Stack Overflow does a good job of supporting network programming, Super User does a good job at supporting home networking, and Server Fault does a good job of supporting the management of information technology systems.

Yes, there is some overlap, but professional network engineers really want a place to call their own to support their needs without having to wade through questions unrelated to network engineering. Network Engineering would be deluged with home networking questions if the community decided to allow those, and the professional network engineers would look elsewhere. Some network engineers here also participate on other SE sites, e.g. helping home network users on Super User.

Why would SE bother having almost 200 different sites if each site wasn't dedicated to different topics? There could simply be one large SE site. Each site has a community which it serves, and an "ask any question you want" site would quickly become out of control and defeat the purpose of the separate site.

As a member of the community, you are free to propose adding or removing which topics are allowed, but the community as a whole will decide.

Just let people ask their question. If it is that offtopic nobody will answer and the user will ask on other forum too.

Unanswered questions keep popping up forever, looking for an answer, and that can quickly get out of hand. Also, asking the same question on multiple SE sites (cross-posting) is strongly discouraged, and it will often get the question closed on all the sites where it was asked.

  • Just admit that you are a mean moderator.
    – Oxdeadbeef
    Dec 12, 2017 at 19:08
  • I guess you didn't understand the answer. A network engineer has no control over which port an application uses. That is up the the application developer. The question clearly has nothing to do with network engineering as defined in the help center. The reason that this site was created was to get the actual network engineering questions separate from the non-network engineering questions on the other sites. If we let those question on this site, too, then what is the point of this site (or even having separate sites at all)? Off-topic questions on other sites are often treated worse than here.
    – Ron Maupin Mod
    Dec 12, 2017 at 19:28

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