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Does this proposal define a new site beyond Computational Science, not to mention Server Fault, Super User, Linux, and our other computing sites?

Research Computing (proposal link)
for research computing facilitators, data center operators, XSEDE campus champions, ACI-REFS, and other users/supporters of advanced research computing

The purpose of Area 51 (our site-creation process) is to create sites in new subject areas that cannot be asked elsewhere. There's a discussion to decide if this proposal is mostly "general computing" questions that can be asked elsewhere. We generally do not create sites simply to give special-interest groups their own space unless the subjects are very specialized.

What do you think?

Top Example Questions

Have a look at the "top 40" questions above. Ignoring questions that may be "too broad" or too subjective, do you see a preponderance of questions that cannot be asked on either Server Fault, Super User, or our other computing sites?

Top 10 Marquee Questions for Research Computing

  1. What are cgroups and are they useful for cluster administration?
  2. How do I transfer large files to and from a remote system?
  3. My ssh terminal sessions keep timing out. What should I do to correct this situation?
  4. How do I find out what software is installed on an XSEDE resource, and how to link to it or use it?
  5. I would like to use Singularity or Shifter to run a program that requires a custom library under the /opt protected directory? How do I do this?
  6. How can I use passwordless ssh?
  7. How do you handle emergency resource requests, while still maintaining fair access to all users?
  8. What is OpenHPC, how and in what ways are people finding it useful?
  9. What annual conferences in the US pacific northwest specifically cover cluster operations?
  10. What are the problems with host Docker instances on a shared cluster?

Your help would be appreciated. Thank you.

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I see little overlap between the proposed site and this one:

  • This site is about how to numerically solve a specific scientific problem, i.e., which algorithms, techniques, and software you should use to directly tackle the problem efficiently and accurately. The community are primarily scientists who develop algorithms or who use said algorithms to solve their own problems. We are mostly agnostic on how (e.g., on what platform) the resulting code is actually run at the end.

  • The proposed site seems to be about how to manage the execution of scientific software that is either computationally expensive or deals with huge amounts of data, in particular with dedicated infrastructure (clusters, etc.). The community appears to be administrators and users of such infrastructure. The proposed site seems to be all about the platform, but is agnostic to what the software actually does (e.g., whether its results are correct or whether it employs an efficient algorithm) or to what the data actually is.

So, very briefly the community of the proposed site handles the code produced by the community of this site – if we didn’t manage to make it so fast we don’t need their services.

That being said, while I do not see a big overlap with our site, it seems to me that the topic of the new site is already well covered by Server Fault and Database Administrators (for the administrator side) and Super User, Unix & Linux, etc. (for the user side). Moreover, while there are some frameworks that are only or predominantly used in a research context, I do not see much distinction to uses of high-performance infrastructure outside a research context.

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    +1 Adding to this point: these marquee questions (and others like it) have been routinely closed as off-topic on this site and punted to one of the Big Three. I think of this site as appropriate for questions which need competence in at least two of mathematics, applications (physics, biology, engineering,...) and computing (programming, software, hardware,...) to answer. Anything that requires only one of these should be asked on the corresponding specialized site (which may be a support forum or issue tracker if we're talking about software). – Christian Clason Nov 24 '17 at 10:42
  • @ChristianClason: Anything that requires only one of these should be asked on the corresponding specialized site – I am not sure that I agree. If I understand you correctly, this would make all of my questions off-topic. – Wrzlprmft Nov 24 '17 at 20:18
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    Fair enough; the more computational corners of applied maths do have a special place here (as do I, by way of extension) -- although things would be different if the same corners weren't getting unjustly short shrift on MathOverflow. Incidentally, I've long been meaning to revisit the off-topic policy on this site (with an eye towards inclusivity); maybe this would be a good occasion. – Christian Clason Nov 24 '17 at 22:50
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    I think of this site as appropriate for questions which need competence in at least two of mathematics, applications (physics, biology, engineering,...) and computing (programming, software, hardware,...) to answer. This seems accurate in most of the cases to me. Although I think that revisiting the off-topic policy is good. – nicoguaro Nov 25 '17 at 0:47

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