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Is engineering on-topic?

Is engineering software on-topic here?

To be clear (because the precise meaning of the word
"engineering" has regrettably been blurred in usage in
recent years), I specifically do not mean software
engineering---which after all is the chief topic of
debian-devel.  I mean engineering in the traditional
sense of the word: the study, design, construction and
technical application of physical structures, apparata,
devices and manufacturing processes which operate
reliably, safely and cost-effectively under adverse
conditions in real physical environments.  If
engineering is the "how?" which follows science's
"what?" and "why?", then engineering software may or may
not be on topic here.

Current Debian examples of engineering software include
tochnog, nec, geda, acs and lam4.  A physicist might
find tochnog and lam4 almost as interesting as a
mechanical engineer did.  On the other hand, if
electrical engineers started discussing VHDL on this
list, the scientific subscribership might get pretty
bored pretty fast.

A list should not be overly broad.  I don't mind if you
exclude engineering.  However, I happen to be an
engineer so, Helen and/or others, please comment.

Thaddeus H. Black
508 Nellie's Cave Road
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060, USA
+1 540 961 0920, t@b-tk.org, thb@debian.org

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