So far, we have some questions asking about specific arts or crafts. We may ultimately find that this is the best way to deal with what is or isn't on topic. Having said that, there may be some basic criteria for inclusion/exclusion that we can agree upon to help us make these decisions. I don't expect any definition for an art or craft to be a replacement for a basic list of "known" on-topic items (and known off-topic items).
I personally haven't been able to come up with a good definition, but I can think of some criteria that one should include.
A good definition should:
- Be easy to understand
- Include everything that we "know" to be arts or crafts
A poor definition will:
- Exclude areas that "feel" on-topic and that new users will expect to be on topic
- Be simple or complicated enough that we can easily bend it turn any number of subjects into arts or crafts
I can also think of some test questions/topics from across the network; feel free to disagree or suggest better ones:
- Almost everything on cooking.SE - Cooking is not an art or craft (for the purpose of our site).
- Isopropanol precipitation of DNA - duration and magnitude of cold storage DNA prep is not an art or craft, even though I think that there is an art to it. I also think that it's worth noting that the technical nature of this question isn't what makes it not an art or craft; a ceramics question could easily be just as technical.
- How to make sugar glass without corn syrup or cream of tartar? - Mold-making/casting is an art or craft, even if that particular question isn't the clearest in the world.
I can't think of any great criteria that will handle all of these the way that I think they should be handled, so we may find that we can't come up with a good definition.
Down votes on this question are great, but I said quite a few things here, so please leave a comment or answer about why you think this might not be worth the effort or where you disagree. That way, you have a chance of convincing me that you are right.