There have been some meta questions lately about where is a good place to talk about in-depth cryptanalysis and the design of entire schemes. These types of questions are explicitly off-topic for the main site, and the accepted answer appears to be to ask such questions in The Side Channel.
However, there is a problem with this conclusion.
Many of the users who want to ask such questions are new, and as such they do not have the requisite reputation that would allow them to use The Side Channel. So it appears that they simply have no recourse.
Let's imagine we're a new user:
- We come to crypto.se because we need some assistance that few other locations will be able to provide.
- We gather the courage to ask a question.
- The question gets closed for violating rules we're not familiar with.
- Then we're told to ask in chat, and we do not have the ability to do so due to the rules of the site
That's a pretty poor resolution.
Yes, a new user could ask questions or answer questions to try and garner rep to gain access to The Side Channel. However:
- It's entirely possible (if not probable) that they don't have any other/better questions than the one they came here with
- Questions don't receive many upvotes on crypto (unless you get lucky and hit HNQ)
- Downvotes may even accrue faster than upvotes if you're not very knowledgeable yet
- Users may not have the requisite knowledge to post answers that will be upvoted and again stand the risk of such answers being downvoted
The 20 rep barrier to talk in chat may not seem like it should be much of an impediment, and maybe it's not on a different site like or if you're already quite knowledgeable about cryptography. But the fact remains that there are users that have this problem.
What can we do about this?
* Yes, you should read the rules before posting. But it's possible that you do so and fail to retain 100% of all of the details of what is and isn't appropriate.