Sometimes I come across questions that I believe to be better suited on the Unix and Linux StackExchange site. E.g. PAM modules and RRadius authentication.

When using the flag as off topic option, why can we not flag it to be sent to Unix and Linux?

This question... is off topic

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Related: this, this, and this. (But this is not really a duplicate of any of those, and the content of those questions doesn't necessarily mean we shouldn't have this feature.) –  Eliah Kagan Oct 9 '12 at 7:10
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I don't see why that would be better off on another SE, it's ontopic here. –  Jorge Castro Oct 9 '12 at 12:40
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Why is this question under fire for being off-topic? To me it appears perfectly on-topic for this site. –  Marco Ceppi Oct 9 '12 at 14:10
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't particularly support this feature request. How many of the active Ask Ubuntu users are even mildly familiar with the golden rule of question migration? Even when they are, can we tell for sure the majority of them know for sure what is on-topic on Unix.SE?

Unless a user is very familiar with both the communities and closely follows what is going on in the meta site of the destination, I am of the opinion that a user would have a good chance of not making the best decision. Add in the new review system and it is exponentially easy to source the 5 close votes required to close a question, which would mean the chances of migrating a crap question is very high.

Moreover, adding U&L to the off-topic flag would encourage users to flag questions that are related to Linux in general for migration to U&L when they are in fact perfectly on topic in Ask Ubuntu. Like your example question.


If you really think a question should be migrated to U&L, why not spend a little more time and write in a custom moderator flag explaining your reasoning? A moderator would then be in a position to determine if the question is off-topic here and on-topic on the destination site and can even query the moderator of U&L if they would want the question.

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Also, then we may need to add Super User and other similar sites too. –  Anwar Shah Oct 11 '12 at 10:31
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Migration statistics are available to users with 10k reputation. In the past 3 months, there have been 4 migrations from AU to U&L. None were rejected.

The numbers do not justify creating a migration path, by a wide margin.

Unix.SE's scope and quality guidelines should be pretty easy to understand for AU users:

  • any Linux distribution or other unix-like operating system is on-topic, except that programming questions are off-topic (they go to SO);
  • the quality expectations are pretty much the same as AU's.

Unix.SE wouldn't mind being a migration target, if there were enough candidate posts to warrant it. So go on flagging for migrations if you see a question that looks good except for being about a non-official Ubuntu derivative and other similar cases.

I'm speaking as a very active Unix.SE user here.

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While this is a very good idea, we need to be very careful with what we migrate. Although many of our off-topic questions, as per one line of their faq:

Using or administering a *nix desktop or server

we should not migrate every mint question, for example. We do spot some diamonds in the rough, however, like the LibRRadius and PAM question illustrated above, and they can be migrated After all, our goal is to get questions answered, and if the question is very likely to be answered at [unix.se], let it be so.

They also post:

If your question applies to Ubuntu only, or you're looking for answers that are Ubuntu-specific, you should post it on the Ask Ubuntu Stack Exchange site. If your question applies to other distros or you welcome more generic solutions, you're in the right place here.

So Mint stuff can be migrated, but I fear that it may be frowned upon by the Unix.SE community to begin getting many migrated posts.

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