This is a not-so-necessary discussion, of course suggesting alternatives is good for community. This discusses the philosophy of questions.

Suppose a question like "Can I foo?". And the answer to that is "No."

But, there's an alternative, "You can bar."

Seeing that the OP "asked a question," and we should answer that question, the right answer is No. Giving a suggestion, thus, should be beyond the scope of AskUbuntu. So, should I manually, forcefully, try to suggest possible alternatives in questions like these? If that's true, then we might need to change the description of this website.

  • I believe the answer is in [help/answering] (On mobile so I can't Check atm)
    – Seth
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 5:18
  • Err, here: askubuntu.com/help/how-to-answer
    – Seth
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


Exactly. Anything relevant and helpful that you can add to an answer is probably welcome.

From the help Seth linked to:

Answer the question

Read the question carefully. What, specifically, is the question asking for? Make sure your answer provides that – or a viable alternative. The answer can be “don’t do that”, but it should also include “try this instead”. Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer. Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better.

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