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The "standard" comments on all of the "flag" and "close" answers are a tiny bit harsh for first-time users. Couldn't we make them a bit more gentle?

E.g.:

This question has been asked before and already has an answer.

We're sorry, but this question has been asked before and already has an answer. Please click: [link] for that answer.

This is not about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux, those about Windows on Super User, those about Apple products on Ask Different and generic programming questions on Stack Overflow.

We're sorry, but this is not really about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux, those about Windows on Super User, those about Apple products on Ask Different and generic programming questions on Stack Overflow.

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.

Perfect!! Keep this one this way!!!

Etc, ...

If anyone can give me the rights, I'm willing to perform the work... :-)

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    I think only diamond mods can edit them. When's the next election due? – muru Jan 6 '15 at 11:47
  • The mighty god Muru is asking this lowly worm some information??? ;-) I didn't even know there was something like a diamond moderator (I read somewhere they were elected but haven't been around long enough to actually see an election happening...) but thanks for the info; I don't think anyone is bat shit crazy enough to make me a diamond mod! :D – Fabby Jan 6 '15 at 11:53
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    The ones like Seth are elected, and i don't see why you couldn't be one. It's not about reputation, but about how you handle yourself here and your commitment here. I don't see why you couldn't be one. – muru Jan 6 '15 at 11:54
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    @Fabby Mighty God Muru? :) – Rohith Madhavan Jan 6 '15 at 14:05
  • Without the capitals... ;-) These things just dribble out of my keyboard randomly like the spittle out of the toothless mouth of the old man I am... >:-) Sounds good, like Titanic Thor or Romantic Rohith and now I know I made at least 2 people smile today! – Fabby Jan 6 '15 at 14:29
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These platitudes don't really add anything —which I suspect is one reason they're currently missing— but we're talking about at least three different sorts of message here, each with its own mechanism for being edited:

  • The ones that are standard to every site. I'm talking about most of the close reasons and the duplicate header. Only SE can alter these and their change would be global.

  • The custom messages that are specific to us. Elected mods can edit these but they have hard character limits (which links contribute to) and some of the existing messages are already right up against the limit. We're sorry, but is 17 characters we frankly need for actual content.

  • Pro-forma comments are external from SE and can be edited and customised how you like... But they aren't controlled by moderators or SE, so aren't really relevant here on Meta. File a bug against the project.

I'm not against softening the language but it could be detrimental unless all three areas change at the same time. Even if we had the space in the custom ones (which we don't) I don't think we want a system where some official notices are happy-clappy while others remain clinical. SE needs to start the process by editing the core messages and the other two can fall in line afterwards.

The pro-forma comments are a little different (because they're sent by a person directly). They might also be a good first fiddle to lead the charge on nicer comments.

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    I personally think we need to dump the pro forma comments and start from scratch anyway.. Or maybe whatever Eliah uses ;) – Seth Jan 6 '15 at 15:57
  • So I read your answer 3 times as you've obviously put a lot of work in it. Basically we have two choices: Bottom-up or top-down. Meddling in the middle (which is what I originally thought the top) won't cut it... As AskUbuntu isn't even the biggest site in the SE network (just the bronze medal) getting something done at the top level isn't going to be easy when even the top dog of the site (apparently you) cannot see an easy way out. Mmmmh. Let me sleep on this as at the moment I'm not seeing me flying into NY, NY and banging a bottle of Champagne on Joel Spolskys desk. (Yet...) ;-) – Fabby Jan 6 '15 at 15:58
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    You'll likely get a better feel for the idea on meta.stackexchange.com but I'll warn you that people don't hold back when they disagree with you there. – Oli Jan 6 '15 at 16:04
  • @Fabby and keep in mind that meta.stackexchange is a main site with full regime. – guntbert Jan 6 '15 at 22:26
  • @guntbert: Erm, could you elaborate on "Full regime"? – Fabby Jan 6 '15 at 22:29
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    @Fabby it has its own reputation score, unlike other meta sites. Therefore your privileges on Meta Stack Exchange are solely a function of your posts there. – muru Jan 7 '15 at 2:42
  • Hi what about an Ad for FullCircle Magazine on the right columne for all Us Newbees, its full of Install Buntus and other, regular, dual and multiboot + VirtualBox. A real good place to start, but it seems we have to be BuntuUsers for some time before encountering this nice magazine. – Ken Mollerup Jan 9 '15 at 17:45
  • @KenMollerup I'm not sure you've commented in the right place... – Oli Jan 9 '15 at 17:48
  • Sorry Oli, I just thought that a lot of first install Ubuntu questions could be levigated with some step by step and lot of screenshots, which is in FullCircleMagazine. By the way, I first found that publication in Ubuntu Software Center, and I feel it's a wery good place to start. This entry was as close as I could get.. :-) – Ken Mollerup Jan 10 '15 at 11:46

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