I see an awful lot of questions on EOL releases, and I think that this site should have some automatic features to help combat it, as it is really quite a major thing with the quantity of them.

So I would propose the following methods as examples of automated methods there to prevent the posting of EOL questions, and educate users that it's time to upgrade:

  • If someone tags their question with a tag associated with an EOL version (such as or ), then when they attempt to post their question a popup will come up (probably as large as the one that gives you options when you want to VTC or flag a question), which will remind them that if their question is about any of the EOL releases then it is off-topic and will be closed and that they should upgrade before they ask. And then give helpful links etc.

  • To display a notice beside the question if it contains the release version, or codename of an EOL release, which reminds the user that EOL releases are off-topic, and that support will not be provided for them.

  • If the title contains a codename or release version of an EOL release, to show that little red popup next to the title also reminding the user that it contains a keyword of an EOL release, and that those questions will be closed.

  • Have some sort of queue, or include in another already existing queue, questions which are likely to be asking about EOLs because of keywords contained within them. Obviously the questions would be posted, and not be waiting for approval, instead the queue would just be a queue of questions which the system detected as questions which may be off-topic and need closing.

  • Sending an email, or other notification, to all users when a release goes EOL, and that support has ended on AskUbuntu for that release, and that users are advised to upgrade.

These are just some of many examples of automated techniques which could be used to inform and deter. Is this something that could be implemented in the future?

  • I leave a comment that the version of Ubuntu they are using is at EOL and thus support is limited at best. I advise they upgrade. I do not personally support EOL versions of Ubuntu as IMO there are significant security risks in using old versions and if at the end of my efforts it is indeed a bug, there is no easy fix short of writing code. If the question is generic enough I may offer generic advice, but never without the advice to upgrae.
    – Panther
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


Your points here ignore the simple fact that not all questions about EOL releases are automatically off-topic so any system that attempts to look at tags needs to be intelligent enough to work out what's actually being asked.

That —err— automatically rules out anything fully-automated.

The review queue idea isn't necessarily bad. I doubt SE would want to implement it directly because not many other sites have things that are seasonal, but you could cobble something together with the API quite quickly. But be careful again:

  • I'd want a reminder for reviewers that just because it's in a queue, doesn't mean it needs to be closed.

    Robo-reviewers —that is people not paying due care and attention— do enough damage already, we don't want to put people desperately trying to upgrade from 11.10 in their cross-hairs.

  • Questions that were asked before it became off-topic, need to be excluded.

Some of the lighter ideas (eg bubble notifications) are a good idea. We have a few issues that could be solved by something like that. For example, expanding tags so you can store pop-up information. We could use that elsewhere, eg:

Oh you've used the wifi tag, have you included the output of lspci | grep -i net?!

Again this is something SE would need to look at but here there is a real chance it could improve other sites too. They might be up for it.


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