I was just wondering, is it on-topic here to ask about plugins in a browser, when the browser is running on Ubuntu, but the plugin is browser and not OS specific?


1 Answer 1


I think most such questions are on-topic.

Plugins aren't the only aspect of web browser usage that may apply across different platforms, and web browsers are far from the only Ubuntu software that exists on other operating systems. In general, we allow questions about software that runs on Ubuntu and other OSes too--so long as the user asking the question is using it on Ubuntu.

We have a number of meta posts on the topic of non-Ubuntu-specific questions. Here are a few:

So I presume questions about browser plugins are not, in general, off-topic. However:

  • There does seem to be something of a consensus that browser plugin recommendation requests are off-topic. I'm not really sure how broadly we interpret this. If someone asks if the Chromium browser can display pages in a "reader" mode similar to that provided by Firefox, do we keep that question open and recommend an extension, or do we close it as off-topic? I hope we keep it open--and this ambiguity is why I oppose the current consensus on this--but I don't know what the community would decide.
  • Some questions that seem to be about browser plugins might actually be about the more general topic of doing whatever task they help perform. For example, we would probably close questions asking for the best syntax to find PDF files with Google using a Google search plugin. We would definitely close questions asking for strategic advice for playing chess with a chess-playing browser plugin. And when a plugin is facilitating or taking the place of a webapp--for example, by enhancing a web-based interface to some service--I expect we would consider many questions about using it off-topic.

Even though I think most of these questions are on-topic, I agree with muru that Super User may be a better place for some of them. That's up to the asker, though.

Ultimately, I don't think we really get that many of these questions. You asked this two years ago and it has hardly been visited since. We may not need an established consensus on this. If we ever see an upswing in browser plugin questions, then either everybody will be fine with it and it will be implicitly on topic, or question will start getting closed and someone will ask on meta, and then it can be figured out.

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