This question appeared in my review queue.

It begins by stating that it relates to Oracle Linux, which isn't Ubuntu and therefore off-topic.

But it has an accepted answer.

Do I flag it as off-topic anyway, or just leave it, on the off chance that it might be useful for someone else?

1 Answer 1


An exceptional situation

I was almost going to ask the same question, since I answered the linked question accidentally, not noticing it was off-topic (my eye fell on gnome, in reflex I assumed it was on-topic)

In general, it should be marked as off-topic of course, accepted or not, since it simply is off-topic. In this case however, I decided not to.

Why I didn't mark it as off-topic

In many answers on AU, editing gsettings is done from cron incorrectly, and obviously untested by the answerer. The missing environment variable DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS makes the answer(s) in question not work (by definition).

Since the answer in your linked question is on topic, and applicable on many on-topic situations, I decided it would be a shame to have the question marked off-topic, for a reason that turns out to be irrelevant to the question (OP using Oracle Linux). We should not "throw the baby away, together with the bathwater" as we say in the Netherlands.

I consider this an exceptional situation however.

  • 2
    What if I edit out the mention of Oracle Linux, thus making it an on-topic general question about gsettings?
    – Carl H
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 13:33
  • @CarlH Excellent idea, I'd say in this case we can, since it is proven to be irrelevant. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 13:35
  • 1
    How are we throwing out the baby with the bathwater here? Remember this is closing the question, not deleting it. And closed questions with accepted, upvoted answers aren't automatically deleted either. The baby remains with us.
    – muru
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 18:01
  • Sure, but what is the use of having it marked as off-topic, while it is on-topic with a little edit. Being marked as off-topic degrades the question, while the (solution to the) issue is of some importance to a broader range of situations. Browsing through a (possibly long) list of answers, I would skip off-topic questions unknowingly more easily. Rules are important, unless they do not serve their goal, or even work against them. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:00
  • Well it is a soft call, but, IMHO I see this site as Ubuntu specific. IMHO it is best to move more generic questions to unix.stackexchange.com/questions as it is more likely to help those with generic questions on unix SE , but at the end of the day, I am not sure it matters. I tend to favor the close as off topic as it is not Ubuntu specific and the answer stays,
    – Panther
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:36
  • @bodhi.zazen my impression is then that we can move appr. 80% of the questions here to other se sites, maybe more. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:45
  • Probably, but when the OP is not using Ubuntu IMHO they are better served by moving the question as is the case with this question rather then continuing to attempt to receive support here. In the case where they are asking a general question but using Ubuntu, leave it here. Again sort of a soft call, but the OP is using Oracle Linux, so next question is more likely to be off topic. When they are using Ubuntu the next question is more likely on topic, so IMHO the deciding factor is where should they be directed for future support ?
    – Panther
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:49
  • @bodhi.zazen I must say my perspective is the question and the q/a combination, not so much the person who asks, nor what he will do or not in future. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:51
  • And that is why it is a good thing that 5 votes are required for moderation so as to avoid extremes or moderation by just one person.
    – Panther
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:53
  • @bodhi.zazen agreed. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .