For instance, would a question on GNOME Extension development or management which is not specific to Ubuntu, but rather GNOME, be on-topic here? So something that's more central and specific to the DE rather than actually Ubuntu itself.

For example a question which asks about how to do something code wise with the GNOME Extensions API.

  • It is hard to say from your question IMO. As ever it really depends on the specific question i.e. "How do I create an Gnome extension" would be off topic but "Does one exist for X" is on topic. "How do I manage extensions?" is on topic. I would say, as long as you are running the DE on Ubuntu and don't get in to the development area of questions, then yes, the vast majority should be on topic.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:40
  • @MarkKirby: How about a question asking for how to use the GNOME Extensions API to do something in the code?
    – user364819
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:43
  • I'm guessing that would fit into the off-topic section?
    – user364819
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:43
  • Just my opinion of course but as soon as you start to edit the code, that could push it off topic because we don't support programming languages but a general question on the API that does not requirer editing code should be on topic.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:47
  • @MarkKirby: Well, we do support bash and shell scripting questions... So that's not entirely true...
    – user364819
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:50
  • What language are the extensions in? I doubt they are in bash.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:51
  • @MarkKirby: I don't know, probably something like C. But then would you say that Python questions which ask how to do something very Ubuntu-specific are off-topic? And what about answers to scripting questions in Perl or another non-shell scripting language?
    – user364819
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:54
  • @ParanoidPanda that's the core point , as long as a question is Ubuntu-specific it's welcome here. We repeatedly close things like "how do i compile c++/c program" type of Q&A , because it's not about Ubuntu. Questions and Answers where you have to bring up some C code to prove the point about use of utilities such as coreutils or Unity are on topic , because they're relevant to Ubuntu tools Jun 12, 2016 at 19:57
  • It depends on what the code will do, anything in those languages that manipulates an Ubuntu system is on topic but anything about creating 3rd party applications is off topic, it is a very fine line. The off topic close reason says it well "generic programming" is off topic but Ubuntu specific would be on topic (i.e. A python WIFI script). I think it will come down to how you word your question specifically. IMO any hint of C code would cause a load of quick close votes, justified or not. Do you have an exact question in mind? Might help us understand more.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 12, 2016 at 20:04
  • 1
    @ParanoidPanda GNOME Extensions are JavaScript.
    – user423626
    Jun 13, 2016 at 16:02
  • @MarkKirby: I do have an exact question in mind... I would like to ask about how to set the icon for the preferences window for a GNOME extension, I assume that it's done somewhere in the code in a standard way, but I'm not sure if it will be specific to Ubuntu. Might not even be possible...
    – user364819
    Jun 13, 2016 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


Several of Ubuntu flavors distinguish themselves with inclusion of a specific desktop environment. They are one of the core features of that flavor. Hence, a question focusing on desktop environment is still on topic, because of its inclusion as part of an Ubuntu flavor. Desktop environments that are not part of any official flavor but can be used with Ubuntu require attention as well, but within certain scope : as long as the question about a DE ( for instance Cinnamon ) remains relevant to Ubuntu , then it's ok.

How about a question asking for how to use the GNOME Extensions API to do something in the code

Questions such as "how do i reprogram Cinnamon to do XYZ" , I would consider off-topic , because it's more about coding and less about DE's use on Ubuntu. There is however a very thin line here, because AskUbuntu also supports questions related to development on Ubuntu. As log as the question remains relevant to Ubuntu, IMHO, it is welcome

For example a question which asks about how to do something code wise with the GNOME Extensions API

This can be addressed with 3 points:

  1. Ubuntu has Gnome flavor. This can be beneficial to Ubuntu Gnome users.
  2. It asks about development on the Ubuntu platform.
  3. It doesn't ask about general coding technique, but rather about specific case of developing for Ubuntu, on Ubuntu, by an Ubuntu user

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