The body of your question doesn't really seem to relate to the title. You also don't really seem to be asking a question in the first place. Are you complaining about how Thomas rolled back your edit or are you complaining about how the CLI method is inferior or are you complaining about the question being too broad? I'll try to address these all.
First, never edit an answer to remove an entire part of it, no matter how unnecesary you believe it to be. Edits by other users are allowed because the original author may have made a typo or left some details out. Edits are not there so that others can completely change the content. Just because one of the options is inferior does not mean you should remove it. Even if it no longer works in newer versions of Ubuntu, you should only edit it to add a note alerting users about the incompatibility.
Thomas was right to roll that edit back, since it drastically changed the answer, and clearly went against the author's intent.
they fundamentally alter the question to use lsb_release -c, and to use a text-editor.
You seem to have some sort of misunderstanding of what fundamentals are. "Fundamentally" altering an answer does not include the mere addition of a note. Adding the suggestion to use
lsb_release -c and telling the user that any text editor will work do not alter the meaning of the answer in any way, as the base content is still there. These notes don't contradict anything in the answer, nor do they significantly change anything about the answer.
Your edit, however, is a fundamental change. What you did directly contradicts the content in the answer, since it removed it. There is no argument that can defeat the fact that you caused a conflict with the author's original intent, as you basically deleted an entire answer.
This is silly though, the addition of lsb_release -c is an original contribution on another answer not an improvement to this one.
So? It's not silly. Just because one detail is in one answer doesn't necessarily mean it can't be in any of the others. As long as each answer has something different (and helpful) to suggest, having a similar step is no problem at all. It is most definitely an improvement to the answer, as it adds a nice little note to tell users what to do. It wouldn't make sense to give the other answer exclusive rights over using that command, because that's just plain stupid, and people aren't going to think to look at another answer to find how to get the codename; they're just going to Google it if it isn't in the answer they're following.
I honestly don't see how you think it isn't an improvement if it's helpful to someone reading it.
And, editing a file is still an all around inferior method of using apt-add-repository
add-apt repository may be quicker, but there's no way to say one is "inferior" to the other if they both achieve the same end result with similar effort. In fact, I could say the
apt method is inferior, since it's going to add what's essentially a duplicate entry to the sources file, since the commented source is going to be there along with the uncommented one. I could argue that the editing one is more efficient, since it removes bytes from the sources file, rather than adding them.
involves editing a configuration files (which introduces human error).
So does using the
apt method (the human error bit). This is the command:
sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu $(lsb_release -sc) partner"
You want to tell me that removing a specifically directed
# in a file is more dangerous than copying and pasting some random
apt-get command? You seem to also imply that copy-pastes are not prone to human error. Well, what about those
nbsps at the end of the code block? What if I accidentally select something else as well? What if..... you get the point.
but thanks to the GUI component it will likely always be ranked above the better submission.
So what? It deserves to be if people voted it there. Maybe most of them just used the GUI method and walked away, but that doesn't mean the CLI method should be removed. It still works, even if you don't like it.
This raises a problem which should have forced the closing of the question because compound questions aren't suitable for the site's format.
I'm not going to start a discussion on it being "too broad," since I think it's fine. However, that was 2010. As many other Meta posts, here and on MetaSE, have pointed out, we were much more relaxed with our rules in 2010 (some didn't even exist yet). As time went on, we got more strict and began enforcing those rules more and more. _This does not mean we should actively go back and close old questions__. That helps no one and achieves nothing.
This argument is invalid is this case (and I think it would be even if the question were asked 51 minutes ago).
Your "question" really doesn't make much sense. I'm sorry, but that's how I see it. Above, I've attempted to explain where you've misunderstood certain things, and I hope you'll read and retain.