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Most of my recent questions on AU have gone unanswered. I usually get a few comments but then crickets. Is there an imbalance between askers and answerers, or am I asking wrong?

I don't seem to be the only one with this issue:

http://meta.askubuntu.com/questions/7260/am-i-just-asking-wrong

But in that case it looks like the person tended to report bugs rather than seek answers. It's hard for me to know whether I'm doing the same thing (when you're a noob, everything that doesn't work feels like a bug), but I like to think I'm asking for solutions, not just highlighting problems:

How do I play through bluetooth headphones? (I raised a bounty and it expired)

Why do I have to disable a proxy in apt.conf.d?

How do I correctly set ownership of a cifs mount?

Are these just "too hard"? Am I asking wrong? What can I do to effectively seek help with these and future issues?

  • That apt proxy problem is probably bug, maybe you should file one. Ditto for the bluetooth problem. – muru Nov 25 '16 at 11:42
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    Basically, we get more questions than people can answer, 9/13 is just about right on the percentage of questions that get answered. All you can do is improve the questions with updated information and see if that helps, I don't think your questions are badly written or anything. – Mark Kirby Nov 25 '16 at 11:45
  • @muru thanks muru, I'll do that. In that case I have some feedback for this community; tell us when that's the case - I don't know much about ubuntu and it's really hard to know whether I've hit a bug or a feature when something doesn't work. Thanks again! – quant Nov 25 '16 at 11:46
  • @MarkKirby I've updated my question to reflect reality. – quant Nov 25 '16 at 11:47
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    @arman It's hard for us. Mostly I look around, don't find anything, shrug and move on. :/ – muru Nov 25 '16 at 11:47
  • @muru well I guess what I'm saying is that it would be really helpful to know when someone with experience has shrugged and moved on, because then it might be time to file a bug report. – quant Nov 25 '16 at 11:49
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    Two things to do to improve visibility, edit your post, it will go to the top of this page askubuntu.com If you are needing a problem fixed badly, you can offer a bounty on it askubuntu.com/help/bounty Not much else you can do really. – Mark Kirby Nov 25 '16 at 11:52
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    @arman I've learned to avoid telling people, "I tried, but couldn't find anything. Sorry, but I can't help." For some users, it's taken as an offense, and I'd rather be safe. – TheWanderer Nov 25 '16 at 12:42
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    @Zacharee1 agreed. There are even some users that take "please provide these additional details: [...]" as an offence or lack of consideration. – Andrea Lazzarotto Nov 25 '16 at 14:14
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    @AndreaLazzarotto I've seen em. OP, it's not that we don't want to help, it's just that if we can't, we don't want to risk offense. I've had too many cases of someone just completely losing it at "what are you asking?" – TheWanderer Nov 25 '16 at 15:26
  • Take a look at this unanswered tab. There are lots of good questions not answered. We (I believe this includes all SE sites) don't have a feedback mechanism for this kind of situations. Sometimes a question is answered 2 months after posting (there is a badge for that also), sometimes even after 2 years! So, enforcing such mechanism is not possible. Also Not every question can be answered. For example, have a look at this question. Though I tried hard to answer that one, I think it still not very useful. – Anwar Dec 3 '16 at 6:27
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First of all there's nothing wrong with your questions. At least not the ones you've posted here. They are clear, provide the necessary information, and seem altogether fine to me. Frankly, I wish we got more questions of that quality. So no, you're not doing it wrong.

As to why they haven't been answered, I can think of a couple of possibilities:

  • Some of them are hard. They're not simple, straightforward things that any relatively competent Ubuntu user would know. Your bluetooth issue is probably specific to your hardware and is likely a bug that we can't help with. Your proxy question is about a design choice made by Canonical (or the Debian devs, or whoever it was) and, again, is hard for your average user to know the answer to. Your cifs mount is, again, about a functionality that not everyone uses. I have an idea about what might be going wrong there (I left you a comment) but most users never touch /etc/fstab in the first place. Basically, for obvious reasons, the easier a question is, the likelier it is it will be answered. While we do have a lot of expert users on the site, not all our answerers are experts.

  • Bad luck. That's just the way it is. The person(s) who have the required knowledge to answer your question haven't seen it, didn't have time to answer it, saw it on their phone and forgot about it. Not much we can do about that.

Again, however, I want to stress that not only are you not doing it wrong, you are doing it very, very correctly. Your questions are fine. So fine, in fact, that if you feel they're not getting the traction they deserve here, you could flag for mod attention and ask that they be migrated to another site. All of the questions you've posted would be on topic on Super User and Unix & Linux. Of the two, I would suggest the latter for your proxy and cifs issues. The bluetooth question would also be welcome, but that is equally likely to be answered on SU.

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