I have a question about my Ask Ubuntu post: Hitting arrow keys adds characters in vi editor

I edited my post with an suitable answer that instead of the other answers solves the real issue behind the symptomatic problem. But the answer is locked and down voted.

I really think the described problem is just a symptom and none of the other answers solve the underlying problem.

Also I am a bit unhappy with the reputation system on Ask Ubuntu. Why is commenting below reputation 50 not allowed? With that I cannot participate on question where I have the same problem but no answer. Raising a new question brought me harsh answers. With less than 5 reputation I can't even ask in Meta about such issues without an context post.

  • 3
    I may well be wrong, but it looks like your post, in its edited state, should not have been deleted (initially it was not an answer and that's why it was rightly flagged). I have re-edited your post and flagged it for moderator attention
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 9:49
  • 2
    You might want to read this meta.askubuntu.com/questions/716/… on the 50 rep and this meta.askubuntu.com/questions/1209/… for some tips on earning it quickly.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 9:54
  • Thanks a lot Zanna Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 9:55
  • Happy to help :D Thanks also to karel who took the same action and terdon who undeleted your post :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 9:57
  • @kitingChris I am surprised by your meta question given that you have been on Stack Overflow and TeX - LaTeX for 4 years and have a decent amount of rep there, and the rules for these 2 sites are largely similar to Ask Ubuntu's.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 16:56
  • @edwinksl: and on askubuntu I am just a newbee :D But actually I am just occasionally active ;) Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:01
  • @kitingChris The rules for the rep system are the same across all SE sites, so your lack of activity here still doesn't prevent me from being surprised by your question.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:16
  • I was quite inactive the last year on the other sites. And being again newbee having a problem with no reputation just was a bit frustrating. And actually the criticism of the rep system was intended to speak not only myself. But perhaps you just need to feel the same to understand. Perhaps donating all your rep to make the newbee experience again may help you ;) anyway we getting a bit chatty now... Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:22
  • @kitingChris Everyone starts from 1 rep, including me, so I have experienced what you experienced. The current rep system is not perfect but it certainly keeps out spam and low quality contributions.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


I know this can be confusing to new users, but we are strictly a questions and answers site. No discussion. The answer you posted was basically "yes, I have this issue too". While this sort of post is welcome on forums, it is not actually answering the question and so it doesn't belong here. If it isn't a question, or it isn't providing an answer to an existing question, then it won't be welcomed here.

Now, you then edited to provide an answer you found. That's great! had you only posted that, nobody would have objected (quite the contrary). Another user has now edited it, and I have undeleted it.

As for commenting and the reputation system, that's actually one of the good things about the Stack Exchange system. Reputation is an indication of how much the community trusts you and it can also motivate people to write good, clear and comprehensive posts. We require 50 rep to comment primarily as a spam prevention measure. We get a lot of spam, and this blocks random accounts from spamming the comments.

Also, comments are second class citizens here. We don't want them, and we try to avoid them. Ideally, comments will only be posted requesting or providing a clarification which is then integrated into the post and the comment is deleted. In fact, moderators often go around cleaning up and deleting old comments.

Another important reason is that since we have a very different set of rules than the forums most users are familiar with, we don't want to let new users comment before they've had time to see how this site works and understand the local culture. This is not a place for discussions. There are hundreds of other sites which welcome discussion. We don't. Think of these sites as more of a collaborative wiki than a forum. The aim is to amass a large collection of useful information with as little noise as possible. Comments, usually, add to the noise and not the information.

The same basically applies to asking here, on meta. If you haven't participated in the site (by posting something) you are unlikely to be a bona fide user who wants to ask about how the site works. Allowing accounts with no activity on the main site to post on meta would just be inviting a spam wave here. Believe me, I'm one of the elected moderators whose job it is to deal with such waves and I really don't want to see the same amount of spam we get on the main site (where you need no rep to ask or answer) start being posted here on meta too.

So, just spend some time, get some rep (50 rep is just 5 upvotes to an answer or 10 to a question), and I'm sure you'll see that the benefits of this system far outweigh the drawbacks.

  • The point is: When I come to ask a question and find another question describing the same problem. I see only 2 options to choose between: Telling with a comment "I do have the same issue and would also need a help" Not for spam but perhaps for raising aware there is an issue. Upvoting does in my eyes not help to make awareness and also does not help because as new user you also do not have reputation for it. Option 2 would be asking the exact same question and receiving angry comments about duplicated questions. As I did in an already deleted question. It is a bad experience :( Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 10:04
  • 3
    @kitingChris well, we consider "I have this problem too" to be noise. Think about it. What does it add? Why would we want to see such a comment? One of the main reasons new users can't comment is precisely to avoid having "me too" comments. If you tried the answers there and none of them worked, you can post a new question showing what you tried, and explaining how it failed. Your question just said "hey, I have this question too" so it really wasn't adding anything useful.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 10:10
  • 3
    @kitingChris please take a moment and visit our help center or take the tour to understand how the site works. Your answer here is also not a good fit for the site. We need answers to be self contained and yours is just giving a link to another resource. In other words, it isn't giving an answer, it is giving directions to where an answer can be found. See here. You are thinking of this site as a forum. It isn't, so pelase take a moment to read the local rules.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 10:12
  • " If you tried the answers there and none of them worked, you can post a new question showing what you tried " That was exactly what I did and immediately got answers like: "This is duplicate" and some downvotes!!! So as new user I have to try to reach 50 rep before fully participating? Is that what you want? And think about it: As user that has an problem it is not very helpful first to earn 50 rep. It is a point that shows that askubuntu is not a good site if you really seek a helpful hand :( And reading some other meta to this topic I am not alone with this opinion! Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:38
  • 3
    No, that is not what you did. You didn't explain what you tried or how it failed. All you said is "hey, I have the same problem as described here" without giving any information to indicate why you're posting the same thing again. In any case, I don't set this policy. That is controlled by Stack Exchange, a private company I am not affiliated with. Most of us like this model which is why we're here. If you don't feel comfortable with it, then maybe this isn't the right site for you.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:46
  • Sorry but I opened a question and I really explained there WHY I opened a new question. I referenced on the other question and told that I tried those answers! I guess I did how it was supposed to do it! But the answers were harsh and question got downvoted. After finding the answer myself I deleted the duplicate. But It is quite frustrating. I know moderators job can be too. But this cap for newbees is more. I really want to participate. But as far as I see it the system is not very good for coming with a problem and wanting to participate but not having answers yet. Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:50
  • 3
    @kitingChris new users are free to post answers and free to post questions. They just can't post comments. And please try and understand what I am saying, this isn't an attack. Look at your question again. I am reading it right now and all you say is that you have the same problem. You do not say you tried any of the answers in the other question, let alone explain how they failed to help you. Therefore, all we can see is someone just repeating the same question. Come into chat if you need more information.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:07

You must log in to answer this question.

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