Note that the question tar Errror during scala installation has a typo error in the title "Errror" instead of "error" and a few typo errors in the commands. Clearly the asker can't spell as the title shows. This was completely ignored by the five reviewers who closed the question who gave the close reason as follows:

"This describes a problem that can't be reproduced, that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers."

The real question is not found in the multiple non-reproducible typo errors but in the rest of the question because it's clearly a complicated, multi-dimensional question, including:

  • How to get Scala installed by the method described in the question.

  • Whether the method described in the question is an appropriate method to use.

  • How to set SCALA_HOME and add it to the PATH.

These three topics are all the things necessary to achieve the objective of installing Scala in Ubuntu. Nonetheless the reviewers who closed this question could not get beyond the inconsequential typo errors. Obviously the asker can't spell and the question was downvoted three times because of it, but why is it necessary to discard the content too because of spelling and typo errors? A large number of of questions posted at Ask Ubuntu have numerous spelling and typo errors, but they are not closed for being about "a problem that can't be reproduced" because reviewers have the ability to see beyond the spelling and typo errors into the content of the question.

Please see beyond the spelling and typo errors into the content of this question. I am asking for help to reopen this question.

  • As a side note I don't think it's appropriate to massively downvote any question because of spelling errors in it, but I don't know of any logical way to control this so I am requesting discussions of downvoting because of spelling errors to be considered out of the limited scope of this question. And spelling errors in commands should be a special case. However it could also be on topic if asked about in a separate question.
    – karel
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 5:12

2 Answers 2


This isn't really an answer but you've given me a sort-of-opportunity to voice this particular opinion.

At Unix and Linux closing questions as no-repro when the problem is caused by a typo error in the command is a policy. I think it is a bad policy, or it is too difficult to apply well, and I don't want us to adopt it here.

The main problem as I see it is that it's not easy to accurately distinguish a one-off typo from the kind of error someone makes because they have a misconception about how the shell works. That distinction is not always maintained on U&L. Witness this question, closed as a duplicate (fine) of a question closed as no-repro(!)

Eliah Kagan made some comments about this in chat

Very often typos are related to conceptual misunderstandings; perhaps as often, conceptual misunderstandings about syntax that don't actually involve typos (in the sense of mistaken typing) are wrongly seen as being about typos and closed.

I've seen the same confusions come up again and again on Unix & Linux and get closed. Searching for typo in /dev/chat (the Unix & Linux main chat) reveals numerous arguments over whether or not something involved an actual conceptual question, in which an extremely strong presumption that anything that involves wrong syntax is a typo has to be overcome.


I'm not certain I'm really qualified to talk about this, but I will.

Interestingly, it appears that the problems with the commands in that question were not only typos, but a combination of typos and actual mistakes in the structures of the commands.

An answer has been posted and accepted (and I just noticed it was you who answered it), highlighting what went wrong. So, the issue was technically reproducible, however, just like most other Ask Ubuntu questions, it was answered (and solved) with corrections to the commands in the question.

Yes, there was a typo in the title, but the asker added spaces between file names and file extensions in their tar command, while also attempting to extract the tar file to a text file. (As you know, that's not possible, and you answered the question to explain it.)

I agree that the downvotes received were inappropriate. It would have been better to, like the eventual answerer (again, you), notice the mistakes and post an answer to fix them.

To conclude, I don't think this question should have been put on hold. The error is reproducible, and the asker did not notice the errors in their tar command, likely because they believed they had formed the command correctly. This was more than just a command typo, and should not be treated as such.

(PS: The basis of what I'm saying is that the asker thought there should be spaces between file names and extensions, and typed the command in AU accordingly. The sscala was either a typo in the question or it was an original unnoticed typo in the asker's commands, and, again, was copied to AU.)

I hope I was clear enough, this made sense in my head!

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