For example, this is a question that was asked 10 years ago: How to run scripts on start up?

It's the top result for "startup script ubuntu" and many other such queries. Most of the top answers are outdated, but there are a couple of good answers in the thread.

The idea of AskUbuntu is to serve as a repository of questions and answers than to serve the person who's asking a question.

  1. Should we edit the question (without changing much, to not lose SERP) and the top answer? Possibly convert it to a CW?
  2. Should we remove the Accepted badge from this answer? New users tend to get confused as to what that tick means - they might think that's the recommended way to do it.
  3. Should we edit the other answers to mention that they're outdated? Or drop a comment under it?

I know there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to this problem, but I believe doing this at least for the very popular questions could be very useful for the site and its visitors.

  • We can't remove the accepted badge. Mods can delete it, but can't remove the accepted mark.
    – muru
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 6:54
  • 4
    "Most of the top answers are outdated" No, they aren't. The crontab @reboot method, the /etc/rc.local method (second and third top answers after the accepted one) both work fine on any release of Ubuntu.
    – muru
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 6:56
  • 1
    Should we edit the other answers to mention that they're outdated? Or drop a comment under it?: Yes, if you're confident enough. For example, last year webupd8 team's Java PPA was discontinued which left many answers outdated. Comments sometimes are just ignored. So, it was feasible to add a notice and save the time of readers. But definitely not in the provided example since as muru have stated that they are not outdated.
    – Kulfy
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


Generalizing the subject: is outdated synonym to useless?

Like muru said, the statement that many of the top answers are outdated is not true, but even if they are, they rarely are.


I remember countless situations when I was looking for a solution to something. Ran into a question / answer that was, so to speak, outdated. Reading the answer however gave me insights in how things work and made me look in the right direction, even created my own solution because I got to understand.

Once you get more experienced, and understand the tendency of changes in software and language(s), you can often make an educated guess on what will be the updated solution.

Apart from that, you won't make a lot of users happy on constant reputation changes, because their possibly excellent answer lost its vote or acceptance, just because it is not fully an literally up-to-date anymore. Imagine the unavoidable discussion whether the post is outdated or not.

In short: Please, let's leave the post in its own context. If you know an updated version, post it!

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