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I posted this question recently, and after I answered a comment requesting information with something like "I'll try to do this when I'm home", the same user who had requested the information responded with the following (I presume) "pre-canned" comment:

Please edit your post to add new information, properly formatted. Information added via comments is hard for you to format, hard for us to read and ignored by future readers. Please click edit and add that vital information to your question so all the facts we need are in the question. Please don't use Add Comment, since that's our uplink to you. All facts about your system should go in the Question with edit.

This seems both a little brusque (seemingly the new tone of AskUbuntu) and rather condescending.

I saw a recent meta post encouraging use of "pre-canned" comments, but haven't checked in detail to see if this is from that list -- but it certainly sounds as if we no longer want questions or answers from people who aren't already experts (rather like the situation when trying to report a bug as an end user, rather than a developer -- "if you don't know all this technical stuff, we don't want to hear it.").

Is AskUbuntu no longer a friendly place for those who aren't gurus to seek solutions to their problems?

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    Ask Ubuntu is still a friendly place. The first comment is not a canned comment (at least not a default one AFAIK), the second one is a review auto comment, exactly the kind people are discouraged from using. The anonymous review comments are a network wide thing, I guess they are mostly for SO. If you see one of these comments you can flag them for a mod and they will remove them. Don't let some rubbish comments make you think no one cares any more, people still do.
    – Mark Kirby
    Dec 2 '21 at 19:17
  • If you're talking about meta.askubuntu.com/questions/19835/… when you say 'recent meta post encouraging use of "pre-canned" comments', note that it says "not leaving feedback as Community"
    – muru
    Dec 2 '21 at 20:00
  • Yep, "feedback as Community" was only part of the problem here, @muru -- I'll edit out that portion.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 2 '21 at 20:03
  • Okay, found the "canned comments" meta I mentioned, I'll edit in the link.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 2 '21 at 20:25
  • That is by no means recent.
    – muru
    Dec 2 '21 at 21:10
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    Can you explain how that is brusque or condescending? Is there a specific part of the comment you can point to? To me that reads as the complete opposite: I find that particularly friendly, polite and constructive. The bit about "our uplink to you" is weird, no idea what that's supposed to be, but the overall tone seems very friendly and polite.
    – terdon
    Dec 3 '21 at 12:15
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    @terdon I find repeating the edit link three times in a single comment seems like the commentor sees me as a little dense; not to mention "properly formatted"; "vital information" reads (to me) as sarcastic. Not to mention "don't comment on your own question" -- some of this makes sense for a 1, 11, or 101 rep user, but not 4500+.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 3 '21 at 12:18
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    Ah yes, OK. Telling someone who's been here a while the basics of how the site works is indeed a bit presumptuous. Would you also feel it would be condescending if directed to a new user? I admit I have had to repeat "edit" with progressively more emphasis in consecutive comments so many times over the years, I also often go out of my way to repeat it. People, very naturally, tend to respond to comments in comments and it's hard to get them to not respond in this very intuitive way and instead edit their post. 9 times out of 10, my first "please edit" is ignored and I get a comment instead.
    – terdon
    Dec 3 '21 at 12:22
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    I don't read "properly formatted" or "vital information" as sarcastic at all. I personally wouldn't use properly, that does have some connotations, I would have gone with "please use the formatting tools (link) to format your question for clarity" or something like that. The vital information seems fine. Sure, I'd have gone for important but my guess is whoever wrote this isn't a native English speaker so may not get the same nuances. Overall it reads (to me) like an honest and friendly attempt to help, at worst a little clumsy.
    – terdon
    Dec 3 '21 at 12:24
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    @terdon Yeah, but once again -- was asked to add output of some terminal commands, responded with "I'll try to do that when I'm home" -- and got this. Like responding to "Yes, okay" with "I told you once, now I'm telling you three more times, and I'm going to assume you don't know how things work while I'm at it." As for formatting tools -- why are they hard to find? I often wish I had that page handy, and it's not in the sidebar or even the "help" menu.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 3 '21 at 12:33
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Yeah I don't know who composed that comment; it's not one provided by SE. I have seen it numerous times though and I strongly dislike it. Aside from the tone, it gives obviously incorrect information to the OP "don't use Ask Comment, as that's our uplink to you" - if the OP were not meant to use comments to communicate, why would they be given the ability to comment on their own posts and answers to their questions even if they don't have the comment privilege?

This instruction is also likely to conflict with advice given by other commenters, since people often request that the OP ping them (using @) in comments (which is a more reasonable request - I for one am likely to forget to check back on my comments for quite a while if I'm not pinged).

Please flag any bad comments, canned or otherwise.

Unnecessary pedantic English note: Surely "precanned" (from Jorge's post) is overkill. For me "canned" is already too much. Soon we'll be calling these comments "precanned in advance".

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    You also find the tone problematic? Why? The tone seems particularly polite and helpful to me. I haven't seen this comment in the wild myself, and the "our uplink to you" bit is just weird, but the tone itself seems more than fine. Can you can put your finger on the part that makes the tone problematic for you?
    – terdon
    Dec 3 '21 at 12:17
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    @terdon the comment sets out to deliver a single uncomplicated piece of advice (add information needed to answer your question to the question) but it does so in the form of a long, berating series of questionable, unexplained assertions. Who's to say whether it's hard for me to format what I want to say (me)? Is stuff really hard to read in comments (only if it's multi-line code/output)? Do people really ignore comments (no they don't)? It makes an entirely unnecessary meal out of OP's supposedly horrendous faux pas of daring to reply to a comment.
    – Zanna Mod
    Dec 3 '21 at 13:35
  • @Zanna When you say, "Please flag any bad comments, canned or otherwise", while you can flag comments made by people as "unfriendly or unkind", you can't flag comments made by Community as "unfriendly or unkind" (see this ). Also, I found the origin of that canned comment.
    – cocomac
    Dec 4 '21 at 17:52
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    @cocomac I tried to upvote my own answer hahaha. Re. the comments, it doesn't really matter that you can't flag them as unfriendly as we aren't going to mod-message Community telling them to post better comments. Of course, the comment in question couldn't be left as Community as it's not one of the canned comments one can post pretending to be Community.
    – Zanna Mod
    Dec 5 '21 at 3:33

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