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Our What topics can I ask about here? help center page feels like it could use an update.

The first section, "Questions that you may ask", looks fairly good. Apparently at one point in time, it also included the final line:

There are no "dumb" questions

... but, well that's been removed in a previous update, apparently ... ;-)

A couple of possible suggestions, however.

The first line is:

  • Using and administering official Ubuntu flavors: Ubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu.

Perhaps we could go ahead and put in the qualifier that they must be currently supported releases. I know that's also covered in the next ("avoid") section, but some people may see this first line and stop reading.

Also, (as the resident "WSL guy" around here) I think it might be useful to call out Ubuntu on WSL as a supported release, since I know there's been a lot of confusion over this in the past. We get more Ubuntu on WSL questions than, say Budgie.

The next section, "Questions that you should avoid:" could use some attention. Here's the current wording:

Questions that you should avoid:

Some suggestions/comments on improvements:

  • First up - Backtrack? I had to look up what that was, since I've known it as Kali for quite a few years. Kali is such a common off-topic question that we definitely should name it specifically, IMHO, and using the name it's had for the last (nearly) 10 years ;-).

  • As I understand it, "Gnome-Remix" really just became mainline, and "budgie-remix" is now Ubuntu Budgie. For both of these, the "currently supported" part should be sufficient, right? Is there still a need to call them out separately with release numbers?

  • It seems to me that we get far more off-topic questions on "not currently supported" Ubuntu releases than "bug reports", "Ubuntu+1", or "Shopping/Hardware Recommendations", right?

    If that's truly the case, then let's move that higher in the list -- Probably the second bullet, but could be the first.

  • Finally, there is often confusion over "Ubuntu-derived" and "Debian-derived" distributions, so it might make sense to make a statement around that directly.

  • There are a few items in the tour that aren't present in the Help.

  • A nitpick, but the word "that" in the section headers isn't really necessary.

  • Also a nitpick -- Expanding some of the parenthetical links might make things more readable.

  • And one final nitpick, but as long as we are considering updating, the "Hardware and Shopping Recommendations" might use an explanatory link.

So how does this get updated, assuming we agree that it is in need of one?

I assume:

  • We upvote or downvote this question to agree or disagree that an update is needed?
  • We make proposals in the form of answers (mine is below), vote, and discuss here?
  • The mods then discuss and reach agreement based on the community discussion?
  • The mods then flag the final wording in an answer (or some other method) with the status-review tag for Staff to take action on?

2 Answers 2

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First pass at a proposed update:

Change the title and first bullet in ...

Questions you may ask:

This might help clarify for those that hit that first bullet, think, "Oh, I'm asking about Ubuntu, so it's okay" and post without reading the rest. You know they do ... ;-)

Also, if we include "Ubuntu on WSL", it needs its own link since it's listed on a separate ubuntu.com page.


And then update ...

Questions you should avoid:


Notes:

  • This merges in some of the useful wording from the tour, along with addressing the other issues I mentioned in the original question.

  • I think the emphasis on even if they are "based on" Ubuntu or Debian is warranted, but it's not necessary.

  • Is this a reasonable link to add to the "Hardware and Shopping Recommendations" bullet?

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  • 4
    looks great, thanks for working on this!
    – Zanna Mod
    Apr 1 at 7:09
  • @Zanna Thanks! At what point do the mods want to take this to the next step? Apr 14 at 13:21
  • WSL is a Microsoft(tm) product, should it be supported here?
    – waltinator
    Apr 15 at 20:13
  • @waltinator "Ubuntu on WSL", however, is a Canonical product, and the Ask Ubuntu policy has been to support it. Also, see this answer from Zanna on the topic. Note -- I'm not saying that we support all WSL questions here; just those where the user is on an official (and "in support") Canonical release under WSL. Someone running Kali on WSL, for instance, would be directed elsewhere. Apr 15 at 21:08
  • @NotTheDr01ds My apologies that these proposed changes have slipped between the cracks. This particular page can be directly edited by the Mod team (I have already made a small test edit) and I hope to get to it tomorrow, my time. Do you have any further thoughts on the required edits before I get stuck in?
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Aug 18 at 3:50
  • @andrew.46 Can “It's a questions and answers site for …” (at the top of that Help Center page) be replaced with “It’s a question and answer site for …”? IMO it sounds better singular, especially if I replace “it’s” with “it is”
    – cocomac
    Aug 18 at 6:47
  • @cocomac I agree, but it probably needs more work than that even, I think. I didn't really pay much attention to that section. Aug 18 at 12:44
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Oops, @andrew.46 got to it before I could recommend one more change, so posting this as a separate answer. @cocomac pointed out that the wording on the intro paragraph is a bit odd, and I agree, but it needs more changes than just those originally proposed and done:

Recommend changing from (current):

Ask Ubuntu

It's a question and answer site for Ubuntu-related questions. It's also a place to share knowledge about Ubuntu.

Before posting any Questions/Answers please follow the Ubuntu Code of Conduct and this FAQ when participating in this community.

to

Ask Ubuntu (remove heading)

Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu-related questions. It's also a place to share knowledge about Ubuntu.

Before posting any Questions/Answers please follow the Ubuntu Code of Conduct and this FAQ when participating in this community.

Reasons:

  • "Ask Ubuntu" as a heading is redundant since it's in the page title.

  • "It's" is a bit weird when referring to a title. I recommend we follow the example of other Stack Exchange on-topic pages with the "[site name] is ..." form.

    Examples: Super User, Stack Overflow, and Unix & Linux

  • Whether or not we need to leave the Ubuntu Code of Conduct in there is a separate question. I think it should come out for users, at least, since it is no longer part of the Terms of Service. But if it's in there, it does need the link, which is missing at the moment.

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  • I have incorporated these changes but left the Code of Conduct link free for the moment, waiting for more definitive path for this...
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Aug 19 at 1:53
  • @andrew.46 Absolutely understandable. Not quite sure what the right path is on that myself. Aug 19 at 1:55
  • Well, we have this on AU: askubuntu.com/conduct but I will leave it 'linkless' just while a few issues are sorted. I am a little cross-eyed from editing the page but I think all the changes are in place, let me know if I have made an error. And thanks for your work on driving this through!
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Aug 19 at 2:14
  • @andrew.46 Looks good! Thanks! Aug 19 at 20:09

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