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How can I stop a mod from tagging a question as related to an unsupported version when the question is not version specific?

This is a very generic question that applies to probably every Ubuntu version that uses Apt. How can I get this mod to understand that?

Why does one incorrect repo block every other repo from updating with Apt?

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  • FYI: I don't see any mod making comment or tagging a question on your linked, or original question. You can tell it's a mod by the diamond appearing after their name. I only see user comments.
    – guiverc
    Apr 11 at 2:40
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    Related: meta.askubuntu.com/a/19944/1438484 - if you're sure that your question isn't specific to that version and is applicable to an on-topic version of Ubuntu (IMO your question is applicable to on-topic versions), then edit your original question removing mentions of the version, and check the box that says it should be placed in the queue of questions to be reviewed for re-opening
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 2:57
  • @cocomac thank you, but what if it isnt reopened? I dont know about AskUbuntu, but the mods seem to be grossly absent on other SE sites. I have flagged several posts for moderation and never received any response.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 3:09
  • What do you mean "never received any response"? Typically, you don't get a response - your flag is marked "helpful", because they took care of it. It's pretty rare to get a custom response to a flag. If all of your flags age away, then that's a different story. If the community votes to keep it closed, then they feel that it is off-topic. Honestly, I'm not sure what the rules/guidelines are for a general question about an unspecified release. That said, people can simply downvote because they think it isn't a useful question.
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 3:19
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    Honestly, this question was off-topic for more than one reason. So even if the original closure reason has been resolved, it's still off topic because it's not a practical answerable question in the scope of our Q&A format. The behavior you are describing is how apt works everywhere. There's no problem to be solved and there's no canonical answer to this question.
    – Nmath
    Apr 11 at 3:31
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    @Nmath so the person that just answered it with a technical answer is just spouting nonsense? ..I really dont get where your negativity is coming from.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 3:39
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    It's a good answer and is essentially an extended version of "this is how it's designed to work" which multiple people told you in comments, of which you were unsatisfied.
    – Nmath
    Apr 11 at 3:42
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    @Nmath dude, you just contradicted yourself, so I cant debate/argue with you anymore.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 3:45
  • OK well we can agree to disagree. In any case, you've got a very well composed answer that explains how the software is written.
    – Nmath
    Apr 11 at 3:49
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    @Nmath our scope does not require a problem to be solved, it only requires an on-topic question that can be answered. "Why does apt work this way" is on topic and answerable, the lack of a problem is irrelevant.
    – terdon
    Apr 11 at 17:34

1 Answer 1

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Well, presumably the confusion here arose because the problem you ran into is happening because of your Ubuntu version, as pointed out in the comments - the problem is that there is no package for your Ubuntu version in the repository yet. This is a very common problem. We have a canonical post about it: What can I do if a repository/PPA does not have a Release file?.

However, it's quite clear that you are asking why APT behaves in the way it does (the answer makes this even clearer, as is often the case) and that the example from your system should be taken as an arbitrary example. This is not a problem specific to a development version of Ubuntu and so should not be closed for that reason.

Also, the question is not "opinion based" (once again - those who think it is may observe that it has been answered in a largely objective manner with reference to the source code). Also note that questions like "isn't x a security risk?" can usually receive good answers based on expertise.

Currently your question is not in the close vote queue any more and may not be closed. If it does get closed, comment here and we will reopen it.

In general if one feels that one's question has been wrongly closed one can:

  • edit it to make it clearer that the close reason does not apply
  • post on meta to ask for a review
  • if one has enough reputation, come to the Downboat chatroom and ask for help
  • if one has enough reputation, vote to reopen the question

NB: while moderation, including close voting, is undertaken by the whole community, most people here understand "mods" to refer to elected moderators i.e. this bunch.

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  • thank you. why is it a user has to fight to keep a legitimate question open? one that I would posit is objectively legitimate. There seems to be a shoot first and ask questions later mentality of users with moderation privileges. I have seen this so often, I will conjecture it is incentivized by the system. Somehow by points earning. I come here to help and be helped, not for points. I would very strongly support the mods revisiting whatever incentives this unproductive and energy wasting behavior.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 5:03
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    btw, I have another post that was closed for basically the same reason, by the same gaggle of hecklers. askubuntu.com/questions/1400470/… Yes, it happened when I upgraded.. No, the question and the answer were not in any way related to an 'unsupported version'.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 5:10
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    There are no incentives for closing questions. One does not gain any reputation for voting to close. It is unclear why many questions are wrongly closed.
    – Zanna Mod
    Apr 11 at 5:12
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    @alchemy In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to fight. But... I do agree that people are too quick to close questions. Even when the version or even distro is fully irrelevant, the question of "what version of Ubuntu do you have" is asked, as if they just wanted it closed. I don't know why - flags don't add to rep (badges maybe?). "rationale"/"why" questions tend to be closed. IMO, we should have a Meta post about if they are OK. The policy about questions where the version is off-topic, but also irrelevant, is unclear to many users, which causes confusion
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 5:14
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    Your other question was closed as a bug report. In my view, only questions that are actually intended as bug reports (or feature requests) should be closed as such, but this particular close reason has long been overly broadly applied. I have been planning to post on meta about this, but I am not sure that people will agree with my stance. I need to develop my argument. Also, I need to go and post my brother's birthday present and buy groceries. Will return later!
    – Zanna Mod
    Apr 11 at 5:15
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    That is good to know. It must just be the negativity brigade that like to prey on people looking for help. I know thats pretty cynical, but I'm finally coming to the conclusion that is what it is. In that case, removing visible downvoting like youtube has, and only allowing the actual mods to close a question seems very reasonable.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 5:15
  • @cocomac thanks.. it seems like rationale/why questions often have a technical answer that is useful, regardless of the why answer, although sometimes that has a techical answer too.. really what is the harm in letting questions not be closed? are there server resources really cramped by basically text-only data?
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 5:18
  • @alchemy It isn't a concern of server resources. It is a concern if they are on-topic (and/or useful). But while I have an opinion, the comments here aren't the best place for that discussion. Instead, I suggest you make a Meta Ask Ubuntu question regarding if "rationale" questions are acceptable, so we can get a definative answer.
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 5:21
  • @Zanna yes, of course, take care of life! ..I cant respond to your mod comment on that post because posts are still locked, but while Apt update fails, Apt upgrade still proceeds.. I just tested that. The 'luckily' part was simply because the security repo is listed second in the sources.list file. If it were any further down, I would consider changing it.
    – alchemy
    Apr 11 at 5:24
  • that is interesting! I think more answers could be posted to your question about APT's behaviour
    – Zanna Mod
    Apr 11 at 5:27
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    @alchemy This isn't obvious, and I can't find the Meta post for it at the moment. But... Stack Exchange isn't a forum. Nor is it a personal helpdesk. It is a large database of collective knowledge, and that is grouped into various sites. That is the core philosophy - a useful Q&A site, as a database of knowledge. If we could ignore what was on topic, it would fall into total chaos. SE isn't about getting your question answered, or about finding you a solution quickly - it is about creating a large database of helpful information. And if there were no rules, that wouldn't work.
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 5:37
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    @alchemy I respectfully disagree. I think that would cause too many issues. Regardless, that is just my opionion. If you disagree, which you may, then go to Meta Stack Exchange (the site for discussing things about the entire SE network), and make that request. Warning: some people may disagree with you, and I strongly urge you to read this question first. But, feel free to suggest that there if you think it will work better. Also, voting is special on Meta.
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 5:57
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – cocomac
    Apr 11 at 6:16
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    I certainly could have used a more helpful tone with your question. At the time, my understanding of both your original post and your repost was that your intention was to start a discussion, or to express dissatisfaction with how apt works. When reading clarifications from comments, it reinforced my belief that this was the kind of response you were looking for. These are the reasons I voted to close. When you reposted the same exact thing after the first was closed, I saw it as circumventing moderation. So I apologize that I was prejudiced by this interpretation of your question
    – Nmath
    Apr 13 at 12:02
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    And to your points about behaviors of moderators and community, many of us have signed and believe in the code of conduct rooted in collaboration and respect and common goals. We do not have to agree with each other about the scope of the site. That's why meta exists. Tone and intent are difficult in writing in the first place and this is especially true when in a disagreement. With that in mind, I'd rethink your approach of calling high rep users "toxic" and making lists and callouts. We could all do better to remember that mutual respect and collaboration even when we disagree
    – Nmath
    Apr 13 at 12:21

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