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I tried to ask a question about how to improve my odds with "upgrade" process (hoping to save a weekend doing a clean install when it's time to upgrade).

While I was still proofreading the question for the second time, I got two comments that more or less amounted to "you're trying to do the impossible and you can't depend on the upgrade process."

I admit, it hadn't occurred to me that the examples I gave aren't fully explained -- my upgrade process wasn't primarily a "product line" jump; rather that occurred after, the first time, being advised against even trying to upgrade (and in response to what I then perceived as immaturity of the Plasma 5 desktop), and the second time, after a failed attempt to upgrade MATE 16.04 which was already EOL.

End result, however, I'm still trying to ask how to improve the odds of not spending an entire weekend "upgrading" my system. Ideally, without snide remarks like "he must want it to fail" that assume I'm just trolling AskUbuntu instead of that I'm just not a guru at this (and don't want to have to be to use my computer without letting Microsoft decide they have to upgrade it when I'm in the middle of something).

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    Have you considered flagging those comments and remarks as non-productive or rude/abusive for moderator review if they're calling you names? Rather than just deleting your post outright.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Apr 19 at 14:52
  • Not so much name-calling as the kind of remarks adults make to each other when the kid is badly confused.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 19 at 14:55
  • @ArturMeinild Most people who might give good answers here have enough rep to see a deleted question, unless that works differently from the way it used to.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 19 at 14:56
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    'good answers' and 'reputation' don't go hand in hand. I reviewed the comments made on your post and I don't gather they were being rude or trolling. I agree the "he must want it to fail" part is harsh and will handle that, but all in all, flag those unproductive comments rather than deletion of your question. When you delete your question, if you delete enough of your own posts the system will penalize you behind the scenes, and do it enough you'll earn a block on posting that's system imposed.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Apr 19 at 14:58
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    Basically, remember that two comments is just that: two. Out of the several hundred thousand people who regularly visit the site, two left a comment you didn't like. I'm afraid there is no way to police this, you just need to remember that just because two random people were unhelpful, that doesn't represent anything more than the opinions of those two random people (I haven't looked at the comments).
    – terdon
    Apr 19 at 15:15
  • Now that the question is restored, I've flagged it as a duplicate, because I believe there is an existing question that thoroughly explains supported vs unsupported upgrade paths. Please let me know if you agree. 😊 Apr 19 at 15:46
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    Please flag rude and abusive comments. There's no excuse for that. That being said, I don't think this question is a good fit for Ask Ubuntu. It's quite broad and open ended. I don't think there is a clear way to answer your question in a Q&A format. There are nearly unlimited variables and people will have different opinions on how to handle each unique situation. The question would be better asked on Ubuntu Forums which is more suitable to handle open ended questions especially those that provoke extensive discussions and solicit opinions about best practices.
    – Nmath
    Apr 19 at 22:28
  • Some days I wonder why I bother. Go through all of this and then the question is closed -- and it's NOT a duplicate of that 12.04 "should I upgrade or reinstall" question, which truly should have been closed (8+ years ago!) as opinion-based.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 20 at 11:03
  • Did you try the Ubuntu Forums? Maybe this kind of question is better suited for the forums. Apr 20 at 13:44
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    I haven't tried Ubuntu Forums. If they work the way I'm used to seeing on other forums, I'll either get no response at all, 6 conflicting answers to an "A or B" question, or hundreds of replies without any discernible answer.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 20 at 14:22
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    @ZeissIkon "6 conflicting answers to an "A or B" question, or hundreds of replies without any discernible answer" -- this is exactly why your question is off-topic here.
    – Nmath
    Apr 20 at 19:29
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    @Nmath And that is exactly why people feel unwelcome here. You have a question, you can't get a sensible answer in the forums, you come here and get sent to the forums. "Don't have that question" has been repeatedly put up as an unacceptable response, but that's what this all adds up to. And why I deleted the question in the first place. As noted above -- I wonder why I bother?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 21 at 11:58

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Addressing some of the question, but also some of the comments on the question here. You've been around here a while, so I'm sure you know a lot of this already, but here goes:

(from the comments) I wonder why I bother?

Well, you've asked nearly 40 other questions here that haven't been closed, and answered hundreds of questions, so I do hope you'll be able to get past this particular experience and continue to contribute to and benefit from the site.

without snide remarks .... Not so much name-calling as the kind of remarks adults make to each other when the kid is badly confused.

Be aware that the bar for flagging something "rude or abusive" is pretty low in the Stack Exchange Code of Conduct. It doesn't have to be name-calling or personal attacks, but can include (paraphrasing the Code of Conduct):

"subtle put-downs or unfriendly language" [such as] "You could Google this in 5 seconds."

"[H]e must want it to fail" most definitely (IMHO) falls into that category, and it sounds like it has been dealt with.

Definitely flag it so that (a) the comment can be reviewed/handle by a mod, (b) the user can be made aware that their behavior wasn't acceptable and correct/improve it in the future, and (c) repeat offenders are noticed and handled by the mods.

How can I ask this question without it being closed?

Realistically, there are just some questions that can't be asked here. As the Tour says, "Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.... Don't ask about ... Questions with too many possible answers or would require an extremely long answer"

While you may disagree, I think your question fits the "too many possible answers" scenario, at the very least.

In my opinion, you've done the right thing by bringing the question here to Meta for discussion.

From the comments:

  • I haven't tried Ubuntu Forums. If they work the way I'm used to seeing on other forums, I'll either get no response at all, 6 conflicting answers to an "A or B" question, or hundreds of replies without any discernible answer.

    • "6 conflicting answers to an "A or B" question, or hundreds of replies without any discernible answer" -- this is exactly why your question is off-topic here. – Nmath

@Nmath And that is exactly why people feel unwelcome here. You have a question, you can't get a sensible answer in the forums, you come here and get sent to the forums.

I know from experience that it can be all-too-easy to take it personally when your question is closed, but "rules/guidelines/mores/norms" are a necessary part of almost every community, online or otherwise.

Let me be clear, since it hasn't been said already -- I believe your question is a good question in general. But, as @Nmath said, you can just as easily receive 6 conflicting answers here to your question (and plenty of comments or, ultimately, chat replies), which is why it probably isn't a good fit for Ask Ubuntu's format. It's something that needs discussion, rather than a Q&A style.

I do sometimes wish there was a forum that had the same level of experience that I see here on Ask Ubuntu, but that doesn't mean we can turn Ask Ubuntu into that forum.

"Don't have that question" has been repeatedly put up as an unacceptable response, but that's what this all adds up to.

I'm not quite sure I understand that since "don't have that question here" is a perfectly acceptable response, as I think we've covered.

And why I deleted the question in the first place. As noted above -- I wonder why I bother?

Again, I think the first response should be to flag the unfriendly comments. Then, if the question is closed (or being discussed for closure), you can bring it here for Meta discussion.

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