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Is asking questions about the Ubuntu wiki off-topic. So I ask a question here about an error in the Ubuntu wiki and how do I edit said wiki page and the question got flagged as off-topic, why is this.

Screenshot of deleted question:

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  • 4
    To add to the discussion: 43 questions tagged with ubuntu-wiki, many with accepted answers: askubuntu.com/questions/tagged/ubuntu-wiki
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 1 at 0:42
  • The wiki page you linked to says at the bottom "You can contribute to this wiki, see Wiki Guide for details" - did you follow that guide? If not, I don't see what the point is in having that information copied here to Ask Ubuntu. The Wiki's page will always be canonical, and not a post on AU.
    – muru
    May 1 at 6:14
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    I don't think this question is topical on Ask Ubuntu since you're asking for technical details about how to use the Wiki. We don't even allow those kinds of questions when they are about Ask Ubuntu. Questions about the site itself belong here on meta. In the case of the Wiki- there is the Wiki guide that @muru pointed out. Additionally, the questions tagged ubuntu-wiki that aren't closed are generally asking about the content on wiki pages, not how to use the site itself.
    – Nmath
    May 1 at 18:46
  • @Nmath You make an excellent point, certainly that is a point that could be made clear in the tag info for ubuntu-wiki which in its current state is not terribly helpful. If the community decides to go that way of course. Once we have thrashed out a consensus here I suspect the path would be: 1. A formal answer here for future reference (I will be happy to do that) 2. Alter the tag itself to reflect this.
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 1 at 22:20
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    @andrew.46 the linked question was deleted yesterday by the Community bot. Could you please undelete it, at least while this meta discussion is happening, so users who don't have the rep to see deleted posts can still read and understand the context?
    – terdon
    May 2 at 15:54
  • @terdon Done, thanks for catching that.
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 2 at 20:43
  • @terdon Looks like there is a reasonable answer available on AU as @muru has pointed out on that thread. But what are your thoughts on ubuntu-wiki questions in AU in general?
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 2 at 23:07
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    @andrew.46 Ubuntu is a project, not just an operating system. The site should welcome questions about other parts of the project if they're reasonably answerable, as this is.
    – Seth
    May 3 at 2:27
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    @Seth Thank you for making it all much clearer! I see as well on this 'on topic' page: askubuntu.com/help/on-topic in the section Questions that You May Ask: "Services provided by Ubuntu and Canonical." and I would argue that the Ubuntu Wiki is well covered there. I realise that what exact is meant by 'services' is open for debate 🙂
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 3 at 2:55
  • Hmmmm... I seem to be having a roll back war with the bot...
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 3 at 5:13
  • I'm another user of this site (askubuntu) that doesn't have an issue with Ubuntu wiki questions... in fact responded (via comment which is common for me) on that question. One problem with this site & wiki things; is this is seen as a support Q&A site; where almost all wiki questions/suggestions etc. are on IRC or other sites; thus few likely notice questions here (the ubuntu-wiki tag causes it to appear yellow for me; but I suspect I'm a small minority). I didn't think the closed-question was well worded for this site though
    – guiverc
    May 3 at 11:00

3 Answers 3

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In general...

There has been a range of viewpoints on the more general question raised here of: 'Is asking questions about the Ubuntu wiki off-topic?' For me the viewpoint that has resonated the most was seen in this comment from @Seth:

Ubuntu is a project, not just an operating system. The site should welcome questions about other parts of the project if they're reasonably answerable, as this is.

And as the Ubuntu Wiki is most assuredly a part of the Ubuntu project questions concerning the Ubuntu Wiki are welcomed on Ask Ubuntu and thus can be considered on-topic. Of course the usual caveats of Duplicates, Low Quality questions etc will still apply.

For those who like certainty you will not see the Ubuntu Wiki mentioned specifically in the What topics can I ask about here? page but you will see two entries amongst the allowable questions:

  • Services provided by Ubuntu and Canonical.
  • Any questions not mentioned below or here are great!

and I would argue most strongly that questions about the Ubuntu Wiki are covered in at least these two bullet points of allowable questions. And for those who can see the bigger picture remember Seth's words: 'Ubuntu is a project, not just an operating system.' and both Ask Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Wiki are a part of that.

From here...

For my own part I will reopen @Inee's post, removing the part of the question that queries the closure (as that has been dealt with here). I will also trim out the comments calling for closure as 'Not about Ubuntu' (also dealt with here). Two more steps I will leave to the Community:

From the Community I would ask:

  1. Is this a duplicate? There needs to be a canonical answer to the 'Why can't I log into the Ubuntu Wiki?'. I am not completely convinced that the linked post is a great duplicate and perhaps a better, more modern answer could be written for this question.
  2. The information: This needs to be updated, encapsulating the thoughts expressed by many in this thread.

And in conclusion...

I am in the process of joining the doc team, maybe you should too?

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  • Can you explain what you mean by "more modern answer"? AFAICT The facts haven't changed, so do you mean you just want a prettier answer than the one there?
    – muru
    May 4 at 21:46
  • @muru Thanks for perhaps unintentionally giving me a good laugh :). You are quite correct, the facts are all there but what I miss is a slightly more concise and well written answer that would be a great canonical question and answer for a Duplicate closure. So yes: prettier :)
    – andrew.46 Mod
    May 5 at 4:52
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On-topic

The list of acceptable topics is posted at https://askubuntu.com/help/on-topic

Questions that you may ask:

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

Running third-party applications on Ubuntu.

Development on Ubuntu.

Services provided by Ubuntu and Canonical.

Any questions not mentioned below or here are great!

Questions about the Ubuntu Wiki are NOT on the proscribed list (same page; not shown), and DO seem acceptable under "Services provided by Ubuntu"

However, the question seems a clear duplicate of How to give feedback to an immutable page at wiki.ubuntu.com

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Off topic.

I would argue that we are not the right place to solve technical issues with the Ubuntu Wiki. As far as I know, that is a Canonical thing, we do not administer it, we cannot access its logs, we can't really help much at all.

While I understand that the site's scope has always included "services provided by Canonical", this question—which is about the internal workings of the Ubuntu Wiki—seems to go well beyond the normal "Canonical Services" that we cover. I can understand considering questions like "Is this Ubuntu Wiki page correct when it says foo", but "How do I log in and edit a page in the Ubuntu Wiki" seems 100% off topic here. It is not a technical question about Ubuntu or another Canonical product, it is about the specific rules and setup of a webpage we are not strongly connected to.

So I would say this sort of question is off topic and should instead be addressed to whatever support system the Wiki may have.

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  • This line of thinking seems barely short of "because I don't know the answer it's a bad question". Also I'll note that the question isn't asking how to log into the wiki. Everyone with an Ubuntu account can log into the wiki, but you won't be able to edit anything. This is not normal behavior for a wiki. The reasons for this are detailed on the wiki but it's more buried than I would have expected. If it's confusing enough that multiple people are coming here seeking answers, and the answers are reasonably specific to ubuntu processes, then it seems worth keeping.
    – Seth
    May 15 at 3:14

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