Old posts with outdated info, which are irrelevant to the currently supported versions, should be excluded by the search engine bots. Perhaps, they should be marked and archived (i.e.: Internet Archive, Wayback Machine).

This is not a thoughtless post. I am active on Internet Archive, regularly searching for information for Wikipedia. The current process of recommending webpages for archiving is very slow. Which entity archives webpages currently? Companies who want to eliminate advertising outdated products.

The same Ubuntu tech page from 2004 popped up twice in a search result, and that is on Ubuntu to deal with. Block these pages from being included by search engines. This doesn't need an individual's involvement, and we gain more time by not reading irrelevant solutions to current problems (in 2022).


  • 2
    Who will go through and do that? Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 3:58
  • 4
    Are you offering to do it ineuw? Personally, as long as release details (ie. software stack clues) are provided, any answer on a related question can be useful in my opinion; as it just needs adjusting to a more modern stack I maybe using. Yes there is knowledge required to do this, but my own knowledge base isn't that large, and it's mostly clues I look for in answers, as I won't copy/paste any suggestions/answers until I understand what they'll do & thus can adjust for my own system(s). Release details to me are key details required (if LTS release; kernel stack too regularly)
    – guiverc
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 6:44
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    Related: meta.askubuntu.com/a/19685 Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 8:10
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    I am wondering in the absence of developers producing an 'Archived' feature if we could develop a tag such as 'Obsolete' to place on older questions. This question seems to be targeting Google ' Wayback machine etc so perhaps a separate Meta post might be needed to discuss this idea...
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 7:15
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    @andrew.46 That new tag, though, would have to take the place of one of the other tags, if the question has 5 tags, which is sub-optimal. Unless SE developers would be willing implement the ability to add it as a sixth, special tag for questions older than a threshold. If this tag would be for AU only, I don't see it as something that they would be willing to do, unfortunately. Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 18:03
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    I'm wondering why you keep saying this "doesn't need an individual's involvement". How do you expect this to happen? Everything in Ubuntu is the result of the collaborative efforts of many individuals. Right now we don't even have the framework to do this on Ask Ubuntu. As part of the SE network, we need to ask SE for a new feature-- and we have long requested an Archive feature. You are not the first person to want a way to mark content that is no longer relevant. I'm very interested to hear your plan to implement this without the involvement of any individuals.
    – Nmath
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 23:42
  • Related: Introducing Outdated Answers project and the related answer quality tag on MSO. Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 19:28
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    @andrew.46 Ehh... I don't think a tag like that is a good idea as it would be a meta tag which isn't good IMO, so I (respectfully) don't think using tags to indicate outdated content is a good-practice
    – cocomac
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 21:51
  • I think that you are all far more knowledgeable than I ever hope to be, but you are missing the point. Nothing needs to be manually tagged. Webpage creation date and the number of hits over the years are excellent indicators. There is analytical data galore since day two of the interweb, oops, I meant "internet". These will not be deleted, but archived and as accessible as they are now but not showing up for solutions of the recent years. .
    – ineuw
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 1:08
  • OK. Let's assume that we want to automate obsoleting questions before a certain date and questions below a vote threshold (even though that would be a really bad idea because there's tons of good information that is not heavily upvoted and old information that is still relevant.) Even if we made this decision, we still need some framework to implement this, which we don't have and can't get easily without the cooperation of SE. And suppose we wanted to blindly automate this task, someone would need to write the program and algorithm to do that, which again, we have no control over.
    – Nmath
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 8:47
  • The tools we have right now are not perfect and as it's been pointed out, we have raised the issue of adding an archive feature with SE and I personally hope that is something that is implemented. So I definitely think we should tackle this problem, but I definitely do not support doing so in any kind of automated fashion. The content in Ask Ubuntu is community moderated by individuals, not algorithms. This is a driving factor of how the site is designed to work. Any archive feature should, and likely would be, based on votes from members who have the reputation for that level of moderation.
    – Nmath
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 8:51
  • This is what I recommend: web.archive.org
    – ineuw
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 0:32
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    The wayback machine is a web crawler that attempts to archive everything it can find. How does this translate to Ask Ubuntu?
    – Nmath
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 21:30
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    @pbhj neither apt-get nor dist-upgrade have been deprecated... Actually, not a single thing you mentioned has been...
    – Nmath
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 21:26
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    @andrew.46 There is a feature to mark posts as obsolete; it's in the lock menu.
    – gparyani
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


An answer might be outdated over time. Its abstraction rarely is though, even if actual info no longer works. I must say the majority of solutions I found, on AU as well as SO, is from outdated answers, using their procedures as an inspiration. Selecting and marking answers with no value in the current time is a subjective and undoable job. If they even exist.

  • 2
    Agreed. Answers, while outdated, may still serve as a good source of inspiration - even though some of the technical details may have changed. Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 12:28
  • Sadly, you are all missing the point. Too much philosophy and no analysis. Which is surprising to find on these websites.
    – ineuw
    Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 0:28

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