I recently posted a question titled Slow Simulated Typing Speed in Ubuntu When Using Nonprintable Characters on Ask Ubuntu. The question was about an issue I’ve encountered in Ubuntu related to the handling of nonprintable characters such as \n, \t, and \e. I provided a Python snippet to demonstrate the issue and mentioned that it isn’t limited to Python or the pynput library. I also noted that this problem doesn’t occur on Arch Linux.

Despite my efforts to ensure that my question was clear, specific, and well-researched in accordance with the community guidelines, it received two downvotes without any comments or feedback. I’m seeking guidance on how I can improve my question or understand the reasons behind the downvotes.

Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and understanding.

  • 6
    You did well to bring this question here on meta. While the premise of your question is beyond my field of expertise, I don't see anything with your post that could justify two downvotes. A suggestion for improvement: you could give just a hint more background-info that would help others to reproduce a proof of concept to study the anomaly on their computers. Also, I have upvoted your post to compensate for the situation.
    – Levente
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


First of all, remember that downvotes are personal. All it takes is for one user to have a bad day, or dislike your avatar, or hate people with an s in their usernames. Don't read too much into downvotes, that way lies madness.

Next, there are many people here on Ask Ubuntu with the mistaken idea that if a question involves any form of programming, then it is off topic. This is absolutely not the case; in fact, developing on Ubuntu is explicitly on topic.

Furthermore, there seem to be some folks here that will consider anything that even mentions a non-Ubuntu OS off topic, so it could be that your mention of Arch made them think that your question deserves a downvote.

In any case, your question seems fine to me, on topic and well explained, but you could improve it by adding a non-pythonic way of reproducing the error; while trying to investigate, I was forced to create python venvs to install the required package. It would also help to show the time differences between the problematic and non problematic systems so we know what to look for.

However, don't read too much into the downvotes.

  • 4
    "Developing on Ubuntu" is explicitly on topic only insofar as the development involves something specific to Ubuntu - generic programming questions go on SO (or elsewhere). OP's question seems to qualify since they are facing a problem they don't see on another distro, however.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 8:29
  • @muru that one is tricky, yes, but general scripting questions are also on topic here. There are very, very few things that are actually specific to Ubuntu, after all, and scripting in shell, python, perl etc. is an integral part of administering and often even using a Linux system so...
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 16:20

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