I recently flagged Kinect for Ubuntu users as Not Constructive, and my flag was declined. I'm wondering why — not because I care about the flag at all, but because it seems pretty clear to me that the question is at odds with the FAQ.

It was closed on Gaming before migration as off-topic, not because it isn't about games (it is) but because speculative questions are off-topic. Speculative questions are closed as Not Constructive or Too Localized on most other sites and we've only made them off-topic on Gaming because they're so common. The non-speculative portion of the question is also NC; it asks for a dump of non-specific information and it's not clear that there's a real problem to be solved.

Why does Ask Ubuntu view this question differently, so much so as to want it migrated here?

2 Answers 2


As the moderator who "approved" the migration from gaming, I'll explain.

In addition to what Bruno said in his answer:

From what one of the gaming mods said before they sent it over, it was more along the lines of it was opened-ended, not really related to gaming in general.

Here on Ask Ubuntu, with a wee bit of edit love, it could be a fantastic question.

I'm waiting for a spare moment when I can do an edit, but if someone would like to beat me to it, I'll approve it without a moment's hesitation. :)

  • Thanks for the feedback, I attempted an edit here. I would still have flagged it in that state, but to each their own :P Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 1:33

Being a operative system related Q&A site we normally deal with questions that involve hardware support for the platform.

The question linked presents 3 points:

  1. Is the Kinect controller supported under Ubuntu (can you make it do anything)?
  2. Can you play Kinect games in Ubuntu?
  3. Is there any software or plans for software development using the Kinect as a controller?

The first point is on-topic, being an operative system questions about hardware support are common and are accepted as valid. This point can even be answered with a question already existing in Ask Ubuntu:

The second point is a bit far fetched since there are no Kinect games for Windows (as far as I know) that could possibly be emulated in Ubuntu. Still does not make it that much off topic, we get questions all the time with "Is *random stuff the user wants to do* possible using Ubuntu?". They are not really high quality questions, but can easily answered.

The 3rd point is always valid when talking about a community that has learned to create, develop and support out of the ordinary projects. It is amazing the amount of small niches you will find if you dig hard. There is a high change that some group of people is actually developing and having fun while programming applications that use Kinect in any way. I would not expect something commercial or fancy, but probably exists.

I know this is not a great question, it is a bit speculative on the content and wont make the delights of a mind eager for challenge but some moderator thought it was still a valid question and declined your flag. I have to agree with him.

Since the question can be answered, will not involve opinion, debate, arguments, polling or extended discussion it seems reasonable that it stays.

  • IMO, "Is X possible?" generally means someone didn't do a web search. "kinect controller ubuntu" gives me plenty of relevant results. So that makes it 1/3 dupe and 1/3 incredibly basic. I see your point about the Linux community and that sort of project, but I'm still not sure "suggest me a community" is a good SE question. Overall, I find it strange that the flag would be declined as baseless, even if the mod wasn't going to take action. Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 1:42
  • @MatthewRead No, that question is 100% basic, no doubt about it, unfortunately the community has decided that Google is not the answer for any question ;/ Look, don't get me wrong, keep flagging, there was nothing wrong with yours, I am guessing that for the moderator that was a flip a coin situation and he declined the flag as it was, don't really know why. All flags are useful, I am just try to explain why the question would be in scope of the site or a possible moderator point of view. Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 9:04

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