Are questions asking how to do something in a web browser, which either implicitly or explicitly must be accomplished by a plugin, considered on-topic? That is, should we accept questions like this?

My inclination is to say that this is on-topic, since such a plugin is software running on Ubuntu, we support third party applications anyway (so why not third party plugins?), and there are substantial differences in what plugins are available and how well they work, from platform to platform.

But I'm interested in seeing what the community thinks, as it's been suggested that this question should be closed as off-topic.

  • 1.) The currency conversion link didn't work for me. I got a "Page Not Found"? 2.) And not to split hairs, do you mean add-ons instead of plug-ins? I'm asking because, at least for Firefox, about:addons has plug-ins and extensions listed separately giving the impression that plug-ins and extensions are subsets of add-ons. 3.) I have the impression that more add-ons are OS-agnostic than not if we exclude certain proprietary ones.
    – user25656
    Feb 12, 2013 at 12:32
  • @vasa1 (1) Yes, after it was closed as off-topic, the question was deleted. If you can find other good examples of this, please provide them. Otherwise, only 10k users will be able to see it (unless it's undeleted). I can quote from it if you think it'll really help. (2) To split hairs further, I didn't say "plug-ins." I said "plugins." :) On a more serious note: Different browsers use terms differently, but I am asking a browser-agnostic question; there is no reason for me to try to emulate the way the words are used in a particular browser. Feb 12, 2013 at 12:40
  • @vasa1 (3) Can you expand on that? What does that mean for how we should deal with this issue? We answer platform-agnostic questions all the time; for example, Firefox and LibreOffice work mostly the same in Ubuntu and Windows but no one seems to think questions about them that also apply to Windows are off-topic. You may want to post an answer. Feb 12, 2013 at 12:41
  • No, it's just a comment that because browsers mostly play the same way across platforms. I was hoping to get you to elaborate on "there are substantial differences in what plugins are available" because such instances would be clearly be "on-topic". And since you feel that plugins are different from plug-ins, perhaps that bears elaboration as well.
    – user25656
    Feb 12, 2013 at 12:57
  • My preference is to ask a program-specific question in a venue dedicated to that program first and then if I'm pointed to an OS-specific aspect, I'd ask my question here, for example. But that depends on person to person. Others may feel more comfortable in an all-under-one-roof situation and shouldn't be asked to go elsewhere.
    – user25656
    Feb 12, 2013 at 12:57
  • Q has been undeleted to allow a wider audience to see what this meta is referring to.
    – fossfreedom Mod
    Feb 12, 2013 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


In my opinion the answer is NO but I totally understand your inclination to say yes.

I guess there is a broader question "What is the definition of Third party Software as it relates to Ubuntu? This may provoke differing opinions but my understanding is defined in this question and there is a possibility that we need clearer guidelines on TPS.

When I looked at the example you used I initially thought yes this is on-topic as the OP is using Ubuntu, but then I asked myself, if I was was googling this query would AU be my first port of call to find the answer? I think the answer to this is no. Therefore the question maybe considered too localized as it will not benefit others.

That said, I can be swayed by the thoughts and opinions of others and I am eager to know also what everyone else thinks.

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