Questions about Amazon search results appearing in the Dash in 12.10 are appearing here on the site. Example 1, Example 2.

Reading our FAQ:

This is not the right place for...Issues with the next version of Ubuntu (Ubuntu+1)

My question is Isn't this off-topic here? If not why not?

I'm very interested in this subject but I have voted to close both questions as they clearly do not meet the definition of acceptable questions in the FAQ. Are we making an exception due to the popularity of this issue? I'm okay with that in some cases but I'd like this exception, if that's what this is, to be better defined.

  • 2
    Here's a quickie before I get down to write a full answer.. - It isn't.
    – jokerdino Mod
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 6:58
  • @jokerdino thanks, nice find. I think the questions are useful but we should have a definition in the FAQ like '30 days out you can start asking about the next release'. Right now, reading the FAQ, it's explicitly clear that this is off-topic. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 7:04
  • Yes of course. The FAQ should be updated. Any takers? ;-)
    – jokerdino Mod
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 7:12
  • @jokerdino it's an issue that has come up before but has not been properly defined. I don't see any option to edit the FAQ, else I'd do it. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 7:18
  • @jokerdino: so the TL;DR version is...OK once Beta2 is out?
    – ish
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 7:31
  • @izx I would like to think so. To be honest, we never have an explicit scope on what makes it and what doesn't. It was more like on a per-question basis.
    – jokerdino Mod
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


If we go by what is written in the FAQ, yes we should be closing any question that is about Ubuntu+1. However, the agreed upon consensus about the Ubuntu+1 questions is that we allow questions about features that we are sure will not go away mid way through the development release and is generally useful for the masses when they are released for the public. Bug reports and discussion types will be closed as normal. This consensus never made it to the FAQ and so naturally, most new users and veteran users assume that all Ubuntu+1 are off-topic.

If we take this into account, those two questions about Amazon search results should not be closed as it can be useful for people when they eventually upgrade to 12.10 and it is a major feature that we can be sure will not be removed, particularly given that the development cycle is at the point of feature freeze and beta-2 milestone freeze.

Now, I think we should state the scope of Ubuntu+1 questions explicitly in the FAQ in order not to misguide users. I suggest we allow all questions about Ubuntu+1 once they are after beta-2 milestone (feature freezes doesn't necessarily mean no more features will be added). In addition, we can also entertain Ubuntu+1 questions that are of some value to the general public like those of HUD and webapps, regardless of which point in the development cycle do they get introduced into Ubuntu. This way, we can ensure that the questions don't lose their value in a matter of days or even hours.

  • 2
    +1, thanks. Note that this Amazon feature was added post-freeze with no input from the community, and I'm not convinced it will just coast through to final release in it's current form unchallenged. The privacy implications are significant and have not been addressed. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 8:11

I don't get why the FAQ says that, we probably just say that to discourage people from posting bug-like questions. From the last time I posted the question about this it seems that questions about the upcoming release is fine.

To me it's not a hard/fast rule about +1, the question will be useful to people. It just so happens that most +1 questions won't be useful to people.

  • 2
    Maybe there are two questions here, 'when is too early?' to ask, for the FAQs, and then one specific to this Amazon lens (which has not followed the traditional route for inclusion), which may be significantly modified or delayed to address privacy concerns before release. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 13:19
  • Well, the onus is on me to keep the question up to date. For the first part, I don't have a general rule, at some point it just starts to make sense around beta2-ish, but usually now-ish we start making sure the questions are up to date for +1 anyway. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 13:32

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