Unless this is a Mono port of stackoverflow and it is running on Ubuntu server.

Please clarify

(Ubuntu's bug #1 is that Microsoft is more popular than Ubuntu - see at https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1 )

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    This question belongs on Meta, since it's about askubuntu.com and not the Ubuntu software. Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 16:13
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    @Tzury , your question would be better if you reworded it to be less argumentative. Please see the FAQ which says "Avoid asking subjective or argumentative questions. If you must ask a subjective question, make sure it meets the six guidelines for great subjective questions, or it will be closed." Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 16:32
  • @Stefan, thanks for editing. That's better indeed! Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 16:36
  • Is this discussion really appropriate for the SE community? It seems like the discussion below should really be directed towards Ubuntu leadership and why did they choose AskbUbuntu.com over the alternatives. It seems like this is part of a larger disagreement within the Ubuntu community, and the posts below are cannot be answered here. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 19:16
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    @Stefan I agree that this isn't something that can be answered here. But it's also important to remember that "Ubuntu leadership" didn't choose this at all. I know there are a few Canonical employees on here, but this did happen as part of some business plan. This has been a "community" effort. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 23:06
  • Thanks for the correction @andrewsomething . Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 23:11

6 Answers 6


If you read Bug #1 closely it's that

Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace. This is a bug, which Ubuntu is designed to fix.

This has nothing to do with Servers, as I (unofficially), estimate that Linux Servers far out-weigh those of Microsoft and Apple servers. So having the StackExchange platform run on a Microsoft stack isn't so much detracting from Bug #1 - but rather is helping resolve Bug #1 by being able to provide this magnificent platform for which to offer support for Ubuntu related questions.

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    Great Answer. How is using Microsoft stack exactly making this platform be better ?
    – koushik
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 6:34
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    @koushik Because the developers of the platform are C/C# developers that are accustomed to working on a Microsoft Stack! The time and effort it would take to convert it to another language would detract from creating and supporting future features for our needs Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 12:38
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    @koushik: Canonical/Ubuntu did not develop Stack Exchange. The choice of technology is up to the Stack Exchange developers, who have no relationship to Ubuntu. And personally, I think they've done a great job!
    – Matthew
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 18:08

Even Canonical makes software for Windows. See the upcoming Ubuntu One client for Windows.

askubuntu.com isn't here to fix bug #1. We're here because we like Ubuntu and want to help others learn Ubuntu.

Be careful with religious attitudes, Ubuntu is just one tool among many. Use what you think is the best tool for the Job. If the SE developers want to use a Windows platform good their application, it's because they think it's the best tool for them. And we benefit, because the SE sites are a great application. I say this as a Unix user for 19 years, and a Unix admin for 10 years.

If you feel that you can do better with an Ubuntu-based platform, then good!

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    This isn't really a "religious" issue - it's a dogfood issue (to use the Microsoft parlance).
    – Broam
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 17:26
  • @broam : Good point. I guess I just like a variety of different kinds of dogfood. Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 18:00
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    Well, on second thought "eating your own dogfood" is a bit of a religious issue, and is sometimes at odds with "Use the right tool for a job". When you only eat your own dogfood, everything starts to look like a meal. Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 20:49
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    Ubuntu would have never existed if it weren't for those 'religious attitudes' you seem to disdain so much. The question isn't really why the SE devs choose their platform, its more why we are choosing the SE platform over OSQA or Shapado.
    – unomi
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 11:22
  • I guess the answer to that question depends on your definition of "we". I think we know why the StackOverflow/StackExchange community chose this platform, although I'm not clear what Canonical's opinion is. Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 18:02
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    This does seem extremely hypocritical. While I understand the whole dog food / religious crap, this is just... stupid. Ubuntu HAS server software, why are they not using it? Do they not support it? And yes, they make software for Windows, but they make FOR Windows users. They are directly supporting M$ by doing this. This just defeats the entire purpose of creating Ubuntu. It's about freedom and open-source, and Ubuntu can't even seem to stand by it on a side project, AskUbuntu? Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 19:11
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    AskUbuntu is not run by Canonical or the Ubuntu project, it's run by Stack Overflow Inc. And the fact that a bunch of "windows-users" wants to run a site to help Ubuntu does help bug #1, right? Once they see how good and helpful we are they will switch over and start porting stuff to Mono. Or Vala... ;)
    – JanC
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 23:25
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    Oh, and of course ubuntu.shapado.com exists too.
    – JanC
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 23:50
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    Dogfood/batshit comments aside, U1 has nothing to do with Canonical supporting Microsoft or the Windows platform. Many Ubuntu users need to use Windows for various reasons, and U1 is there to help them manage their files on both Windows and Ubuntu. U1 is there to sync files between different platforms, doesn't make sense to exclude Windows and drive away users due to the exclusivity.
    – Oxwivi
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 10:26

Leaving my opinions aside:

Argument for:

It's the best tool for the job as it is the most mature and polished. A good user experience is part of Ubuntu's purpose so it makes sense to make decisions to support that.

Argument against:

Ideally, using proprietary software is only acceptable when one is writing a free replacement for it. This site is not being used to write its free replacement, it is being used as a supporting tool for users of another free program. Is the user data under Canonical's complete control? No. Is it under the users' complete control? No.

However it is CC-BY-SA licensed.

It's the same old "Open Source" vs. "Free Software", Pragmatism vs. Idealism, Best-Tool-For-The-Job vs Free-Tools-For-The-Job arguments this community will always have until all software fits both categories.

I'm here because the users are here, and yet I'm also on other sites because I want the users there.

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    Also, data dumps are monthly made available via BitTorrent. Even if SO wanted to turn evil and bring the dumps down, they wouldn't be able to so long as there are alternative seeders ;)
    – badp
    Commented Oct 17, 2010 at 22:35

Hopefully the Microsoft patents will expire by the year 2100 and this platform will become public domain. :D

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    Wow... what an interesting thing to consider. Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 22:34

Ubutnu Forums are the official forums for Ubuntu-related help, support and discussion. It runs on proprietary software. The main aim of this site is not to promote particular types of software but being a useful resource for the community. And I think that the StackExchange model is very useful for getting your questions answered.


I don't know anything about the infrastructure of either askubuntu or Stack Exchange (other than the software is open source), but don't think picking a tool simply out of principle is practical for a large project such as this. When it's just you and your desktop running tools for yourself, then you should feel free to use whatever floats your boat, however when the project is a site like this, then you have to consider the users before yourself, and whether or not using entirely open source tools will have a positive or negative impact on the user experience, and thus on the quality of the support they receive. If Microsoft provides the best possible tools to that end, then that's something we're just going to have to live with for the time being.

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    StackExchange Platform (which runs AskUbuntu) isn't actually OpenSource Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 16:40
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    You're thinking Shapado which is run as SaaS (but the code is AGPL)
    – Broam
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 17:25
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    Heh, guess I know even less than I though :P
    – user2405
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 17:28
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    there is ubuntu, there is Centos there is Nagios, there is perl, there is windows, there is more than just the code in our infrastructure NOW you know a little about our infrastructure :)
    – Zypher
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 1:31

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