Questions about the Ubuntu installation on Nexus 7 are starting to appear on AskUbuntu such as this:

Given that Canonical themselves have pitched the Nexus 7 as a development goal for 13.04 - should we as a community treat Nexus 7 questions similar to Alpha & Beta type questions i.e. off-topic?

Rather than a "yes/no" CW poll-vote answer below, I'm interested in your persuasive views as to how we should treat Nexus 7 questions - at least until 13.04 is officially released with full support for Nexus 7 from Canonical and Ubuntu developers.

What should be on-topic - what should be off-topic?

  • 1
    If those questions belong to Ubuntu, they are certainly on-topic. Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 21:38
  • 6
    Keep in mind that Canonical has made Ask Ubuntu (without asking us, from what I can tell) as the place for Q&A regarding the install/setup via the mobile. If we need end up differing on this topic, then we will need to tell Canonical what our policy is. Source on what Canonical wants
    – jrg
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 0:11
  • 1
    Source on what Canonical wants link appears to be in limbo at least for me at the moment. Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 2:03
  • 2
    Ubuntu wiki says, questions should be asked in askubuntu with the tag mobile
    – Tachyons
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 2:12

4 Answers 4


I've discussed the stewardship of the (was ) with some of the community leaders in Canonical who are looking to help maintain the tag in Ask Ubuntu. There is nothing special about this tag, it's actually just like any other tag , , , etc. The only difference is a blog post announced that this is where to ask questions about the now available Ubuntu Desktop for Nexus 7 device.

What I mean by nothing special the tag follows the same rules as all others on the site. Bug reports are off-topic, speculative questions about features that may be coming are off-topic, and all other policies we've maintained for the past two years that have made our site focused and high quality still maintain.

The Nexus-7 and Canonical "Mobile Team" have also committed to maintaining the tag (like Ubuntu-One, Kernel, and Application Development). Monitoring it for new questions and providing support and answers while also flagging and helping remove poor questions.

I also hope the community will apply the same tender loving care to incoming mobile questions as they do others. Editing them to make them more appealing to the site's policies and the community at large when applicable.

While Canonical/Ubuntu have done nothing wrong in announcing this, as the tag already existed and they're just taking it over in the form of applying man power to monitor the tag which drives more traffic to the site as such it will only provide us with more high quality answers and questions, I've asked they consider providing a meta post even in the form of a quick PSA about the intentions. Ask Ubuntu is new to the Ubuntu ecosystem and every day is a learning opportunity or us and them.

  • At the very least, they are having their developers answer questions. I do not think I am alone in knowing nothing about the Nexus 7. Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 18:31

Mixed opinion there...here's where I see it falling:

  1. General Ubuntu - on-topic
  2. Future target platform - it's an alpha feature - off-topic

So the real question is "Do we consider an alpha feature planned for 13.04 stable to be on topic because you can download it?"

My opinion is no. It's not a planned/feature for current stable, and as such it is off-topic. If it IS on topic, how far does on topic go for alpha features?

I'ld LIKE for it to be on-topic, but I don't see it being productive for the larger audience.

I think maybe we could have a stock question about Nexus7 and Ubuntu that points to an IRC channel as a place to carry on testing discussions about the future in that area.

This link came back up. I'm not sure how the two things reconcile.

I think it's great that AU is a go-to for getting answers, like a highly maintained and active wiki.

I think the earlier interpretation of on-topic and off-topic is sound.

If it's going to be on-topic, then on-topic/off-topic barriers are changing. I'm not sure how to handle it.

I know I don't seek out those questions and try to close them, nor should anyone. I do still think they should be close-able under interpretation of current on-topic/off-topic rules though.

  • 1
    +1 This is sensible. Of course, in the future when the "beta" label comes off, we'll need to rethink this policy. Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 23:06
  • But you also have to take into account that many are running/trying to run the current stable version on their Nexus. While discussion of future versions are off-topic, discussions of current ones are not.
    – James
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 14:46

I don't see why they would be offtopic.

The developers working on the project wanted to use Ask Ubuntu, and (more importantly) they're answering the questions and maintaining the tag. So what's the problem we're trying to solve?

  • 1
    Nothing wrong, but our current policy does not allow questions about under development development features. So atleast they should discuss it with us because askubuntu is independant of canonical corparation :)
    – Tachyons
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 11:22
  • 3
    The Nexus image is 12.10. :) Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 11:33
  • 2
    Yup, but this technology was not a part of 12.10, and still under development. Launchpad answers are better for this type of questions, If they prefer askubuntu ask the permission of the community in a meta thread , Let them decide :)
    – Tachyons
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 11:47

I actually don't think there is any conflict here with Canonical's intentions and Ask Ubuntu's policies about development releases.

We viewed using Ask Ubuntu to answer questions about our 12.10 based release, which is conceptually the same as a different flavor of 12.10, as our released image is a relatively static snapshot of an image in time. We had hoped to answer the most common usage questions or issues that users might run into for that image, just like the rest of Ask Ubuntu.

For the current 13.04 development cycle, we are encouraging people to use Launchpad (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-nexus7) where we handle bugs in the normal fashion. Once the rest of 13.04 development gets up to full speed, we envision having daily developer builds just like the rest of Ubuntu, and again for those, we'd expect Launchpad to be the appropriate forum to report bugs.

That being said, I do recognize there will be questions that fall into a grey area of what future plans around how an Ubuntu mobile OS might behave. I don't have a clear answer for how we should handle those types of questions, since this is clearly a brave new world for all of us. I would certainly welcome this community's wisdom on how these questions should be handled.

I do agree that Canonical should have communicated better with the Ask Ubuntu community, and for that I apologize.


  • +1, I was waiting for this answer :), a small communication gap can lead to big confusion
    – Tachyons
    Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 15:15

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