I watch the tag for new questions, which has worked for a long time. Since yesterday, I see multiple questions getting closed for being offtopic.

See How do you get the website title to show up in the menu area / webpage title are in python / quickly created web browser? and How do you get http:// to load automatically in a web browser? for examples.

I thought these questions were allowed, especially since the first person uses Quickly for his application.

1 Answer 1


Well I'm reversing those decisions because yes, development is very much on-topic here.

To be clear these two examples are borderline generic (there's little to do with Ubuntu here) and I'd welcome people suggesting that the OP might have more luck on Stack Overflow... But closing it as off-topic is incorrect, because it's not.

To address the comments:

Just because I am using Ubuntu and developing an application using Python/Quickly/Bazaar make the question on topic? Suppose the question has got nothing to do with Ubuntu or Quickly or Bazaar or Launchpad (but OP mentions that he is using them) and its a purely Python (or any other language) related question - will that still be on topic?

I'm very reluctant to give explicit limits as to what's "on-topic" because there's inevitably a question that comes along that proves me wrong. I would say:

  • If it's a development question and it's here, it's probably somebody developing on Ubuntu. Unless it's really super-double-obvious that it's developing for another system, just let it stay.

  • If it's really generic, suggest they might get a better service from asking their question on another site and perhaps suggest they flag it for the OPs to migrate if that's what they want to do. (Please don't flag it yourself)

  • If it already has a valid answer, why are we having this discussion? Move along. Stop wasting your time.

  • If it's a question about compiling qbasic to exes on DOS, torpedo one away.

  • Questions about Quickly, Bazaar and Launchpad are almost always going to be on-topic but don't their presence in a question a whitelist or the lack thereof a black mark.

  • 1
    @Aditya I have added a non-exhaustive list of things I would consider when looking at a question. I think it answers all your questions despite only quoting two.
    – Oli Mod
    Apr 19, 2013 at 12:11
  • 2
    Personally, I think we close most development questions too quickly if it isn't exactly "Ubuntu specific". If we aren't going to make "Development on Ubuntu" more specific in the FAQ then we need to at least give them time to get a good answer.
    – Seth
    Apr 19, 2013 at 16:45

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