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I came across this answer. While the rest of the answer is valid, the first option/advice given was to run 10.10.

I did add a comment that it is dangerous to advise using EOL releases so that any reader(and hopefully the OP) will see my comment and at least be warned that it is not a good idea.

I am however, wondering if these should be flagged? I would have to assume that it would need a custom flag(needs moderator attention) as none of the others seem to quite fit. Maybe low quality? I know that questions about a EOL have been discussed here but there seems to be no definitive answer as to if they are off-topic...

Should we allow questions that are about releases which are considered End of Life?

Dealing with past-EOL release questions

so there doesn't seem to be much for me to use as a guide about answers, so, should these answers be flagged? If so, flagged how?

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  • 1
    In some cases this is unavoidable, e.g. to build AOSP (Android) from source, a 10.10 amd64 VM is needed. Also, archæology and all. I think it should be permitted, maybe with an explicit EOL note. (Though the casual answerer may not know when each version EOLd, and requiring them to look it up would lead to them not answering at all, so this should be no hard requirement, just something someone else can/should comment on.) – mirabilos Dec 6 '13 at 15:00
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    I see your point about it being unavoidable at times, and I really like the idea of an EOL warning, but as you said it might be hard to implement. The answer that actually caused me to ask this question was to run 10.10 as a daily computer, which to me seemed irresponsible and dangerous, so I'm not sure if the points you made would apply to it. I'd hate for AU to get a rep for giving bad advice by allowing or at least not posting some kind of a warning(as you suggested) about it being possibly dangerous. Ubuntu/Canonical have detractors that would love to make hay out of something like that. – TrailRider Dec 7 '13 at 0:22
  • Just in case I confused anyone with the last part of my comment: "make hay out of it" may be too much of an American(rural mid-western) colloquialism and maybe I should have used something else but it basically means that the detractors would love to use it to show how bad Ubuntu/Canoncial is if they let this kind of dangerous advise stand....Or to put it another way, never give you enemies anything they can use against you... – TrailRider Dec 7 '13 at 0:28
  • Right, which is why I suggested to put up warnings in such cases and, as for running it as “daily computer”, downvoting like hell. (Thanks for explaining the local reference, I would not have understood it otherwise.) – mirabilos Dec 7 '13 at 0:38
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    All versions become EOL someday. Will you retroactively add a warning to all "use version x" answers? – Iain Samuel McLean Elder Dec 8 '13 at 15:48
  • The problem is more that, when questions are asked about an old release of Ubuntu, like 10.10 (which only ended as of April last year, the current date being December 2013 (For future readers by the way)), they get flagged and deleted anyway, despite them being about a version of Ubuntu that actually is not that much different from more recent versions. – Wilf Dec 8 '13 at 18:23
  • @lain while I agree that editing all old questions would be a near impossible task, any risks of older questions would be mitigated by the fact that you can see the date the question was asked, so you should have an idea that the info might be out of date. We cannot stop people from following bad advise, but if we allow new(and by association, assumed still valid) answers to stand as is, so we then take on some culpability of the results of bad advise? – TrailRider Dec 8 '13 at 21:41
  • @wilf I'm not sure if your comment is in response to my question or on of the other comments(lian's maybe?) so my response may be irrelevant, but I am aware that EOL questions get deleted so I was not concerned about them I'm just not sure how to handle EOL answers-hence my question. – TrailRider Dec 8 '13 at 21:59
  • Yes, I was answering @IainElder 's point in some way, I was also trying to indicate that the problem is not only with End-Of-Life answers, but with many questions as well. – Wilf Dec 8 '13 at 22:08
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In the linked answer you say prompted this, rolling back to an ancient version is one of the few options, and the answerer even included a warning in the text:

This release is no longer supported, and therefore is not an advised option.

So, what's the problem?

I see this akin to someone really missing AfterDark as their screensaver program. "Well, you could run Windows 3.11, but..."

Maybe you should've just increased the severity of the warning with an edit? Fixed that for ya.

In the general case

My opinion, if the answer is bad or useless, downvote it. A new answer recommending an ancient version is, in fact, an answer. If you disagree with it, downvote it and add your own superior answer. I can think of tons of reasons to recommend an old version of Ubuntu. Blanket deleting any answer that falls in this category would be wrong.

Non-exhaustive list of reasons to use or recommend an old ubuntu

  • stuck with old hardware that is no longer supported
  • an app isn't packaged in current ubuntu
  • required to build some software (AOSP, as mentioned by @mirabilos)
  • current ubuntu introduces something horrible that can't be disabled
  • you sold support for your software on an Ubuntu past its EOL date and need to test a hotfix
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  • well I read that answer 3 times before posting and somehow missed the warning that was included....not sure how but.....and was not concerned with editing this answer per say but as a general question as to what should be the policy on flagging these type of answers should be.... – TrailRider Dec 8 '13 at 21:44
  • upon reflection(eh, it was 2 days ago so I had to think about it), I believe that I saw the warning but thought that it was overshadowed by the info in the rest of that option. So I guess you answer solved that part of my concern, but I would like a more general answer as to what the policy should be about these types of answers(esp. ones that don't include any warning).... – TrailRider Dec 8 '13 at 22:14
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Maybe a special "EOL Notice" would suffice. What if a user has an old server that can only support an old version of Ubuntu? What if their hardware works well with an old version and the admins are afraid to upgrade a system that is fine. So, we should keep questions/answers about EOL systems.

However, if someone asks a modern question and an answer suggests an EOL with an unreasonable reason/need to suggest an EOL, then yes, those should be flagged, in my opinion.

In summary, use common sense.

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