I'd like to suggest some improvements to the "not about Ubuntu" close reason.

"This is not about Ubuntu"

As it currently stands:

This is not about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux, those about Windows on Super User, those about Apple products on Ask Different and generic programming questions on Stack Overflow.

I'd suggest a link to the help/on-topic like so:

This is not about Ubuntu within the scope defined in the Help Center. [ .. ]

in order to clarify what topics are specifically allowed. The current text doesn't give much information about what is actually on topic. It's not a huge change, but should be significant to new users.

A while ago, there was this reason which was quite adequate:

Questions on Ask Ubuntu are expected to relate to Ubuntu within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.

  • This should be in the template for any Off-Topic close reason, not added to every custom one ... I'm actually a little confused as to why that's no longer there.
    – user98085
    Feb 14, 2014 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


I'm not against this in principle but if memory serves (I wrote the current version), we're within a couple of characters of the message limit. You'd need to dig out space for it out of the existing message.

If it comes to it, we could dump the Apple section (I think that's the least used portion) and insert your suggestion as:

This is not about Ubuntu as defined by our scope. [...]

But it's getting a little crowded. As FEichinger points out, this is really something that all OT reasons should get automagically.

  • The only thing I see is a bunch of android Q's instead Apple's.
    – Braiam
    Feb 14, 2014 at 13:58
  • 1
    Could the off-topic not just be "This is not about Ubuntu within the scope defined in the Help Center." with link, and then have the help centre list those other sites instead? In particular (most likely to come up as non-obvious, I'd wager), users aren't told about generic programming questions going to SO on the scope page, only once the Q has been closed. It'd shorten the message while helping further clear things up. Just a thought, though.
    – Jez W
    Feb 14, 2014 at 14:07
  • I think that it's impossible to have a list of alternative sites in the close reason. Therefore, I support the suggestion by @JezW of having a simpler close reason and placing the alternative site links in the Help Center (on a separate age maybe?).
    – kiri
    Feb 15, 2014 at 9:27
  • 1
    The thinking was that because people are so reluctant to point people in the right direction with comments, we make the close reason as helpful as possible. The user has a problem that's OT here. They don't need our help pages, they need another site...
    – Oli Mod
    Feb 15, 2014 at 13:03
  • Does the character limit only affect the visible characters or the URLs as well? If the former, we could always do something like "This is not about Ubuntu. Questions...". Just make the not about Ubuntu phrase a link to the on-topic page.
    – terdon
    Mar 20, 2014 at 1:44

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