Ok, is a good information, but it is off topic. The problem is that with the amount of votes that both Question and Answer have, we would need 4-5 10kers to delete it, but sadly we don't have that many +10kers users active that would check the delete queue on regular basis. So, if mods ain't going to migrate the question to UL, the only course of action is deletion.

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    Why don't you spend your delete votes on actual garbage, instead of ridding the site of useful content, despite it's off-topicness? The golden rule of deletions is: if it's useful and you don't have anywhere else to put don't delete it. We might be able to migrate it to U&L though. – Seth Mar 5 '14 at 21:38
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    @Seth because somewhere we should start cleaning... – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 21:38
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    Great, start with crash, freeze, etc. – Seth Mar 5 '14 at 21:39
  • @Seth I do, but that's one question that yourself could easily finish off... why don't you? – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 21:40
  • BTW, Community ♦ doesn't delete upvoted questions or questions with upvoted/accepted answer. – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 21:41
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    I think we should migrate it ;) – Mateo Mar 5 '14 at 21:41
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    @Mateo That's probably the best solution. – Seth Mar 5 '14 at 21:44
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    @Seth you say "The golden rule of deletions is: if it's useful and you don't have anywhere else to put don't delete it." But Mint questions are not useful to Ubuntu users. – Richard Mar 5 '14 at 21:52
  • @searchfgold6789 Mint questions aren't exactly useful to Ubuntu users, no. But that doesn't make the question useless (as Braiam wants to say). That was my point. – Seth Mar 5 '14 at 21:53
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    @Seth is useless in Ask Ubuntu scope, and that is the undeniable truth. Migrate it or delete it. I don't care, just that in AU doesn't stay. – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 21:55

Why delete? This question looks fine to me, aside from not being about Ubuntu. It could be migrated to Unix & Linux.

(Why doesn't AU have a migration path to U&L anyway? There are many of decent questions about Ubuntu derivatives.)

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    Here is the relevant feature-request for migration paths to be opened: meta.askubuntu.com/q/6493/44179 I was very much against leaving them closed at first, now I'm not so sure opening them is a good idea. Can you speak for U&L being ok with migrating this question though? – Seth Mar 5 '14 at 21:56
  • @Seth Here, lets discuss it again – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 22:02
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    @Seth For this question, sure. In general, I'd expect AU close voters to know what belongs on U&L — if it's fine for AU except for being about a non-official Ubuntu derivative, Debian, or other Linux distribution, it's fine for U&L. It would be nice to have data though, I'll see if an employee can help. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 5 '14 at 22:07
  • Delete was in case mods doesn't migrate it. My point is it should not be in AU. – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 23:08
  • Now, can somebody flag it to migration? – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 13:31
  • @Gilles This is answered already, and closed for the right reason. Why delete the answer and migrate it to get a similar answer? – Bruno Pereira Mar 6 '14 at 15:36
  • @BrunoPereira Why would you want to delete the answer? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 6 '14 at 15:41
  • @Gilles I dont, it does not bother me at all, its fine where it is... – Bruno Pereira Mar 6 '14 at 15:42
  • @Gilles besides, its a dumb question where the OP was using the wrong syntax (or dconf keys) to get to do something he wanted, I am sure you can rephrase that in to something prettier and post it in UL. Can I recommend something like: How do I programmatically add custom key binds to Linux Mint? – Bruno Pereira Mar 6 '14 at 15:47

This question was well written, upvoted, featured, and had 6 upvotes.

Unfortunately the OP made a mistake to admit they are on Mint in a comment, and to add screenshots with a Mint theme.

Does this justify to edit the question for putting "Linux Mint" into the title, and to tag it with ?

enter image description here

This edit consequently led to downvotes, and close votes.

It may have been good to edit the title and tags if the question was all about Mint, a Mint bug, or procedures only valid for Mint. But as far as I can judge it this was not so here. It was a well written question on configuring Cinnamon (which per se it not off topic here).

We probably should put more effort in closing and deleting the many really bad questions but not in hunting borderline cases which were nicely resolved.

  • Yeah, but somewhere we should start. I had to make obvious that it was about mint otherwise the question would confuse more than one and stop the audits for being useful. We should have aggressive moderation due our size, being lax is not helpful. – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 21:54
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    @Braiam A law and order attitude is not helpful and rather harms users than encouraging them. While I also tend to want having everything cleaned up the way I prefer, I learned that this is not always how things should be and I need to think things over. – LiveWireBT Mar 5 '14 at 23:47
  • @LiveWireBT but then, you will encourage the bad done? If you don't sanction/act upon the bad done, how will users know they are doing it bad? We should encourage them to do the right thing, right now we aren't. – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 23:48
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    @Braiam What is your definition of bad? Mine is harmful. The only harm that this question faced came from you. A moderator can still move the question later. Do you actually know what to do with the criticism you receive, or are you just to busy and write off everyone else as stupid and wrong? – LiveWireBT Mar 6 '14 at 0:00
  • @LiveWireBT apparently is the only thing that you see. My point of view of bad is "outside what are the rules AU was build upon", everything that fails to meet our scope is bad for us. – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 0:15
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    @Braiam No it's just bad from your point of view and you don't want to help improve the situation by finding a smart solution to the problem (destructive logic doesn't help and there is no rule that says that these questions have to be deleted - it's just your golden hammer). I don't like the attitude of some Mint users either. But that's a completely different topic. That question and answer did no harm to anyone, you just simply don't don't like it and you should stay away from such things that generate strong feelings on your side. That's better for everyone. – LiveWireBT Mar 6 '14 at 0:40
  • @LiveWireBT askubuntu.com/help/on-topic I quote: This is not the right place for: Linux Mint, Backtrack, Gnome-Remix (prior to 13.04) and other Linux distributions (try our friends at Unix & Linux Stack Exchange). Also, I am active answering mint, centos, ubuntu, debian, fedora, etc. in UL. Why you say I don't want to be helpful. I'm saying is not our goal to answer those question, ergo, tell them where to get their answers. Point. If you read more than that that's your point of view. – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 1:11
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    I'm not sure what you are trying to convey here Takkat. It's a Mint question, AU it's not the place to ask about Mint questions, and lying to us is bad. Votes is irrelevant in the face of an off topic question, as it made someone fail a review audit. UL said that the question is just fine for them, why you think is not? – Braiam Mar 7 '14 at 1:55

Let's try to be as objective as possible in the ideology of Mint vs. Ubuntu:

  • You can install cinnamon in 13.10.
  • The answerer found that it's actually a gsettings syntax error.
  • The asker agreed and accepted the answer.
    • He even awarded a bounty.

Despite being off-topic, everything else that the asker and answerer show there is good citizenship and how the site should work. Now we just need someone kindly enough to take the question to the Stack Exchange instance where it should belong to and kindly remind the users to ask non-Ubuntu questions not at AskUbuntu.

In short: Handle things gracefully.

Let me reiterate: We have all this fuzz and ideology war over a simple syntax error.

One shouldn't be that obsessed with keeping the site clean, that he actually thinks of deleting useful - and not by any means harmful - content and questions, where users also show good citizenship (but someone accidentally said the word "Jehovah"), just because that's the only thing he can do for now.

enter image description here

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    No, if you allow a single Mint question, what prevent us from accepting Debian's, Arch, Red Hat's? It is off topic, close it, migrate it and delete it, just that in AU isn't the place to ask about those distros and we should be firm about it. The problem doesn't matter but the philosophy is at stakes here. – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 23:45
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    Calm down, take a week off, think things over. AU will still be here in a week. What part of handle things gracefully did you not understand? If you can't, let someone else take over. Are you even aware that this site is not a one man show? – LiveWireBT Mar 5 '14 at 23:53
  • how much we have to handle things gracefully? That doesn't work! The current state of affairs was because we are not fast/aggressive enough. Closing the question will tell OP where to get help, point. That's as far we should go. We are in the point of "if we don't do something and fast things will get worse and worse". – Braiam Mar 5 '14 at 23:56
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    @Braiam Things will get worse? At wich rate? Will we see more users kindly answering more questions about Mint tomorrow? Sounds great to me! As you're very busy with relabeling everything we would then just need another instance for Mint and move them all over there. Just solved your problem with non-destructive logic. – LiveWireBT Mar 6 '14 at 0:26
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    66% answered, most of high reputation guys are unactive, want me to tell you what FEIchinger already said? Please, drop the impression that closing and deleting is bad. Is just cleaning up the house. If we don't things will get worse. In what way should I put it so it's understandable enough? – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 1:13
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    "a simple synthax error" I see what you did there! – Jorge Castro Mar 6 '14 at 2:44
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    @Braiam Please tell me what the results of these discussions were from your point of view! You want to remove a perfectly answered and accepted question (that's quite contradicting) and you encourage users to act destructive. Which is awfully inefficient, but I guess that's how you have to do things if you don't want to be disturbed by others during "cleaning the house". If your activity at SE is as beneficial as you like to pretend, you should already know better. But it more and more appears as an obsession that is not particularly beneficial and that's why you do this all by yourself. – LiveWireBT Mar 6 '14 at 9:05
  • I don't care anymore... you guys don't understand that being helpful doesn't mean that we can't close/delete questions. The most upvoted answer and my question essentially says the same yet nobody has flagged the question for migration. If nobody is going to migrate it I'm voting to delete it. You want the question somewhere, JUST FREAKING FLAG IT ALREADY! – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 13:39

Honestly, we're not that different. I'm a stubborn old goat at times (as you of all people know) but if I see things going this far, I try to step back and listen to what other people are telling me.

In this particular case it might not be a vote against what you're saying but one against how you're saying it. Personally I took particular issue with the phrase:

... the only course of action ...

It's literally incorrect and even by our rules and guidelines, it's just not true here. This question has multiple options:

  • We could sanitise it and re-open it — it applies to us and it's a good question
  • We could close and leave it and do something useful today
  • We could close-dupe it against an Ubuntu-centric version if that exists
  • We could migrate it to somewhere Mint is on-topic
  • We could delete it — depriving the internet of its wisdom and its users of their reputation.

These options won't always apply for every question about Mint and other examples might have extra options, I'm just trying to highlight that the argument you've picked doesn't benefit us, it's pure compliance. The other options are much less destructive.

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    But, our rules say that anything not Ubuntu is not the right place for it. This mixed signals are the reason why you wonder how people who problem has nothing to do with us end here There's no interpretation. If it was a windows question it would receive the same treatment. I'm seeing a fundamental flaw here and it's that we are trying to be helpful against what the propose for the site is answer questions about Ubuntu. I just don't want a question that is not about Ubuntu on AU. – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 17:02
  • If nobody is going to migrate it, the only course of action is deletion, that is the next step in closing questions. You want to be helpful, migrate it. Why it is still not migrated? If the other site said yes, and is not on topic here? Why the resistance to take action? – Braiam Mar 6 '14 at 17:04
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    Ask Ubuntu isn't the right place to ask about Mint but this is a fairly valuable question about dconf, not Mint. As a few of us are saying, it would be more beneficial in this particular case to just remove nods to Mint and move the hell on. – Oli Mod Mar 6 '14 at 17:12
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    the problem is - is I can't rely on a question being right for Ubuntu if we solved it for mint, there were several comments from the OP(since deleted) that things that would have worked in Ubuntu - didn't work in his system - since it is now tailored to work for where mint puts stuff... how can we now use it as an instruction on how do to something in Ubuntu? – Mateo Mar 6 '14 at 21:28
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    @Mateo Really, the question isn't about what is being set or where in dconf that's happening, it's how you set that type of setting. And even if the named setting is Cinnamon-only, Cinnamon isn't off-topic. – Oli Mod Mar 7 '14 at 13:54
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    I wasn't suggesting that cinnamon was - but mint is. I have added an answer to this meta post - to suggest that a new question about ubuntu + cinnamon should be created(unless the user truly switches to ubuntu) so we have this concretely documented for Ubuntu. – Mateo Mar 7 '14 at 15:47

Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers.

This is a site about Ubuntu, plain in simple. If we have questions that are clearly Mint-specific, we become a Mint site and that's potentially confusing to future users.

Sure, it's useful, but just because something is useful doesn't mean it belongs here, so we should migrate it. If we can't migrate it, I for one see no reason why it should not be deleted straight away for the simple reason that it doesn't belong here.


I agree with handling things gracefully. I also agree that having simple rules which are easily understood and do not need case-by-case interpretation is very important for wider community participation.

I think in such instances if we wish to keep the QA in AU, textual reference to Mint should be removed; even the image could be obscured a bit.

If OP insists on leaving text and image unchanged, migrate to U&L.


I think we should actually just reopen the question.

Should we close questions where someone is using Linux Mint and not Ubuntu? Yes. But we don't have to be so rigid about it as to close questions that already have clearly useful, upvoted answers that are fully applicable to Ubuntu and are already helping Ubuntu users.

Now, it's understandable why it was closed, since to a extent it is about Cinnamon, and Cinnamon is part of Mint while not ordinarily being part of Ubuntu. Cinnamon is also available for Ubuntu but it's used by a much smaller fraction of Ubuntu users. But it is available for Ubuntu. We have many other Cinnamon questions open on the site. Assuming the question and answer happen to apply equally well to Cinnamon on Ubuntu, I think we should reopen this.

Another benefit of reopening the question is that it would allow more answers to be posted, so if there are any issues specific to this problem for people who use Cinnamon on Ubuntu, new answers could address them. There seems to be a strong sense in the community that there's something of value to us in this question; reopening it would let people contribute answers that fill any gaps that may currently exist in its applicability to Ubuntu users.

So, in summary: If we're prepared to keep this on the site because it's helpful to Ubuntu users, then it doesn't need to remain closed. If not, or if there is no consensus about what the question's status should be, we're not under any special obligation to do anything to it. But to an extent I agree with Braiam: While we shouldn't delete this, we should strongly consider migrating it to Unix.SE if we really consider it inappropriate for Ask Ubuntu. Although I totally disagree with the idea that we have to delete useful content to achieve perfect policy compliance, I think it was reasonable and valuable for Braiam to post about this issue on meta.

It's tempting to think of every question as an opportunity to set precedent for the way future questions will be handled. There is some truth to this mindset; sometimes inconsistencies can be confusing, and we should consider what will happen later as a result of how we handle questions now. But foolish or pointless consistency is no better than inconsistency. A question is first an opportunity to help all Ubuntu users (and other site visitors), a second an opportunity to help the OP (a close second), and third an opportunity to shape site policy (a distant third).


If anyone has tested a fix for Ubuntu + Cinnamon, I suggest making a new Question that is well documented with a self answer.

This will:

  1. Keep the original answer tailored for the asker, on the original question.
  2. Allow a form of the question to be on the site.
  3. Not encourage falsifying information.

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