Hi everyone,

I'd like to flesh out how we run a little bit better so we don't collide. First, some background. The Ubuntu One team at Canonical uses Ask Ubuntu as a place where they send users to get community support (and they participate heavily in their tag).

On top of that, they put a cool button on the U1 control panel to send people here if they have questions:

enter image description here

Unfortunately sometimes users will use Ask Ubuntu as a fancy ticket system instead of just asking questions.

I am concerned that these will get closed before someone on the U1 team has a chance to look at it. I had a chat with Chipaca (the team lead) so I am proposing this for those of us with vote-to-close/edit powers:

  • We be careful about closing questions too quickly. For example a user asks question on Friday night and maybe someone on the team won't be able to get to it until Monday kind of things.

  • If the question is a support question that doesn't belong here, the U1 team makes contact with the person, gets them in the proper support channel and then flags the question for deletion so that we only keep questions that are useful for people instead of cries for help

So tl;dr is "yes, we know that question might be offtopic, but let's make sure the user has a place to go first and THEN close/delete."

Did I miss anything?

  • Questions that are valid in other support channels should only be closed. This way, users finding those get directions to the proper place. Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 15:02
  • @StefanoPalazzo Make sure you direct them to that support channel first.
    – Razick
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 22:47
  • Is this still happening?
    – Seth
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


I don't think we should get too despotic about these things. Ultimately any question has to fall into "we can deal with it" (be that with edits, as in this case) or "this really should be somewhere else".

On the face of it, I don't think we should treat any tag with any more leniency or we face getting bogged down in rotting questions.

But I do see the problem. We have people with issues that should be elsewhere (e.g. a bug report) but rather than just closing the question, we should still aim to help them, even if that means helping them get help elsewhere.

Ideally we'd have a "Belongs on Launchpad" close option that both explains why something might need to be reported and (better yet) how to file a bug. This seems like a minimal feature to me (and much simpler than the fuller "Migrate to Launchpad" option that we've talked about before).

... But how do we go about getting this implemented? Has this been suggested already?

  • iirc the agreed on solution was "it's offtopic and leave a reason why" Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 16:24
  • It's a bit manual having to explain how to do all that jazz each and every time. It also means the user has to notice the comment to gain anything from it.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 17:15

The tag wiki and excerpt should be updated - currently, it reads like an advertisement copy pulled from it's product page (probably is, too), but now that tags and their excerpts are easily available when asking a question, information on what not to post here (bug reports, etc.) should replace that.

ubuntu-one tag excerpt as shown on the ask question page

PS. Tag wikis are now editable by all, pending approval by users with sufficient reputations, so everyone can contribute!

  • agreed; it's better than what was there before, but it is copied verbatim from the ubuntu one site. Still waiting for better text, but there are so many higher priority things, we've not gotten round to this one yet. Soon!
    – Chipaca
    Commented Feb 10, 2011 at 21:33

The given example of a now nice question on ubuntu-one is also a good example to discuss on how far we should go when it comes to support U1 (or get supported by U1).

In the first place (go through revisions) this question was neither tagged ubuntu-one nor in any other way remotely reminicsent of the way we are used to ask here. I was very impressed how @dv3500 turned it good and interesting indeed.

I do feel that this may be a better way to handle these kinds of questions than just closing them as it may keep people happier with Ubuntu on the long term. However there are questions that ask for closing. It would be unfair to treat U1 questions differently.

  • Right, we should of course we should continue to edit questions for quality/sanity. Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 15:24
  • Regarding the tag problem, URLs to /questions/ask can be used to pre-populate the list of tags
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented Feb 9, 2011 at 14:16

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