Proposal: Elementary OS is well-covered on the SE network already.

There are over 100 questions on Unix.SE.

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And 50 on Ask Ubuntu.

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How would an Elementary OS -specific proposal benefit SE and not draw audience from existing sites?

There are even a few EOS questions on Super User.

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    People are going to askubuntu because they have no other choice. eOS questions there are in fact offtopic. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 13:15
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    That's open to interpretation... "elementary OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu." – Jon Story Feb 18 '15 at 13:41
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    @cipricus - they are distinclty on-topic at Unix & Linux – warren Feb 18 '15 at 14:15
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    @warren they are not on-topic in UNIX & Linux because it is elementaryos based on, but it is better for everyone to have dedicated Q&A. When I search for solutions I type in google "how to in elementaryos". – vrcmr Feb 18 '15 at 15:06
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    @off217 - perhaps you didn't see the above screenshot: Elementary-OS is quite on-topic at Unix.SE. – warren Feb 18 '15 at 18:52
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    I don't see how this is a valid argument. Ubuntu is clearly on-topic at the UNIX&Linux.se site, yet it has a perfectly viable reason to have a separate site. Similarly, elementary OS would be on-topic at UNIX&Linux.se, but the community would benefit from a separate site with more targeted questions and answers. – LocalHero Feb 20 '15 at 13:58
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    @LocalHero - see how AskUbuntu was a very weird case: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/a/4148/2988 – warren Feb 20 '15 at 16:45
  • @warren you seem hell-bent on seeing no benefits to a separate site. Is there some other reason? – RolandiXor Feb 25 '15 at 20:07
  • @JonStory Yeah, and Ubuntu is an operating system based on Debian. Which is an operating system based on GNU / Linux. Which is based on Minix. Which is styled after UNIX. Which is heavily influenced by Multics. Your point? – Parthian Shot Jun 18 '15 at 1:07
  • ...Come to think of it, there should be a Mutlics and Derivatives SE. That would cover it all. All in favor? – Parthian Shot Jun 18 '15 at 1:09

Personally I'd love a dedicated elementary OS SE since those times I used askubuntu I was told "you're using elementary and this is for Ubuntu only", e.g:



I know now that questions regarding other Linux distros should be asked in Unix & Linux but I believe a site specifically for this distro (which has a rapidly expanding user-base) would be a very good idea.

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    "I know now that questions regarding other Linux distros should be asked in Unix & Linux" ... so it should be on Unix.SE :) – warren Feb 2 '15 at 19:45
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    Well, it should be... until it should not. I'm proposing it should not right now :) – Gabriel Feb 2 '15 at 19:46
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    WHY do you think Elementary-OS questions should not be on Unix.SE? – warren Feb 18 '15 at 18:52
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    BECAUSE the user base is big enough and the distro is active enough to warrant its own Q&A site here instead of just being a satellite in Unix.SE. – Gabriel Feb 18 '15 at 18:56
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    That would be like saying there should be a Java programming site instead of it being part of Stack Overflow. Or an R programming site instead of Stack Overflow. This is the point of tagging on the SE network :) – warren Feb 18 '15 at 19:00
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    Perhaps there should be, go create the site and we'll see what happens. Tagging does not convey the same sense of community as a dedicated site does. – Gabriel Feb 18 '15 at 19:02
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    @Gabriel creating an eOS.se doesn't automatically make eOS off-topic on U&L. It will continue to remain on-topic, just like Ubuntu is on-topic on U&L. – user118877 Feb 18 '15 at 20:41
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    @muru that's great, I don't believe I ever said otherwise. – Gabriel Feb 18 '15 at 20:43
  • @Gabriel Your second comment does imply it. – user118877 Feb 18 '15 at 20:44
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    @muru not really. I said that questions regarding eOS should be made in a eOS specific SE site, not that they should be made off-topic in U&L. – Gabriel Feb 18 '15 at 20:46
  • If "audience" is the argument, then Linux Mint, Fedora, OpenSuSE and many other distros should get a dedicated site first. – Andrea Lazzarotto Mar 31 '15 at 23:17
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    @AndreaLazzarotto no, those distros should get a dedicated site whenever their communities decide to get together and sponsor a successful SE site. Just like elementary OS users are doing right now. – Gabriel Mar 31 '15 at 23:24
  • Good, that is exactly what I was pointing out: the "number of users" argument is not valid. – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 1 '15 at 11:58
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    It is valid in the context it was intended, not as an argument in itself. A large and active number of users (particularly in the SE network) is a sine qua non requisite to warrant a SE site. – Gabriel Apr 1 '15 at 12:14

As Gabriel has already answered, askUbuntu is only for Ubuntu. Yes, Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu, but the same problem has also the community of Linux Mint. "You are using Mint, we cannot answer your question". The user base of Elementary OS is increased day by day and there are enough users to commit on the site. Rules are there to change. With the same thought, we should not have Stack Over Flow for other languages than English. However, there are many of them :)

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    Having Q&A sites in non-English languages is very different from splintering English language sites (eg Stack Overflow) into a slew of sub-SE sites (R, SQL, Java, Pascal, etc) – warren Feb 18 '15 at 20:09
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    Just wanted to echo "You are using Mint, we cannot answer your question". For nearly ten years of using linux i've seen it way too often. "Your using distro X we are distro Y so we cannot support your distro". Why have an elementary SE? I don't know? Why have Ubuntu if debian exists, why have debian if Unix exists? Same core, much different shell. – kenny727 Mar 18 '15 at 12:21
  • @OnlySomeDood Well, same shell (bash), much different UI. (Oh, I wonder whether my pedantry knob goes to eleven... faint click... Yes... Apparently it does.) – Parthian Shot Jun 18 '15 at 1:13

Some people talk about fragmentation to support the idea that Elementary OS is well-covered on the SE network already.

When I asked people on eOS g+ why don't they go to SE, I got 2 comments:

That is, one cannot counter the aforementioned proposal on the grounds that there is enough eOS stuff on SE. There is NOT.

About "fragmentation" one should not be abused: better focus doesn't mean fragmentation. eOS is top 10 ditrowatch hit nowadays, and when you are dealing with a specific distro&community like eOS and you have the opportunity of having your own platform for that, why not take advantage?

ElementaryOS will go far and far away from Ubuntu, while eOS questions are offtopic on askubuntu; but anyway: askubuntu is not the issue here.

Concerning unix.stackexchange (Unix&Linux), it will become larger and larger as

  1. there are hundreads of linuxes and
  2. U&L is not just Linux, but also Unix, Mac included, although there is a Mac-specific SE area.

And the more U&L gets bigger, the bigger will be the need for special distros like eOS to have their own Q&A pages, with clear rules to remove off-topic questions and blabber, like SE has.

Saying that we don't need eOS-SE because we have U&L is like saying we don't need U&L because we have superuser.

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    please comment your up or down votes – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 14:17
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    distrowatch numbers aren't really very helpful in supporting an argument, but that's beside the point. Bring eOS users to Unix.SE and make it better :) – warren Feb 18 '15 at 14:17
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    @warren - "distrowatch numbers aren't really very helpful in supporting an argument". how is that? I got your point on make U&L better, but do you get mine? "Saying that we don't need eOS-SE because we have U&L is like saying we don't need U&L because we have superuser." – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 14:18
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    "And the more U&L gets bigger, the bigger will be the need for special distros like eOS to have their own Q&A pages, with clear rules to remove off-topic questions and blabber, like SE has." This is just nonsensical. If you applied that logic elsewhere on the SE network, you'd have programming-language-specific editions of Stack Overflow. That's not how SE sites are supposed to work. – warren Feb 18 '15 at 14:20
  • @warren - If you understand what I mean then it is not nonsense, it is just that we disagree. Let me make clear that i am arguing here for the eOS users, not for the SE decision makers. area51 eOS has only 20 followers, and I want to change that, as it needs 40 to start or something as I need the SE eOS area for MY needs that I am pushing here. That's all. eOS is ridiculously limited to g+ while their Q&A site is not at all a solution for me. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 14:30
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    I understand what you mean. But what you mean doesn't jive with the Stack Exchange philosophy. – warren Feb 18 '15 at 14:39
  • @warren - I do not know their "philosophy". I never use this word in such a sense anyway. Also, as I said, I am not arguing as to convince SE admins here. They have pages on philosophy and cooking, on coffee, TeX-LaTeX, Drupal, Raspberry Pi, Magento e-Commerce platform, Christianity & Islam, role-playing games, chemistry, bicycles, Anime & Manga, French & German. They do not have pages on some languages, sciences, or ubuntu-based-non-canonical operating systems. Yet. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 14:55
  • @warren - considering programming, I see no "programming-language-specific editions of Stack Overflow", but I see they have a language-specific (Portuguese) Stack Overflow, one on puzzles for programmers, another on code review, another one called Programmers (conceptual issues). Also, there is one SE for philosophy and one for skeptics (a philosophical stance). You have Unix and Linux, but also a SE for Ubuntu (Unix and Linux again: how about that!) and another more for Mac (askdifferent indeed). they have coffee but not tea, nor do they have one on legal hot neurostimulant beverages. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 15:14
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    you're right: there are no, and will be no, programming-language-specific edition of Stack Overflow. Since SO's model is to bring all programmers together. There shouldn't be distro-specific versions of Unix.SE - since it's supposed to encompass all linux & unix questions & users. – warren Feb 18 '15 at 16:50
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    @warren - This is like Russel's paradox of classes. I am trying to put all this together, to identify the level of fragmentation that is tolerated. Either (1) askubuntu and askdifferent are already unacceptable fragmentation (because as you say Unix encompasses both; not that askubuntu should open to mint and eos as other users say here, but they shouldn't be here) or (2) they are at a tolerable and even necessary level of fragmentation, proven by their success and utility (which is my opinion). – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 17:23
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    AskDifferent.SE is not inherently a duplicate of Unix.SE (though it could overlap with Unix.SE and Super User). There was a huge discussion surrounding AskUbuntu when it launched; the tl;dr is that Canonical officially supports AskUbuntu.com (ie sends people there for Q&A). – warren Feb 18 '15 at 18:50
  • @warren - that's that then – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 19:00
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    @warren has explained my reasons for downvoting. – Jenny D Feb 21 '15 at 9:06
  • I unintentionally upvoted this answer. Sorry about that. – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 1 '15 at 12:00

It would be too tough for ask-Ubuntu to be "all inclusive" and cater to the users of Elementary OS for several different reasons.

  1. Elementary uses a GTK version that is not available in its Ubuntu counterpart of 14.04 Trusty Tahr.
  2. Elementary uses applications that have been built 'in house' and not so common on the straight Ubuntu camp.
  3. Elementary has it's own patches and code. I could probably think of other reasons as well.

I may have been a little redundant in my post but the point is that just because it's based on Ubuntu doesn't really mean very much as so much of the system has been altered. I wouldn't take an Elementary question to an Ubuntu site anymore than I would take an Ubuntu question to a Debian site.

Side note, I see my post has been edited, I'll remember to use better formatting in the future.


U&L is like a vast wilderness, and IMHO, should be for generic* or fringe distros (with a small user base), general non-specific Linux questions, and UNIX based OSs like the BSDs, etc. Largely distinct and popular distros with a massive user base should eventually seek to have their own site (as has happened with Ask Ubuntu). For example, Linux Mint, with its large and faithful following, should have its own site. Yes, Cinnamon is used on other distros, but most of its users are on Mint.

* By generic, I mean the million and one distros that just repackage a desktop environment with different branding and have nothing unique to themselves beyond a name or a weird package manager.

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    so you would want to see specific SEs for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora/Scientific Linux, OEL, SuSE, Mint, etc? – warren Feb 20 '15 at 20:39
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    "Eventually seek to have their own site" is not what happened with Ask Ubuntu. Ask Ubuntu was created before Unix/Linux. I don't see any advantage with splitting a distribution/flavor off from the general Unix site. – Jenny D Feb 21 '15 at 9:04
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    Warren: actually yes. Though, I do think that some clustering could work. For example, Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS,and Scientific Linux are essentially one thing so they should be together. @JennyD sorry I got my timeline wrong there. – RolandiXor Feb 25 '15 at 20:02
  • Agreed. In fact, there are a lot of "popular distros with a massive user base" that would need to come before eOS. This is not criticism for eOS, let me be clear. That is a very lovely distro and I like it a lot. But let's look at facts, not tastes. – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 1 '15 at 12:02
  • I'm sad that you see Unix & Linux as a wilderness :( If you took the time to stay around I think you'd find they have a nice cemented community as well as all sorts of questions, just on a smaller scale. – Seth May 6 '15 at 1:46

I think the answer isn't to create an ElemtaryOS.SE, but to turn AskUbuntu into a generic Linux, or Distro-specific site (ie questions related to one distro, not Linux in general, similar to how Arqade is for all games)

I can see why the Ubuntu one appeared originally, because it's the most popular Linux distro and has the most traction, but it's not growing at the exponential rate predicted 6 or so years ago, and I don't understand why we need this fragmentation.

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    we HAVE a generic Linux site - it's called Unix & Linux – warren Feb 17 '15 at 18:56
  • Hence the inclusion of "Distro-specific" - but yeah, fair point. – Jon Story Feb 18 '15 at 13:41
  • i posted my initial comment here as a separate answer: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/a/19809/128421 – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 13:57
  • @warren - U&L includes all Unix. Such an area should be used : (1) for questions of Unix scope (I am too incompetent to talk about those, but there is more than Linux and Mac), (2) for questions of larger Linux scope, like the kernel, etc, (3) for new distros with small communities that are not yet where eOS already is. Mac has its own SE. Why not eOS, while askubuntu is limited to Unity, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, maybe Edubuntu...? -- Saying that we don't need eOS-SE because we have U&L is like saying we don't need U&L because we have superuser. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 14:15
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    @cipricus - you don't understand the idea of Unix.SE, then: it is for **every Linux distro. – warren Feb 18 '15 at 14:16
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    @warren - you're hasty on that 'youdontunderstand' tune, i find it a little bit offensive. I used askubuntu a lot. without that i would have never went to linux and left wndws behind sort of. but then i tried mint and eos and wanted the same community-support. no way. askubuntu is just unity-kubuntu-xubuntu-et alia. There is U&L. I have asked there of course. but it's like asking a question in a full stadium. nothing like askubuntu. getting more people into U&L will only make the stadium bigger. What I want is to have a community-based-and-focused SE base for whatever distro I use. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 14:42
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    @cipricus - that would cause rapid and huge fragmentation of the Linux.SE network, we'd never keep track of all the duplicated questions... not to mention setting a hell of a precedent. Would we end up with new SE sites whenever a version significantly differs from the previous one, for example? – Jon Story Feb 18 '15 at 15:28
  • @JonStory - fair argument, but what is the alternative? why cannot duplicates be removed in SE as they are within askubuntu? - 1.the bigger a site is and the more people and the more questions in it, the more difficult will be to keep track of anything and the more useless will be the site. - 2.the more distro&community-specific a SE-network, the more useful. the precedent is there: askubuntu, excluding mint, eos and the rest. i grant that this is a spicy spot. if the askubuntu was open to eos, then no need for eOS-SE. but then what? no askubuntu, then U&L? – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 15:42
  • @JonStory - "Would we end up with new SE sites... etc" - I would say 'yes', on the condition that an OS has not only enough differences but also a large community in need of a SE network. Isn't community-support the capital thing here? The askubuntu presence is also capital. As long as it is closed to eos or mint, there is a real need for a mint-SE or an eos-SE, unless we get an ubuntu-based-askubuntu-excluded-SE. We cannot call all that goes out of the U&L circle a precedent for fragmentation as long as we already have askubuntu and askdifferent. If not: why U&L, if we have superuser? – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 15:55
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    That would be absolute carnage – Jon Story Feb 18 '15 at 15:56
  • @JonStory - I chose Ubuntu for askubuntu. I prefer mint, but on askubuntu I get an answer in one minute. Only that the questions on mint or eos might fall beyond the ubuntu-pure line of askubuntu. Community support is everything in Linux and SE is huge in that sense. Only that a specific SE-network has to correspond to a specific Linux-distro-community in order to be as useful as askubuntu. But for that it should be big enough and limited enough, hence no eos&mint there. Because they are useful to each-other they have become useful to others. True for askdifferent, not true for U&L. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 16:07
  • In fact I totally agree with you that askubuntu should become ubuntu-all-inclusive if that's what you mean. But the question asked here is different, and under circumstances that are contrary to what you prefer. There is also the problem that I already mentioned: askubuntu needs to limit itself too and to avoid fragmentation too. Their meta pages are very clear on this, and I have to agree with them in the sense that I mentioned: big, but not too big. – cipricus Feb 18 '15 at 16:17

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