Proposal: Ask Mint

A note to the moderators: PLEASE do not mark this proposal as a duplicate of Unix & Linux! An e-mail has been sent to Linux Mint regarding this proposal.

Several proposals have been made about Linux Mint in the past, with each one being rejected as a duplicate of Unix & Linux. How can the proposals show how Linux Mint is different, and what can be asked to make the proposal worth checking out?

Please leave your thoughts, and feel free to leave an answer to this discussion ONLY if you can explain how to make Ask Mint different from other sites on SE.

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  • One way to prove a proposal is needed: Take some good proposed questions and ask them on sites this proposal is supposedly a duplicate of. If they fail to provide any sensible answers, that's a sure-fire sign the proposed sites don't provide a good replacement for the proposal. And vice versa, if the answers are good, that means the proposal is not needed.
    – SF.
    Dec 10 '15 at 13:56

Let me take this opportunity to provide a bit of insight about how I look at brand new proposals when they first show up in the proposal listings.

I am not here to pass judgement on every new site idea regarding whether I feel they would make a good site or not. That is not my job. But I am here as an advocate for the process, and we don't generally let folks waste their time on ideas that are not good fit for the network overall.

But when I do close a proposal on day one, it is typically for one of two reasons: either the idea is something outside the purpose for which Stack Exchange was created, or the subject is already being well served by a site on our network (plus a handful of outlier reason not worth going into here).

But if I simply don't know or there could potentially be more behind this idea than I am aware, time is on my side — proposals are not sites — and there's plenty of time to let the process to play out. There is a lot to be learned by the process itself.

Honestly, when I saw a proposal for 'Mint', my first impression was that it would most likely be close as a duplicate of Linux & Unix. But there are only about 1500 of 80,000 questions tagged [mint] on that site, so maybe there's an untapped audience that hasn't been reached by the Linux site; that is, maybe there's an entire axis of questions specific to Mint that would be entirely inappropriate for Linux SE. Or maybe the author is the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates of Mint and they are about to unleash 642,000+ users unto a site of their own (I call that the "act of god" scenario).

Who knows; a few days of monitoring the 'followers' and example questions can bore that out. That is why I don't always close apparently ill-fitting proposals on day one. But an argument of "our subject is really awesome and huge and will be better served on a site of its own" is typically not a good argument to split off a site. These so-called "exceptional reasons" have to show up in the proposal itself… and they have to happen early on, or the proposal will likely be closed for the reasons I stated above. The definition and performance of the proposal is all we have to go on, and we cannot make assumptions that will make up for any short-commings in the proposal or audience later.

  • ...an argument of "our subject is really awesome and huge"... Hmmm. When you put it that way, I can see why I usually get downvotes for my arguments. I'm not trying to be a pain-in-the-neck, really - I just believe that Linux Mint's own SE site would be something that people (your everyday geeks) would want to use, and it seems I'm fighting a battle with U&L over what's considered by them as a duplicate site.
    – user145906
    Dec 4 '15 at 20:18
  • 3
    @BorWal No "pain-in-the-neck" was inferred. It sounds like a perfectly viable argument on the surface, but the problem is that everyone feels their subject is special, and you'd end up with about 780 programming sites and 805 Linux sites, and nobody would be better off for the experience. Tragedy of the Commons Dec 4 '15 at 20:28
  • Understandably so, hence why there is Super User and Unix & Linux, but for more popular versions of Linux like Linux Mint, it would be good to have a SE site for them. Flimzy posted on my argument that Debian wouldn't want a site on SE, but there has been talk about Mint on SE on Mint forums. It seems that there is interest, if you go look.
    – user145906
    Dec 5 '15 at 0:32
  • 2
    @RobertCartaino but yet Ubuntu gets their own site :( Dec 10 '15 at 19:25

How can the proposals show how Linux Mint is different, and what can be asked to make the proposal worth checking out?

The first step, is to ask example questions which make this point. You haven't asked any example questions.

If you're proposing a new site (especially one which has been rejected before), you ought to have a specific reason, and you should have a large sample of eample questions ready for the asking.

Why don't you ask them?

  • I don't use Mint, and probably never will. I've been a Debian developer for over a decade, I'm not likely to change to a different distribution now.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 21 '15 at 7:19
  • I see. I understand Debian's good, even though I myself haven't actually tried it. Have you considered LMDE? Not trying to force Mint on you, just wondering if you knew about it.
    – user145906
    Dec 21 '15 at 7:26
  • Nope. Not really interested.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 21 '15 at 7:34

What about the fact that Linux Mint now has a Debian and an Ubuntu based branch? Isn't this a reason to create a site? Why should Ubuntu have a site but not Mint? Or why do Ubuntu mods close Mint questions?

Also, where are all the Mint supporters? Mint is the #1 most popular OS(DistroWatch) while Ubuntu is just below and elementary is WAY down... HTF does elementary have their own site?

Last 12 months
1   Mint    3040>
2   Debian  1783>
3   Ubuntu  1631<
4   openSUSE    1332=
5   Fedora  1196<
6   Mageia  1024=
7   Manjaro 964>
8   CentOS  941<
9   Arch    807<
10  Android-x86 749=
11  elementary  747<
  • Elementary has their own site. It's a private beta, and i can access it.
    – Star OS
    Dec 18 '15 at 19:17
  • @StarOS that's my question. If Elementary has their own site while not being very popular according to distrowatch, then why does it have its own site while the more popular mint doesn't? Dec 18 '15 at 20:51
  • Sometimes it happens by luck.
    – Star OS
    Dec 18 '15 at 21:01
  • 1
    Or by demand. You have to have enough supporters to be able to push ANYTHING through that's already valid on another site.
    – user145906
    Dec 18 '15 at 22:47
  • @BorWal Yes, that applies too.
    – Star OS
    Dec 21 '15 at 8:32
  • How do users with a cinnamon desktop ontop of fedora fit into this chart? Seems like with the official fedora cinnamon spin that some users are left out. I can say it would be nice to have a place to ask cinnamon related questions.
    – Jake1164
    Dec 31 '15 at 13:44

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