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Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-18 20:54
by mzilikazi
From another thread specifically addressing Ubuntu support on Debian forums:
Absent Minded wrote:Is this now our policy on helping ones with questions not Debian related? I just want to be clear on this as I had thought previously that questions and discussions of other things besides Debian were okay as long as they were placed in offtopic and at least involved computers (which is why I moved the thread). If this is policy (and even I missed it) I think we should make a formal announcment and have it added to our guidelines.

I don't know of any reason Ubuntu, Windows, BEOS, Solaris, BSD and any other OS questions could not go into Offtopic. Kink wrote about it in the Offtopic sticky:

Code: Select all
Please take note that the Debian User Forums' primary goal is for users to exchange information about Debian. We've got an Offtopic section, but please limit yourself to subjects that are at least remotely, vaguely related to Debian. That is:

Topics should at least touch on subjects related to computing or technology.


Certainly Ubuntu fits into that category as do all other OS's. The issue is (and this issue applies specifically to Ubuntu) is that all too often it is assumed Debian = Ubuntu which is of course very far from the truth. While I have seen a thread or 2 requesting help on Windows they are rare. I don't think anyone will know to read the sticky in Offtopic prior to posting an Ubuntu related question. This would likely mean more effort on the part of the moderators making sure all topics are posted in the right place. Do we need to update the guidelines? Maybe. I never thought 5 sticky threads at the top of each sub-forum was the best policy.

More opinions would be welcome (not that anyone here has any of those) ;)

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-18 21:45
by Absent Minded
Speaking for myself, I do currently move threads such as Ubuntu questions to offtopic. I do however get tired of having to explain Why. And some even attempt to argue with me as to the validity of my reasoning. Mint, Sidux and Ubuntu are the main non-Debian questions I see and move on a regular basis. Although I have not moved a thread or two that started out as Debian questions that had moved on into how Windows needs to be configured to interact with Debian. Just as a note, it was regulars here asking about Windows in their original Debian thread.

As you have said (and I agree) having a bunch of "stickies" a top each section doesn't seem to do allot of good as it seems many even ignore the users agreement and just hit the accept button when creating an account here. So, I am not sure just how to get the rules/guidelines and stickies somewhere that they will actually read them.

Although it occurs to me that one "might" read a title of a sticky or two if there are not too many of them ahead of it.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-18 22:11
by smallchange
Read the rules? We don't read no stinkin' rules!! :)

I don't think you will find a way to get new users to read the rules. Really there are not too many of these questions and they are really only a little irritating. They only stay alive if someone here tears into them, and that is sometimes interesting. In short I don't think you can make the situation any better than it is.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-18 22:20
by julian67
I've noticed plenty of these posts. I think they belong in off topic and that usually some people will offer help. If someone wants to argue that Debian is the same as distro X and that therefore they demand support blah blah blah maybe just repeat that Debian isn't Distro X and lock the thread?

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-18 23:31
by TobiSGD
My personal opinion: I think that the average Debian-User is more competent in using Linux than those users from distros derived from Debian, like Ubuntu or Mint. If someone comes with a question about Ubuntu or Mint, that the people in their forums could not give an answer, but people in this forum can, why should we deny the answer. These questions should of course be discussed in offtopic because thy are not really related to Debian.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 01:09
by vrkalak
Agreed . . . I think 'we' should try to help and answer questions about other (Debian-derivative) Operating Systems if we can. Even some non-Debian based OS ... like Arch.

Some Debian members use or dual-boot with another system.

But, it should be in the OffTopic Section of the Forum ... or make another section for Debian-based OS (derivatives) :idea:

I use Debian (Sid) exclusively, but, I started with other Debian-based OS' (Ubuntu/Mint/Crunchbang)... so, I am a bit knowledgeable about them. Even, if I don't use that system anymore.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 02:29
by Absent Minded
vrkalak wrote:Agreed . . . I think 'we' should try to help and answer questions about other (Debian-derivative) Operating Systems if we can. Even some non-Debian based OS ... like Arch.

Some Debian members use or dual-boot with another system.

But, it should be in the OffTopic Section of the Forum ... or make another section for Debian-based OS (derivatives) :idea:

I use Debian (Sid) exclusively, but, I started with other Debian-based OS' (Ubuntu/Mint/Crunchbang)... so, I am a bit knowledgeable about them. Even, if I don't use that system anymore.


I don't feel that members should be obligated to help. There are "some" that don't mind helping the occational question on other distros, I think this is fine. This however IS a Debian forum and that should be the primary focus. I have no desire to turn this forum into an Ubuntu free for all (or any other distro for that matter). I can however understand someone that has tried to get help elsewhere and come up empty handed and turns to a place known to have knowledgeable members as a last resort. We maybe called arrogant elitest here on this forum but it is also known that we have some of the most knowledgeable members of any Linux forum.

I do however feel that somehow we need to make it clear to those that post regarding other Linux distros that it should not ever be in our main support subforums. Ubuntu and Sidux users seem to be the worst for this and can't seem to tell there is a differance. Maybe it is because their distros tout "based on Debian" so they seem to think it means the same thing. It doesn't seem to matter to them that our forum and subforums (except offtopic) are marked specifically for Debian questions or discussion.

***
Edit: fixed some wording to make things more clear.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 04:49
by jheaton5
Lately, we have had several threads started by people coming from other distros and criticizing either debian itself or the forums in general. I don't mind assisting someone genuinely seeking knowledge, but I can't abide someone coming here specifically to criticize. I don't want to know "how we do it in ubuntu." People who come here for advice will receive it the debian way and should expect that.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 05:53
by nadir
jheaton5 wrote:Lately, we have had several threads started by people coming from other distros and criticizing either debian itself or the forums in general. I don't mind assisting someone genuinely seeking knowledge, but I can't abide someone coming here specifically to criticize. I don't want to know "how we do it in ubuntu." People who come here for advice will receive it the debian way and should expect that.

I'm with jheaton here. Both he said.
[ a) threads like "ubuntu does this and that, debian doesn't work" are annoying. b) If someone asks something he gets an answer, as long i know].

I don't care much where a thread is, in off-topic or general or wherever. Being flooded with threads is not our main problem, is it?

The threads are getting moved around already, so i don't know what the discussion might be good for at all. Cosmetics?
We had discussions of that kind and finally it was decided by whoever, but not by the result of the thread.
Made me feel pretty much like being an idiot that i did post at all.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 08:05
by Absent Minded
Yes, the threads get moved when I find them as is put forth in our guidelines. I can't say as all other staff do, I have seen mods and admin post to those threads and leave them where they found them. Maybe I need someone to clarify Lavene's words:

From item #7
However, try to limit the off topic discussions to the off topic category. Long off topic discussions in other categories might get moved or locked.


And from item #10
Moderators might move your thread to a more suitable category (for instance from 'General Discussion' to 'General Questions'). This is no cause for alarm and a shadow topic, linked directly to the new location, will always be left at the original location.


I highlighted an area as I have been told leaving a link in the original location is not understood by a few, just fallowing the rules I am given.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 08:38
by Absent Minded
nadir wrote:The threads are getting moved around already, so i don't know what the discussion might be good for at all. Cosmetics?
We had discussions of that kind and finally it was decided by whoever, but not by the result of the thread.
Made me feel pretty much like being an idiot that i did post at all.


Sorry you felt like an idiot, how ever your voice was heard as well as many others.

The mystery behind the "beginners section" is simply as fallows:
I had a few people ask me about one being created.
I asked for input from others here.

After seeing that many here thought it was a good idea I brought it up to the management in this manner:

I said something close to this:
I have been asked by a few members about having a section for people new to Debian. What do you think of the idea?


The responce I recieved was close to this:
Sounds like a good idea I will set it up tonight. By the way, you will be responcible for taking care of it.


I said something like:
Sounds great and I would be honored to hold that capasity.


That was how the beginners section started.

***
Edit:
Mind you my memory is a bit faulty but that is as close to things as I can remember them being. Seems there was also another thread started by the same admin I talked with dealing with the idea. I am sure there was more to the conversation but things were pretty much that simple.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 09:00
by nadir
Somehow i remember it to having been that way too.
I just reread the last 3 pages and, well, how to put it, ergh...it stopped a bit suddenly. But that is a dead horse.
And the beginners sections seems to serve its purpose, as far i see.

Don't worry, feeling like an idiot is ok for me. Thats not kidding, though the expression is a bit harsh.

But the rules are already like what we are supposed to discuss here, and that is a bit odd.
I'm not much a friend of rules, like i already said. So: more rules is always bad. Less rules is always better.
Somehow.

greetings :-)

PS: a joke:
They move my threads around like mad-dogs at another forum, and i go pretty nut by it :lol: Huh? What? Where? Why? :lol:
Now they got a new strategy and ... ignore me.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 09:34
by julian67
Absent Minded wrote:
And from item #10
Moderators might move your thread to a more suitable category (for instance from 'General Discussion' to 'General Questions'). This is no cause for alarm and a shadow topic, linked directly to the new location, will always be left at the original location.


I highlighted an area as I have been told leaving a link in the original location is not understood by a few, just fallowing the rules I am given.


That method makes sense. It's how every sane board operates. It costs nothing while it saves trouble and misunderstanding and maybe even encourages someone to think about making their next contribution in the right place. Anything is better than the Behold My Awesome Power Lazy Ass Bermuda Triangle Method.

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 11:08
by jheaton5
nadir wrote:Somehow i remember it to having been that way too.
I just reread the last 3 pages and, well, how to put it, ergh...it stopped a bit suddenly. But that is a dead horse.
And the beginners sections seems to serve its purpose, as far i see.

Don't worry, feeling like an idiot is ok for me. Thats not kidding, though the expression is a bit harsh.

But the rules are already like what we are supposed to discuss here, and that is a bit odd.
I'm not much a friend of rules, like i already said. So: more rules is always bad. Less rules is always better.
Somehow.

greetings :-)

PS: a joke:
They move my threads around like mad-dogs at another forum, and i go pretty nut by it :lol: Huh? What? Where? Why? :lol:
Now they got a new strategy and ... ignore me.

It's never too late to beat a dead horse (Socrates)

Re: Discussion of non-Debian OS's in the forums

PostPosted: 2010-08-19 11:09
by Telemachus
Slightly tangential, but if we really want to push this, we could post a sticky somewhere (general announcements?) inviting users to flag posts that are off-topic. The reason I mention this is I don't check every new post, and I suspect I miss a lot of these. There's already an option "This post is off topic" in the choices you see when you report a post, so it's no extra work to use this If people begin to flag them (as they do spam), then I would be more than happy to move threads or posts into off-topic.