My question here has been closed. Rename files 000…001…002… to 001…002…003 as too broad. From my point of view, it is clear what I am asking. I'm asking of a simple way for these files to be renamed, using anything in Windows or Linux.

Also I have been told that SuperUser

is not a free script/code writing service

I am not asking for a script, I have spent countless hours on this site helping others with their issues. I am fully aware that this isn't a script writing service.

Quite frankly I am sick and tired of the moderators and other users with their attitude. I was quite happy when the new rules and guidelines came in, but now I see there is no change.

Indeed the aim of the site is to "Build a library of detailed answers", however the constant "This is off topic" is sickening, we are here to help people at the end of a day, and a simple comment is sometimes enough to point someone in the right direction, not just "this is off topic, go away". Without people we would not be able to build a library.

The first question I asked, I was told that asking for software recommendations were off topic. Then thankfully another mod came through to explain how I just asked it in the wrong way. I was pretty unhappy with the site, but I forced myself to come back. I am on the verge of leaving again.

I understand the off topic rules are in place for a reason, but I feel it very rude just to tell me that it's off topic, and close it or as a new user to be told, "Welcome to superuser.com! Your question has now been closed". We should be helping people to understand, not closing questions and telling people "You’re wrong, go away". As a new user, even though viewing both SuperUser and StackOverflow for many years, I just find this to be off-putting to join the community as a contributor and that any questions or answers I write are simply thrown away.

It seems quite a difficult task to solve this problem. The first thing that comes to mind is to move them into another section, maybe something like 'starter', where the questions are discussed in more detail, with more help focused on getting the question right and if, and when suitable, moved to the main SuperUser. Just a suggestion.

Maybe I'm just oversensitive but it almost makes me ashamed to call myself a member.

Please take this post seriously, I'd like to be clear and state that I'm not just angry about the question being removed, but more with the attitude of the site. This applies to all users that have been here for a while.

  • 1
    Perhaps you should take a look at Batch rename based on regex capture which was initially closed for exactly the same reason. The OP responded positively, edited his question appropriately, and I reopened it.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 10:59
  • @DavidPostill I still think you response to that question is not in a friendly nature "No it's not. It's about the community decided standards for question quality."
    – mt025
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:02
  • 1
    "Quite frankly I am sick and tired of the moderators and other users with their attitude" If you actually read the new code of conduct it explicitly says "No name-calling or personal attacks. Focus on the content, not the person" Clearly you have ignored that part ...
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:02
  • @DavidPostill That is not a personal attack. There is more than one moderator, I find this with all moderators.
    – mt025
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:03
  • 1
    Clearly you also didn't read the whole comment. I was responding specifically to "I guess for you this is about me groveling" when I said no it's not.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:05
  • 1
    "I find this with all moderators" Then please raise your concerns with the Stack Exchange team as per What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused his/her privileges?
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:08
  • "I'm asking of a simple way for these files to be renamed, using anything in Windows or Linux." Neither Windows or Linux is mentioned in your question, or any scripting language. That alone make your question too broad regardless.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:10
  • 3
    And I repeat what I said on the other question I referenced "If we just all answered every scripting question without regard to the effort shown by the asker the site would be overrun by gimethescriptz questions. "
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:11
  • @DavidPostill I think you have misread the question this time "I have access to windows and linux, I tried bulk file renamer, but it doesn't seem to like incrementing file extentions"
    – mt025
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:12
  • I will leave it here and let others answer your question.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:13
  • I have written an answer which tries to address both your question, and the attitude angle. I haven't touched on rudeness to a great extent, but I feel that a lot of your frustration comes from perceived rudeness. Could you perhaps edit your question and elaborate on why you feel voting to close an off topic question is rude? (if I read your thoughts on that right) At the moment I get the magnitude of your feeling but not the reasoning. Cheers!
    – bertieb
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:50

3 Answers 3


Addressing your 'bulk rename' question

Your question here on SU Meta has two distinct parts, so I'll give you my take one by one.

My question here has been closed. Rename files 000…001…002… to 001…002…003 as too broad. It is extremely clear what I am asking. I'm asking of a simple way for these files to be renamed, using anything in Windows or Linux.

I believe your question is indeed potentially answerable. However, David Postill linked you to a similar question and how that's handled to give you an example of question standards.

For example: you haven't specified what you tried with the bulk renamer, only that "it doesn't seem to like incrementing file extentions on Numbering (10)", which isn't terribly clear. We also don't know which bulk renamer you used.

(Why is this important? If someone tries to answer, saying Use Acme Bulk renamer with options -x foo -y bar -z baz, if you then say "I've tried that and it didn't work", this wastes the answerer's time and your time.)

Also I have been told that SuperUser

is not a free script/code writing service

I suspect the reason that David has included that in a number of comments he puts on questions is that we get many, many such questions. It is not to imply that you are of the 'givemetehcodes!' mindset, but that many do. Saying you have access to Windows and Linux tells us that an answer from either might be acceptable; but not which of those you have used so far to try and solve the problem yourself.

The clearer and more specific you are with what you have tried and where the problem arose, the better-received the question will be.

Attitudes and thereof

This is more complex. Raising the issue on Meta (as you have done) is one way to deal with problems you perceive; you can also discuss issues of moderation in Ask a Super User moderator if you feel something does not hold up to the standards of the site.

You have stated with quite intense language, "I am sick" and "[saying something is off topic] is sickening", i.e. how you feel; I would suggest that you could direct that strength of feeling- which leads me to my next point:

Super User is moderated by you

Or, in picture form:

Screenshot showing the info: moderated by you!

At 500 reputation, you gained access to review queues. Even if that isn't your thing, you can assist people by helping to make sure contributions - questions, answers, comments, moderation, meta! - meet the standards set by the community.

If as you say you feel it is very rude to close someone's first question because it is off topic, be proactive. You could:

  1. welcome them to the site
  2. explain that we have a particular focus of what is on topic
  3. suggest that there could be a way to ask a question which might require recommending software
  4. amend their question by editing it to bring it into these guidelines
  5. follow up by posting a comment to say you have amended/suggested/answered, and asking if that fits with what they are trying to achieve

It's worth understanding a couple of things though:

  • Questions are voted on, then put 'on hold' in the first instance, which may seem rude; but:

    • every vote to close is another opportunity for a pair of eye to see the question and improve it, give advice, etc
    • vote to close or downvote is not a criticism of the person, but that the question is not a great fit in its present form. It is an opportunity to improve.

    Those nuances are sometimes lost.

    I agree that it is potentially daunting and off-putting for a user when this happens. Someone may put a lot of effort into a question, and that may simply not have translated well to how it fits here.

  • secondly, many users do get assistance to bring their questions into line with standards; unfortunately, a decent proportion simply don't respond. The Roomba cleans up such questions after a while. Ultimately, if a question does not meet the site's standards, it behoves users to respond appropriately (by commenting/voting/etc) so that high quality questions can get high quality answers- in line with the mission statement*.

*One thing I didn't realise for a while, is that the mission statement talks about 'building a library of detailed answers'; not helping users with problems; though many undoubtedly do contribute because they like to help people

  • Thank you very much for your answer. I do agree with what you have said and I’ll take on-board the advice given about SuperUser community moderation. I just feel that something needs to be done to appear more polite to users. I will update the question shortly to expand on my why I find it rude.
    – mt025
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:52
  • @mt05 Thanks- I feel there is probably room for improvement on the subject of appearing more polite to new users, but I'm not sure what the best way forward is. It's a tricky issue to balance resource wise.
    – bertieb
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 11:58
  • I have updated my question, with the first solution that comes to mind. But I do agree it’s a difficult issue to address
    – mt025
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 12:18
  • An interesting suggestion!
    – bertieb
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:25
  • @mt025 I was going to update my answer to address your suggestion, but I wonder if it might be worth a separate question so the community could explore the pros and cons (thinking out loud at this point- others may address)
    – bertieb
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:33
  • 4
    It is not rude to close a question, because that question can be reopened at any point when it's improved. The appearance of rudeness is not the same as actually being rude. The act of moderation is absolutely not being rude. Likewise when a user issues a vote, and they don't submit that optional comment, that isn't an act of being rude. You might not agree with the vote, but the user is participating in the community, by voting on your contribution. The worst thing that could happen to your contribution is everyone simply ignores it.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 15:30
  • 4
    If you canot accept the act of trying to improve the community, by holding contributions, to a certain level of quality as not being personal then you will become frustrated. If you recieve feedback you don't agree with, take a step back, and consider taking the feedback to heart. There is likely a good reason you are getting the feedback you are, sometimes it's as simply as clarifying a single sentence, other times you have to ask your question an entirely different way.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 15:36
  • @Run5k FYI, behove (UK) vs behoove (US) and an Ngram Chart of the two words. Since bertieb used both behove and realise, I would say that the post is written in UK (or Aussie, etc) style English, and your correction is incorrect ;-) Or, if you know bertieb intended to use US English, you missed fixing "realise" ;-)
    – robinCTS
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 5:43
  • 1
    @robinCTS, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I'm aware that Rob (a.k.a. Bertieb) is based in the UK. My goal was to simply correct the minor typo found in the word "recommending," but I also noticed the famous red squiggly line underneath some other words. While I knew better than to correct "realise," my knowledge of the eccentricities associated with UK-style English isn't comprehensive enough to know that "behove" wasn't a typo. For better or worse, that isn't exactly the most common word utilized in casual conversation on either side of the Atlantic. ;-)
    – Run5k
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:07
  • @Run5k There all fixed now ;-) To be honest, I'm actually more familiar with the US spelling (even though I'm an Aussie) and had to double-check the spelling. But you're right, it is a fairly archaic word. EDIT. What would be useful would be a green squiggly line for words spelt in the alternative style to that of the dictionary in use.
    – robinCTS
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:20
  • I appreciate the cleanup by all involved (too many to tag), my fingers were less accurate than usual :)
    – bertieb
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 17:32

Part of your question asks the following within the first two sentences:

My question here has been closed. Rename files 000…001…002… to 001…002…003 as too broad. It is extremely clear what I am asking.

Your post on SuperUser is clearly a question that asks for either (1) software recommendations or (2) asks for someone to write a script for you.

But that issue has now been addressed by others on this thread. I want to specifically focus on this part:

It is extremely clear what I am asking.

Which is the ultimate reason why the question was closed: Your question is indeed too broad. You are incorrectly assuming “too broad” means you are not asking a specific enough question. You have asked a specific question. But any answer to your specific question will inherently be too broad because there are too many ways to approach the question.

As the option for closing explains; bold emphasis is mine:

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.

Here is the thing… A question that is “too broad” can also have too many solutions. In my humble opinion, the question you posed is just “too broad” and “too opinion-based.”

Regarding moderators being “rude” I hope you realize something: While one moderator shut down this question in particular, this community operates as a community and if this moderator did not do this on their own, the chances of other members of the community coming by and flagging the question to be closed—and even down voting—is quite high.

FWIW, the quality of this site is based on solid, even-handed moderation. While I myself knows how it can sting to have a question slammed by the community, at the end of the day I realize I always have the option to delete my own question and even re-open and re-ask this at a later date if the need arises.

As long as you take down votes and close votes personally, you will not be happy in this community. Take a step back and reflect on what might have happened and don’t take any of this personally.

UPDATE: I went ahead and answered the formerly closed—but now reopened—question and did this out of goodwill. But that said, the original poster shows (frankly) their ignorance when in comments they stated:

“I'm sure this could be done with some sort of 1 line linux command. I hardly call that a script.”

A “1 line linux command” is a script no matter how you cut it! And just because the code can be passed along in one line, does not mean it’s a simple task to create it!

To create this one liner I had to look at some scripts I have, some Bash knowledge I have as well as some other answers to other questions online and synthesize a solution. This is not a “1 line linux command” but rather a “1 line custom script” and to dismiss this is not being a coding task is honestly patronizing.

Again, I posted this answer out of goodwill based mainly on the perceived ills conveyed in this meta thread, but seriously discounting any scripting as being “simple” and saying it’s not a coding request is really callous.

So I hope this solved your problem. But will state I do hope you really learn from this experience.

  • 1
    True. Sometimes a compact one-liner requires more coding skills than a (potentially sloppy) "full size" script. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 6:57

I'll just focus on the "rudeness" part.

If you ever go looking for a new doctor and read the reviews from patients, you'll find that a lot of the comments are about rudeness; the doctor was brusque, poor bedside manner, etc. For some people, pleasantness in a doctor is critical. But when you have a real problem, you realize that what is actually important is competence. You want to go to a doctor who will be best at fixing your problem. The best doctors tend to be in demand and busy, so they tend to be brusque. They also tend to have a stronger focus on the medical aspect than the interpersonal relationship with the patient.

Super User isn't a tech support company, where answers are provided by employees who work in an office with a big sign that says, "Always remember, our customers are our most important product". Answers come from volunteers, most of whom are busy people. They fit helping people and moderating the site into their other demands.

Yes, the Stack Exchange has a "be nice" policy. We try to have a welcoming environment and avoid overt nastiness. But at the end of the day, it's a collection of busy people trying to solve other people's problems and keep up the quality of the site.

Part of the "job" is dealing with people who aren't good "customers". They come to the site not realizing that the objective is to build a knowledge base. Yes, they may get their question answered, but the actual goal is to add good questions and answers to the knowledge base to help all of the other people with a similar problem, it isn't to provide free personal consultation. That's a luxury we offer when we can.

Such users often don't think about what role they need to play in getting an answer. To some visitors, fixing computer problems means having remote clairvoyant magicians divine what's wrong, and hand them a fix based on whatever trivial information is shared in a rant, posted with no effort on their part to do any preliminary research, or even type coherent sentences in the question, which is their price of admission.

Of course not all questions are that bad, but a high percentage would at least benefit from improvement, and are part of a stream of questions that includes generous amounts of examples like that. It can be trying and frustrating, especially for people who want to contribute their limited time helping the most people they can.

Add to that canned comments for common issues that tend to be short and to the point. It's an environment that we try to make an efficient process, but can sometimes seem less than friendly.

The primary objective isn't to have a friendly forum at which to hangout and chat. People come to the site with a problem to solve, and come here because this is where they can get competent help. If people want a solution to their problem, to some extent, they need to deal with the environment that exists here.

We periodically remind users to be nice, but the site is a collection of people. The people who volunteer their time to help with computer problems tend to share some personality traits that focus more on technical issues than people pleasing.

The site doesn't have an "attitude". People with a certain personality and mindset gravitate here to provide support. If you want the best "doctors" to solve your problem, it may involve a little poor bedside manner. People who find that environment disinviting may feel more comfortable getting their problems solved in another venue. If they choose to go somewhere else, more power to them for finding an environment they find more conducive.

I'm not saying we shouldn't always try our best to be nice, and we shouldn't just tell dissatisfied users to go screw themselves and find help somewhere else if they don't like it here. The environment here reflects the personalities of the users providing the help, and that's inherent in the experience. It's important for users to understand that and have realistic expectations.

This applies not just to new visitors, but even some long-time members. Long-time members can notice the environment over time and think we can do better. They may even run into it with their own posts. Remember that we have mechanisms to deal with what may seem like adverse treatment of posts. Just keep that separate from your perception of the site experience, and keep the site experience in perspective.

  • Thanks for the answer. You have made quite a few good points, I do agree with what you have said. I think the doctor analogy works well to reflect SuperUser, and makes it clearer about the approach, from the site perspective. I know the Stack Exchange is always a great place for information, and that most google searches end up here, if the site was not administrated in the way it is, it would be like every other messy forum. I guess my sensitivity was clouding that strong moderation is key to quality content. Alas, I still think overall approach and template answers need to be modified.
    – mt025
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 16:55

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