Background: I am a beginner with absolutely no Computer Science background. I am completely self-taught, which means that I only learn things as needed. As such, I know less basics than I should. However, my new job requires more of this knowledge than I have. And no, I don't really have the resources at my job to ask anyone else these questions.

More detailed background: Before I ask a question, I usually spend 2-5 hours researching online to try to find an answer. The object isn't to find an answer that solves the problem. The object is to find an answer that I CAN UNDERSTAND that solves the problem. I understand my own limitations to this. But that doesn't mean that I always ask perfect questions. I'm still learning everything I need to include in order to help others users to help me. Asking someone to include certain information is GREAT! Telling someone that they didn't provide enough information without telling them what they need to do is NOT GREAT.

It is hard enough trying to understand which StackExchange site to use for any particular question. I've seen people get rude comments on their questions for posting on the wrong site.

By being rude to new members, you only make it harder for them to become as good a power user as you. If you offer a solution and mention what they did wrong, that seems acceptable to me.

So, the questions: Is superuser unfriendly to beginners? My initial answer is no. But I say that with a caveat that many members here are VERY rude & their criticism is not constructive for beginners.

How can we help beginners understand things? This is what I'd like others to address. If there are questions like mine, but I don't understand what the answers mean, is it appropriate to comment asking for more information? What is the best way to do this? How do I know people will see my comments so that I can get a timely answer? Is it more appropriate to start a new question?

Extra optional questions: How many tags are appropriate? Is it not appropriate to thank people ahead of time in your question or give your background (by saying you are a beginner so that you get more detailed answers)? What length is generally considered best for a question? Is it appropriate to flag comments on my posts that are rude and don't give an answer (e.g. "Look it up online.")?

I don't make a point of saving rude posts, so don't have many of the examples asked for. Also, the rude comment on one of my posts was flagged by me, and has since been removed.

Example of an acceptable response (in this case, a duplicate question) Making a script executable (The first comment to the question)

There was a second comment that said something along the lines of "Videos on this topic are more numerous on the internet than cat videos". I found this discouraging and unhelpful, but not necessarily rude.

  • 4
    Not much to add to allquixotic's excellent answer except to address a couple of your specific questions. 1) It doesn't hurt to request an answer suitable for a beginner. Thanks are clutter. 2) Comments requesting clarification on existing answers are a good 1st step (note the age of the post and click on the author to see if they are still around). If it's an old post and the author isn't active, ask a new question. 3) Tags are to attract users who follow specific subjects. Identify the subject areas of expertise needed to answer and use those tags (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 20:17
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    (cont'd) (don't tag every word in the question). Only a few tags are needed. 4) Length: Concise is great, but include information you can identify as relevant to understanding the problem. Organization is important in a long question. Put the actual question near the beginning. Break into paragraphs. Use headings. 5) You're trying to attract answerers, so be polite, yourself, even dealing with rude comments. Ignore them or ask nicely for clarification. Use them as feedback on additional information to include in the question.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 20:18
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    You say you're knew to CS... What is CS? C#? Photoshop Creative Suite? A typo for CSS? How would you feel if I said help me with the OTT FFK please... Now, I'm trying to be over the top here to make the point. I genuinely have no idea what CS is, I'd now have to waste time asking you to clarify it (or some one else will) despite it being something which should be obvious. There is a huge learning curve in askign questions, but I don't believe any site is not guilty of this - I've written excellent questions to realise that actually, I'd missed out lots of detail. And I've been 'attacked'
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 9:14
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    but actually it was a good thing... Providing no one was rude (swearing/agression etc) but being told you're not making the question clear, and that you don't appear to have done any research isn't a bad thing. I have answered questions, taking minutes/hours to get an answer to post it to then be told by the OP they'd already tried it!! Get used to it but don't like the comments/down votes get you down, take them with a pinch of salt. Instead, consider fixing the question and get an answer. You'll end up with better questions, which means more/better answers (usually) :)
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 9:16
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    There is only one Stack Overflow, which is the site for programming questions. You probably meant Stack Exchange which is the whole network. (So that means Super User (note the space) is a SE site, not a SO site.)
    – Léo Lam
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 9:36
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    And please do not confuse a "comment that only states facts/opinions without saying please" with rude. That is a interpretation people make: they feel corrected, misunderstood etc and then conclude rude without really reading what's there. You probably have examples of comments that are indeed rude, but you also have confirmation bias.
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 15:38
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    @Dave: I think they were using "CS" to mean "Computer Science". Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 16:27
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    Good point by @jandoggen.... We are encouraged to keep posts short and sweet. Removing thanks, please, hi etc is part of it
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 16:43
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    -1 for not giving any examples, even after people have written answers pointing out that you haven't given examples, you never improved your question
    – barlop
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 20:23
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    What might be the problem is that your goals might not align with the person attempting to answer questions. I know my goal when I answer a question, is to answer the question, and I provide the information in order to do so. Now how detailed I go into the solution depends on the question itself. Telling somebody that something is not on topic, or the question should be asked at a different site, is not actually being rude. What is rude is getting upset because I paste a generic response, indicating that fact, and trying to argue with that fact.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 12:07
  • I'm not sure about rude, but I've experienced first hand that some certainly lack any sense of humor.
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 17:50

6 Answers 6


Is Super User unfriendly to beginners?

It's becoming more so, yes, but originally it really wasn't. As members with various attitudes come and go, the general tone of the site changes. It's hard to get people to change, but by adding or removing active members (whether by force, or they just go inactive), the nature of the site and the way it's perceived can also change.

What I'm trying to say is that it is difficult to make generalizations about the site, especially without bounding those generalizations by a fairly tight time window ("Has Super User been unfriendly to beginners over the past few weeks?" is easier to generalize about than your original question.)

Another point to consider: In general, "bad actors" (those who are unnecessarily rude) are usually in the minority. So, instead of referring to the site as a whole, if we focus on the minority of users who are "problematic", it might be easier to eliminate the problem by banning or warning the worst of the bunch (the most frequent/severe "serial offenders", as it were).

How can we help beginners understand things?

As someone who's written long, explanatory answers treating an advanced topic for a beginner, I know how hard it is to write good answers for beginners. It's extremely hard. You have to basically fill in all the knowledge gaps and assumptions and industry knowledge that they lack, and then answer their question.

And then after you've spent 2 hours writing an answer, it's entirely possible that someone else already beat you to the punch with an oversimplified answer that isn't as good, but gives them a "cut and dried" answer that they're looking for, so they may not even bother to read your long-winded answer.

Questions related to computing can often be very brief between two experts in the field who already have a large body of knowledge accumulated between them, but would require an enormous amount of explanation to properly explain to a less experienced or knowledgeable person. This is just the nature of the beast.

The fact that you are self-taught suggests (and this may or may not be true) that you are lacking many of the fundamentals that would be required in order for you to be able to answer your questions on your own, without needing to ask someone else. This might be why others perceive your questions as "bad" and are thus tempted to be snarky.

For example. Assume that someone does not understand the concept of fire. They ask you, "Is it possible to light a desk on fire?" Patiently, you explain that, yes, desks are made of wood, and wood can catch on fire if it gets hot enough.

Then the next day they ask you, "Is it possible to light tires (tyres for you Brits) on fire?" Again, you explain, with some irritation this time, that tires, when they get hot enough, can catch fire.

On the third day, they ask you, "Is it possible to light iron on fire?" Finally, you just throw your hands up and say, "If something gets hot enough, and it's inside an atmosphere with a reactant that can cause it to combust, ..." and you start giving all the conditions under which something can be lit on fire.

Once you're done explaining your answer about when things can be lit on fire, the person asks you, "What's an element?"

If you're a chemist or physicist, by this point, you're just wanting to tell this person to go back to college and take a few physics or chemistry classes. You're tired of explaining to them how the world works.

This is how many of us in the IT industry feel, because we have to, on a daily basis, deal with people who are (through no fault of their own) extremely ignorant of technology in general, and are nonetheless impelled or compelled to use computers to accomplish tasks in their life.

To be honest, it can wear away at you after a while, having to explain the same things over and over. It requires a lot more energy and consideration to give a thoughtful answer that will fill in all the knowledge gaps of the person; and it requires a great deal of patience to handle the many follow-on questions that are likely to come from it (assuming, of course, that the person doesn't balk at the complexity of the situation and say, "I give up!" or say "Thanks!" and then not even read your answer).

When you're speaking to another experienced person who has the fundamentals, you can give a quick off-the-cuff answer, and they'll get your meaning, and there will be no further questions. It's much tidier and easier. They may even ask a question that you yourself do not entirely know the answer to, and thus challenge you to go out and do some R&D and find the answer for them. These are the kinds of questions that technologists really enjoy answering, because they challenge us to learn more ourselves.

Most of the questions that I bother answering on Super User are questions that I found interesting or challenging. I've tried to improve my behavior and demeanor over the years by simply passing over questions that I find too basic or too annoying to answer – though on a few occasions I've taken a shot at an "epic" answer and occasionally receive kudos for it.

The only thing we can really do without banning people outright is try to convince those who are actively snarky/rude on a regular basis to please either (A) tone it down, or (B) simply ignore questions that you don't like; pretend they're not even there and move on with life. But then, how do you get that message out to the people who need to hear it?

I feel like I've written a meta answer almost exactly like this one, to a meta question almost exactly like yours, not too long ago. I guess you're not alone in thinking this. But I really don't have any good ideas for how we can constructively approach the problem in an attempt to solve it. Awareness of the problem is not sufficient for dealing with it.

  • 2
    Just to clarify, yes, I'm missing MANY fundamentals. It's frustrating, since I can't just go back to school for Computer Science to fill it in. Do you feel the prompts when you go to comment/answer are sufficient? Does anyone even read them? Perhaps a simple addition to it or change of wording might help? Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 19:50
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    @Gaius Augustus, I can sympathize with your plight, though I have a bachelor's and master's degree in Computer Science there are many other areas in which I would like to educate myself, but, unfortunately, I don't have the time available to return to school for a formal degree program to get at least a basic education in those areas. I've found MOOCs such as Coursera and edX immensely helpful to me. You can take onlne courses for free and they have many CS courses.
    – moonpoint
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 2:56
  • @GaiusAugustus you have no idea how ignorant many people with CS degrees are. Most of them can't fix a computer for example, and many of them can't program either.
    – barlop
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 20:21
  • 1
    @GaiusAugustus - So teach yourself. You don't need a degree to know things. I have learned more in the last 5 years then the 12 years I was in college.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 12:09
  • Teaching yourself is great! I've taken almost a dozen online courses and am taking more now (along with my full-load of grad school coursework and my research). I am mostly self-taught with programming/computer science. But sometimes you hit a wall and can't move past it, just as I'm sure you do if you DO have a CS background. That's when I come to online forums. My wall is just more basic than others. In my research, I learn more bouncing ideas off of colleagues than sitting with a book. I'd definitely love if when someone gave an answer to a problem, they said where to learn more. Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 20:30
  • 1
    Except this isn't a forum. So this isn't the place to bounce those ideas off. If you have a question about a concept you don't understand this is that place. If you have an answer to that question that is the place. This isn't the place to discuss that concept though, unless you are in the chatrooms, SE websites are Q&A websites.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 15:35
  • As a semi-chemist, and someone who tends to show the new users how things are done at chem.SE, I loved this answer. This answer is a very well-written masterpiece, and all I can say is a "kudos" to you!
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 8:36

I couldn't resist to go through your questions on SO, and I fail to see the rudeness you're talking about. Do you have a particular example in mind?

Answering questions is hard. Perhaps you should try it yourself when you see a beginner with a problem you could solve. You will quickly discover that the askers can be disrespectful in their own ways - they will change the question and make your answer irrelevant, forget to upvote your answer or give you any feedback whatsoever etc. etc. I know you didn't do such things, but believe me, it happens often enough.

Also consider that SO is only attractive because of IT professinals who visit it and answer the questions. The site belongs to them as well, and I think they deserve a little respect - sometimes as little as putting the question title into Google or reading Wikipedia on the subject - which is not always there.

Imagine asking your doctor how to cure cancer. Or asking a car dealer how to fit a diesel fuel nozzle into a gas-powered car. Do you think you will get polite detailed answers every time? Yet many beginner IT questions sound exactly like this - they either don't consider basic facts (a quick look on wikipedia tells you that cancer is a hot research topic and there is no common cure) or make you suspect people are trying to do something they shouldn't be doing.

Also, this picture is relevant as ever (proof)

  • I did the same and checked their activity. Most are actually upvoted?!?
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 16:53
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    I think that's why they say in the question that the majority of SU users are friendly, but there's a small rude minority who spoil the tone and reputation of the site for the others. Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 18:17
  • 2
    I understand how hard it can be to answer questions. I have tutored, taught small classes, etc. I know how annoying those people are who ask the same question over an over (or ask a question that has JUST been answered). I'm pretty meticulous when I ask questions. Most people aren't that way. One thing I LOVE about this site is that when I enter a question in the subject line, it looks for similar posts (I assume most people don't do that in advance...I do). Maybe it would behoove us to include some common things left out of posts as a prompt: "Things to include"? Great points! Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 19:46

I review a lot of questions and answers here daily, and I don't think there is a generalized problem with rudeness on Super User. By and large, the discourse here is courteous, polite, and geared toward tactfully answering people's questions. Sure, there is the occasional tactless comment, often in response to someone who has clearly not taken the site tour or familiarized him or herself with the rules and quality standards here, but these are rare and have a way of being filtered out by way of moderator flags.

Nonetheless, if improvement is desired, the best way to do this is on the individual level. Be the change that you wish to see. So, if you wish more people were politely shepherding new users into learning how Super User works, maybe try being the person who politely and patiently responds to new user's questions. Make helpful edits. Leave comments seeking clarification and direct misguided users to the help page. Flag rude/offensive comments, questions, and answers for moderator review. In short, do your part. If you are kind, helpful, and polite, that's one more person to drown out any contrarian rudeness and set a good example for other users.

As for new users, taking the site tour, reading the FAQ, and paying attention to how other users behave here is a must. Of course very few new users do this before posting, so it is incumbent upon experienced users here to guide them in a way that promotes healthy discourse and doesn't discourage potential Super Users from coming back to the site. It also helps if new users are willing to accept guidance and constructive criticism.


I am a beginner and I feel stack exchange has been unfriendly to me. Why? Even a polite "you did something wrong" seems insulting. Frankly, I, and I suspect most new contributors, are not used to making mistakes. I think it would be easier for beginners if experts frequently remind themselves that this community is more strict and has more rules than most. Most discussion sites are free wheeling. Beginners don't know that at first. It will be an adjustment. The statement (I forget where) that says something like "this is a question and answer site, not a discussion forum" helps.

That said, after being here a while, the rules are there for a reason--and that's to encourage a growing wealth of high quality answers to an incredibly vast array of technical questions. In that, the rules are GOOD and WORKING and creating something that is REALLY VALUABLE.

On that note, and this counts against me as a beginner, but the only way to create high quality answers is to cater to experts, not beginners. The site must encourage experts to answer questions and discourage beginners from discussion, speculation, etc.

The key is, how to accomplish that goal while being friendly and inviting to beginners. Or better said, create a easy path for beginners to become experts.

And now I think we have to clarify that there are two types of beginners.

  1. People who are new to StackExchange. They might be extreme experts in their field. These people should be downright courted, no?
  2. People who are new to a topic, like fixing problems on their computer (Super User), programming (StackOverflow), or system administration (ServerFault). We'd like it easy for these people to participate and learn and grow.

Here's 2 examples that frustrate me.

I was just looking today at Can't turn on Microsoft update in Windows 7 x86 on Super User. Now, first, this illustrates the value of Super User (and all StackExchange) because I searched hours on Microsoft.com answers and community sites and the quality is poor. Many MVPs simply say "read the FAQ on windows update" which is completely irrelevant to the problem. The ANSWER was on Super User.

Now, the top upvoted comment is a more restrictive answer than the next one, and they probably should be reversed. I wanted to add (repeat) a comment to that effect, but I don't have enough reputation points.

Also, the situation with this particular problem is that Microsoft's own IE 11, must be run in 'compatibility mode' to properly render Microsoft's own web page. That's a result that's so unexpected (or is it ;) that it bears repeating. I wanted to repeat that comment, too. But I was not able to.

I was able to upvote the question and the answer so I was happy about that.

Another example: this thread. @allquixotic's answer states in part

You have to basically fill in all the knowledge gaps and assumptions and industry knowledge that they lack, and then answer their question.

Well another site I frequent, sevenforums.com, has a style where they answer the question with COPIOUS links to supporting information (example How to Clean Reinstall Windows 7). This to me is an excellent compromise between long and short answers, as someone who needs NONE of the supporting content can just skip those links and someone who needs ALL of them can take hours to read and digest them all. StackExchange has the ability to use this style because we have so many canonical answers to so many questions. But maybe we're missing more tutorial-like answers to basic questions?

But, I don't have 50 reputation points, so I can't comment :'(

So this is frustrating for me as a beginner.

I personally don't have the drive to build my reputation. I don't want to go searching for questions I can answer. But when working on a problem I will contribute along the way. SE is hard for me to use.

2 suggestions

  1. The idea that you ask a question, and that people question you and make suggestions and you edit the question as time goes on--that was not obvious to me and I suspect will not be to most beginners. I suggest it should explain this style right when you go to ask a question. It should come right out and say "Enter the first version of your question. Through interaction with people on the site you will edit your question later to be more specific and precise as time goes on." That would have helped me. It was also helpful to me when experienced users specifically asked me to edit the question to add more info.

  2. Maybe a link/button on every page that says "[sitename] is different from most other sites. How?" which is a link to not pages of rules, but a 1 page overview emphasizing those things that are the most frequent to trip up beginners. Something like the focus on answers not discussion, something about having to earn reputation points, and the best way to earn them, the bit about expecting to edit your own question, and links to the rest of the good intro stuff here. Anything else?

EDIT: Well, I just saw this right on the front page of stackexchange.com.

stackexchange.com home page blurb

So close, but it doesnt really say what's so different. "Community" sounds so much like "forum" I doubt a beginner would be triggered to think it's "different". There are hints; it says this community is built. Strange term for a discussion forum, but IMHO not enough to trigger the average newcomer.

"This is a Knowledgebase-building community, not a discussion forum"--now that would have alerted me. Regardless, based on what I've learned, and what's on this page, that blurb should definitely say "This is not a discussion forum" in some way.

  • 2
    You present some good thoughts. On your suggestions: 1. It's really a step farther than you describe. The site's objective is to build a knowledgebase. People contribute questions in exchange for potentially getting an answer themselves. Other users will also edit your questions (and answers), to improve them. (In fact it's one way for you to build rep.) That's totally different from a forum. 2. There is sort of a link like that, it just isn't as obvious as your suggestion. It's the Help link in the top border. Perhaps it would be useful to make it more obvious for new users. cont'd
    – fixer1234
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 3:02
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    3. A bunch of "this worked" answers (or comments, if that's all they convey), is clutter that makes it harder to find the actual solutions. That's what upvotes are for. Also, answers are intended to be definitive solutions; comments are for speculative suggestions. So there shouldn't be a lot of "solutions" that don't work.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 3:02
  • 1
    @fixer1234 Good points. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 16:41
  • @fixer1234 Good points. 1. A top banner that says "This is not a forum, it's a knowledgebase generation engine" or something I think would help set new users' expectations. It would have helped me. & saying up front ur question may be edited by others would also help. 3. Upvotes on answers-right-serves the same purpose & is 80% of what I'm looking for. Clutter is certainly an issue. But consider my Microsoft Update example. I have knowledge but I only have 33 rep and i can not improve that page. But the situation on that page is uncommon. The better answer is lower-voted because of a subtlety. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 17:01
  • @johnvkumpf - I would stop using this site if that banner started to appear. If people cannot take it follow the current instructions, and read the help center, then they won't read the banner.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 1:02
  • " but a string of "this worked for me" is extremely helpful." - No it is just clutter. Yahoo answers does that. Please don't do this.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 1:14
  • @Ramhound perhaps the banner is removed after a certain reputation level? Or perhaps the banner is only displayed when the (new) user tries to interact with the site--post a question or answer or try to comment or vote, etc. Such hooks are already integrated to make the reputation system work. Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 0:24
  • I removed my "worked for me" suggestion as it IS adequately covered by the upvote system. And I added the blurb from the front page of stackexchange.com which (tries to) list how SE is "different" Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 0:26
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    (1) I’m a little puzzled why a beginner who came here to learn would be insulted by a polite statement that “that’s not the way we do things here.”  (2) The “this is a question and answer site, not a discussion forum” statement that you’re remembering is probably the first page of the site’s “Tour”: “Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users.  It’s built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites.  With your help, we’re working together  … (Cont’d) Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 7:00
  • 1
    (Cont’d) …  to build a library of detailed answers to every question about computer software or hardware.”  /  “We’re a little bit different from other sites.  Here’s how…”  As fixer1234 said, site Help is accessible from the “Help” link at the top of every page.  (3) I like your suggestions (especially the first one).  Please consider posting them as feature requests (i.e., ask them as “questions” here on Meta, using the [feature request] tag). Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 7:00
  • (1) To be blunt, I don't like being told I'm wrong. Ever. Character flaw, probably. I'm not the only one. Observation: it was easier to take when buttered up, eg people who said, "First, welcome to Super User!" then said "you made a mistake". (2) Thanks, yes. However, neither the blurb nor the FAQ says, explicitly "THIS IS NOT A DISCUSSION FORUM." And since that's what's so common on the net people come here with an implicit assumption that it will be. We have to shake that out of them, strongly. (3) Ok. I put it on my list. Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 15:47
  • @johnvkumpf - Which is the reason we remind people were are not a discussion forum. Everyone has a character flaw, to be part of a community, one has to adopt the culture though. Part of our culture is that were are not a discussion forum, so questions that lead to a discussion, and don't have specific answers are not allowed.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 21:34

In the beginning ive feeling the same as you @Gaius Augustus , but i've saw they are only a minority, they are ppl who appear to be rude.

I invite you to do not pay attention about that esterile cricticism, just read the rules & faqs do you best and gain your rep, i know is hard(i really know) but do not give up.

Do not think that being a beginner you have not value here

If you do some good research and folow the rules your questions could be a very good contribution to the site.

Some Useful information:

Help Center


I'm new to superuser, but experienced with SO. My first question here, asking simply if there's work being done on Docker towards making a native version for macs, and if so, whether there's an ETA on it at all, was considered "inviting to opinion-based answers".

I disagreed and kept the question as is, and the result? Question closed

Was anybody rude? No. But picky, and coming across as intolerant of dissent, yes. In the name of keeping the forum "clean". Doesn't the ranking system and popular questions/answers system take care of keeping noise less visible?

The argument that specialists get progressively grated by stupid questions by non-specialists is a bad one. If you were on the job working in the help-desk, that'd make some sense, though even on the job, to be considered a job well done, one needs to be accepting of ignorance and civil.

This reminds me of a certain old-school forum culture, specially in the sysadmin space, which is like that. IMO StackExchange is great because it actively tries to move away from that, in my experience. At least with SO and a few other, smaller, communities I've browsed.

  • 4
    Your question was unanswerable. It should have been asked in a Docker community forum, where Docker developers, would be able to answer it. I see zero "intolerance" in the comments by the two normal users. I see a huge problem with your own comments though. Feel free to read the help center to better understand, how asking if an application is being ported to OS X, is not an acceptable question here at Superuser.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 21:29
  • 2
    The biggest reason I would have also voted to close that question is that it will have no relevance in x days/weeks/months when they do end up supporting this feature. As a network, SE strives to create a repository of high quality Q&As that will always be relevant to the subject at hand. Questions about things that might happen in the future, especially for the development of software, are not really a good fit. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 22:08
  • 1
    In your case, even a very patient, knowledgeable user would not be able to write an "epic" answer that comprehensively answers your question. Your question boiled down to whether an open source product will support a certain feature/platform in the future. The answer is always "if someone sends a patch for it, then yes. if not, then no." You could ask a general question about open source software in general and that'd be a good question, but about Docker specifically? No. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 22:21
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    I'm not entirely certain this is an answer either but I'll roll with it. Firstly, its a very open ended question that focuses on a development timeline rather than an actual problem. I'm pretty sure a question asking when <cool programming language> gets ported to <platform> would be closed on SO, so why should we be different? Not to mention timelines slip. Consider this - you're indicating that you somehow know how things should work better than longer time users who've earned priviledges when what they did is optionally spent the time telling you why a question was closed.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 23:30
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    This is a case of the system working as designed by SE as I see it. (Quite unlike me running out of charecters while posting this comment). A good question focuses on a specific solvable problem rather than a open ended question like that. If you'd asked "How do I get docker running on OS X natively?" and used much of the same question, you might have elicited "No it doesn't right now but" or maybe even a future answer when it does work. Its not really a question that fits the SE format IMO. Yeah, we're picky. Intolerant of dissent... I donno. I don't see it myself
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 23:31
  • @JourneymanGeek - Could not have said it better.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 0:30
  • The problem the question addresses is Docker not running natively on OSX, which any mac user running Docker would like to know and pretty pressing if one considers it as a solution to cross-platform distribution. I disagree the only possible answer is "If and once someone sends a patch to it", though that would have been enough - it means "no, there isn't anything being worked on, nor any roadmap to it". No answer would be fine too, means I'm wrong and nobody is really interested answering the question. Question looses visibility, cool too. But closed by several moderators and deleted... Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:16
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    And yes I do have an opinion about how SE communities should work, why I like SE and how I'd like it to stay, as a long time SO user. Is that not ok to state under "Meta" either? Nor am I new to the software community, been here since 1998. We clearly have different opinions about what's welcoming and productive in a collaborative community, any community, though. I see the responses to the original question, and my response, more worried about self-justification than understanding and empathizing with an issue not only myself nor the OP are having in their initial experiences with SU. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:30
  • "and *to my response". couldn't edit the comment to correct it. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:39
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    @oliverbarnes - The type of aswer you deem acceptable isn't actually acceptable from a quality perspective. We look for more then "No; its not being worked on" because somebody could be working on it, and in 24 hours it could be outdated, the question again is a bad fit for a Q&A website. There wasn't a single moderator who voted to close your question. I don't have access to the reason(s) it was deleted though. I just recall who voted to close the question.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 23:51

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