Welcome to Codidact Meta!
Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.
Should there be a community here for Linux users?
Codidact finally took off. A collective dream was named Codidact. This is now a Q & A website. Congratulations.
I used Stack Exchange [SE] most times for Linux questions. When I come across difficulties I search in DuckDuckGo and I find SE, or/and Quora.
Note: Please see also How should we approach our (non-developer) software community proposals?. We are trying to work o …
Rather than adding a bunch of comments to the existing proposal, I'm going to add an alternative scope proposal Th …
Scope Proposal The community is centered on people with experience or interest in using or administrating the (GNU/)L …
Scope proposal The new site should cover everything specifically Unix or Unix-like, covering all aspects. It should h …
There's a lot of interest in this proposal. That's great! There are also questions about scope. We'd like to help thi …
Linux, Unix, both? Other answers here talk about Linux, Unix, and Unix-like systems. Neither of the scope posts has …
Scope: Should WSL be on-topic? I'd say yes, because it is (technically) Linux, but there might be some peculiarities …
Note: Please see also How should we approach our (non-developer) software community proposals?. We are trying to work out how this proposal interacts with others. (It sounds like Linux is probably different and that won't affect this in the end, but I want to make sure folks are aware.)
Right now we don't have a good way of identifying people who would help build a new community, so let's do this: if you are interested in helping to build this site, please leave a comment describing your level of interest (casual visitor, enthusiast, expert in this topic within the site's scope, something else?), or edit the post directly. I'll edit comments into the post later.
I would use it (casual visitor). — 8063
Enthusiast here! — r~~
I would have occasional user-level questions, and probably some questions for which the answers involve
sudo. - Monica Cellio
I think I would be a casual visitor with occasional questions. — mbomb007
I would likely be a regular visitor and consider myself to be a competent user, more likely to answer than ask questions. — Canina
I'd be an asker — ShowMeBillyJo
I'd be a casual participant who would ask/answer on occasion (for comparison, you can see my account on Unix & Linux SE which shows I've posted 5 questions and 3 answers and voted 72 times over the past ~5.5 years) — laserkittens (Dan)
I'd be a casual visitor for the most part, I'd likely mostly just read, occasionally answer. I've got knowledge in some parts of the Linux kernel and how to configure a system, but I am not much of a script writer in the usual Linux sense (no Perl, only basic shell scripts), I'm fluent in Python though and I usually use that for automation, though at that point it's probably more a software question than a Linux question. — jrh
I’ve been using Linux as my primary OS for over two years, so I might be able to help with answering some questions, but I’d definitely lurk around and read. — ploni
enthusiast and somewhat experienced AU answerer here, I would love to help building up this community! — dessert
I'd probably be a casual visitor/poster. — celtschk
I'd be a casual poster. I've been using Linux and MacOS for a while. — Razetime
Another enthusiast here — fedorqui
Casual user, probably questions about WSL. — Sigma
Oh, If WSL is on topic for this site then I'd probably use it as well (casual) — Moshi
I'd be a casual user — FoggyFinder
I'd be a casual user as well — Ullallulloo
I'd be a casual as well — 10 Rep
Expert in this topic (Linux) — paulocoghi
I'd visit it regularly, probably more by giving answers, asking clarification, etc. than by asking. I am/was an active user at Unix & Linux SE (my account there) — qsmodo
Re "If WSL is on topic" -- could y'all work out at least a high-level scope for this community? Linux specifically or any Unix or any Unix-like system? WSL? What else? (I don't know enough to ask the right questions.)
1 comment thread
Rather than adding a bunch of comments to the existing proposal, I'm going to add an
alternative scope proposal
The community should cover Unix-like operating systems, but only to the extent that the Unix-like portions are what the question is about.
This uses "Unix-like operating systems" to refer collectively to such diverse systems as Linux (including both the kernel proper, typical general-purpose userlands such as GNU, and distribution-specific idiosyncrasies), the various *BSDs, Mac OS X, Windows Subsystem for Linux, Cygwin, the various proprietary UNIXes, and other operating systems and environments that operate similarly from a user (including system administrator) perspective.
- Questions about installation, configuration, usage, administration, troubleshooting and repair of the Unix-like portions of Unix-like operating systems.
- Questions about system startup of Unix-like operating systems, including configuration and error recovery thereof. (Editor's note: this includes, but is not limited to, Grub as a bootloader; it could also include, say, LILO or Syslinux. It can also include kernel initialization and system bootstrapping; asking about, say, root file system pivoting during the Linux boot process would fall into this category.)
- Questions about performing, scripting and automating tasks using tools commonly used for such purposes on Unix-like operating systems.
- Questions about how to accomplish a task in a GUI that can run on more than one Unix-like operating system. (Editor's note: the latter criteria excludes "how do I do X on Android?" or "how do I do Y using the OS X GUI?" because, while those are GUIs running on top of a Unix-like foundation, the GUIs are specific to those OSes and are therefore more of defining features of those specific OSes than of Unix-like operating systems in general. Questions about how to accomplish a task in a distribution-centric way on a Unix-like operating system, such as "how do I configure Z on Ubuntu?" are allowed under the "distribution-specific idiosyncrasies" allowance as long as the GUI itself can run on more than one Unix-like operating system.)
- Questions about the history of Unix-like operating systems, including historical implementations.
- Software development in a more general sense, even for software intended to run on a Unix-like operating system (should go on Software Development instead).
- For Unix-like environments running within other operating systems (such as Cygwin, WSL, or the terminal in Mac OS X), questions relating solely to the operating system hosting the Unix-like environment, unless that is itself Unix-like. (Editor's note: the last exception allows for example questions about hosting of containers, namespaces and jails, where a Unix-like environment operates within another Unix-like environment, possibly constrained in some manner by the outer environment.)
- General software usage questions that are unrelated to the operating system; it's not enough to add "when run on insert-favorite-*nix-here" to make "how do I draw a rectangle in LibreOffice Draw?" on-topic.
- Software recommendations; ask how to accomplish a defined task, not which tool to use to accomplish a task.
There are going to be some issues defining which exact task-automation questions fall within or outside of the community's scope, no matter the delineation, simply because in some sense, task automation is what all software development is all about. My intent in the bullet point on performing, scripting and automating tasks is to cover typical usage of a shell, including shell scripting (after all, nothing particularly magical happens because commands are placed in a file instead of typed manually at a terminal), while excluding development of larger-scale software.
As for the suggestion that configuring the boot sequence is on-topic but configuring an Apache web server is off topic, I'm torn on the issue. Near one extreme, "how do I configure LibreOffice to include my name in documents I save?" clearly has nothing to do with anything Unix-like, even though LibreOffice can run on Unix-like OSes; somewhere close to the other extreme, "how do I configure my insert-favorite-*nix-here system to not activate the kernel-implemented system facility XYZ during the boot process?" would pretty clearly be on topic; but there are quite fine lines between questions like "how do I configure Apache to do X without intervention during FreeBSD system boot?", "how do I configure the OpenIndiana NFS subsystem to export the Y file system automatically once it becomes available?" and "how do I configure the DHCP client daemon to do Z during Debian system boot?". Personally, I would be inclined to go for a slightly more permissive stance at first and revisit the issue later if it becomes a problem.
0 comment threads
The community is centered on people with experience or interest in using or administrating the (GNU/)Linux operating system on servers or desktop (including laptops, excluding most phones and tablets) computers.
Topicality of questions
This community explicitly doesn't attempt to place itself within a taxonomy of question topics. Any question is on topic if the intended audience is people with experience using Linux. Any question is off topic if the intended audience is a different set of people.
Yeah, look. Sometimes someone is going to be running LibreOffice on Linux and there's going to be a bug that causes their page to look corrupted when they use a certain function. They haven't been able to figure out any more than that from their own research, so they go to their Linux User Group and someone there has seen the same thing, caused by a particular version of a graphics driver. It doesn't matter that LibreOffice can run on other OSes, and it doesn't matter that the person with the problem didn't and couldn't know whether the problem was caused by a LibreOffice issue or a Linux issue. What matters is that the person with the problem connects with the community containing the people most likely to have relevant experience. This is the community of people with Linux experience—think of it as an online LUG in Q&A format.
So what about macOS, BSDs, and other Unix-likes? What about Android, WSL, Linux on embedded devices, and other Linux deployments beyond traditional server and desktop?
People are welcome to ask questions on those topics here as long as those questions are directed at the community centered in the first sentence. They should have a good sense of why this community's experience might be relevant to their question before they post.
But why so narrow? Why not just target a broader scope in the first place?
Because experience with Linux on the desktop doesn't equate to experience with FreeBSD or experience with WSL. The goal of this specific scope proposal is to rally people with an area of common experience, not people with different experiences that are technically related to each other by a kernel or a POSIX standard. People with common experience will have interesting things to ask of/say to each other, will be able to reach consensus via voting, etc.
If it turns out that of the people here with Linux desktop experience, most of them also happen to have (e.g.) BSD experience as well, then it would make sense to me to choose a scope that explicitly centers BSD as well. I don't expect that will be the case but I will withdraw this proposal if I'm wrong.
Overlap with Software Development
To reiterate, any question is on topic if the intended audience is people with Linux experience. So, a question about developing software either on or for Linux would likely be on topic for both the Software Development and Linux Codidacts. A question about implementing a FUSE filesystem, even if the asker is developing on and for a Mac, could also be on topic here—the asker doesn't have to be a Linux user, and the topic doesn't have to be Linux-exclusive. The one and only criterion is whether the asker wants the input of people who are experienced with Linux on the server or desktop; ideally, the question will be written in such a way that it is clear why the asker wants said input, as opposed to the input of a broader community of software developers (or any other Codidact community).
There have to be some off-topic topics though
Only if the asker didn't read the sign above the door. A question asking about how to clean an oven is probably off topic. A question about how to uninstall an app from an iPhone is probably off topic. (I say ‘probably’ because those questions could in fact be on topic if and only if the asker has a good reason to ask the Linux community specifically about those things—I can't think of one, but that doesn't mean one can't exist.)
It should be clear, either from the topic of the question or from context written into the question, what the connection to the Linux community is, and if that's missing, we will politely ask you to add it or retract the question. But as long as it's there, any topic is fair game, as long as the question isn't bad for other reasons (too broad, too subjective, didn't try to solve before asking, etc.).
To be very clear, I'm not trying to make some sort of crypto-anti-diversity statement in the cultural sense. This is an argument for having one area of common experience, not against also having other areas of different experiences. ↩︎
The new site should cover everything specifically Unix or Unix-like, covering all aspects. It should however not cover topics that are independent of Unix, or only marginally related to it.
Everything that could in principle be answered purely from the POSIX specification, as well as components that replace POSIX facilities.
Questions about GNU command line tools.
Questions about package managers
Questions about configuring Unix-like systems, as long as they are restricted to components that are otherwise on-topic (e.g., configuring your boot sequence is on-topic, configuring your Apache server is off-topic).
Questions about the X Window system or Wayland, as well as window managers and desktop environments running on top of those.
Questions about Grub.
Use of software that just happens to run under Unix or Linux (for example, questions on the usage of LibreOffice or the Apache web server).
Questions specifically about running Unix-like utilities under non-Unix operating systems (this includes both native ports of Unix utilities, or more sophisticated environments like Cygwin or WSL).
For systems comprised both of Unix and decidedly non-Unix parts (like OS X), anything that relates to the non-Unix part.
Generic programming questions that don't specifically relate to Unix or Unix-like operating systems, or are only marginally related (e.g. how to do thread-safe programming with POSIX threads would be off-topic despite being POSIX related, because the principles of thread-safe programming are mostly independent of the specific threading library used).
Anything I forgot to include or exclude?
If so, please tell in the comments.
1 comment thread
There's a lot of interest in this proposal. That's great! There are also questions about scope. We'd like to help this community succeed, and to do that we need everyone (or at least most folks) to agree on what it is you're building.
Could somebody add a draft scope (doesn't need to be long but should indicate what's in/out broadly) as an answer, so people can comment, vote, and refine? Please address Linux vs Unix (is it both? just the former?) and the WSL question, and whatever else might be big and controversial that I don't know to ask about. Thanks!
0 comment threads
Scope: Should WSL be on-topic?
I'd say yes, because it is (technically) Linux, but there might be some peculiarities specific to WSL that would make it too far removed from being a 'Linux' question (e.g. I've seen a lot of WSL bugs ending up being "Microsoft hasn't implemented that functionality yet").
Such a scope question might come down to whether WSL is considered just a tool or if it is a system in its own right; if it is merely a tool, then it might be more on-topic on Software Development.
Of course, such questions might also be on topic on both communities, but that should also be thought about. ↩︎
Linux, Unix, both?
Other answers here talk about Linux, Unix, and Unix-like systems. Neither of the scope posts has a lot of votes yet (and we can see that WSL is controversial). Is this a Linux-only community or broader? What's the one-line summary we could present to people who casually come by, so they'd know whether we're what they're looking for?
Could the people who've expressed interest weigh in by voting or commenting on scope? Thanks!
1 comment thread