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I noticed that a question about shell scripting was closed as "off-topic", but I don't understand the reason for this decision. Is it true that certain questions about shell scripting (such as this one) are considered "off-topic"? To me, it seems counter-intuitive for this question to be identified as "off-topic". Can this specific closing reason be justified, or should the question be reopened?

As far as I know, questions about shell scripting or Unix commands are considered on-topic on Stack Overflow. Is there some exception to this rule that I'm unaware of?

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this looks like a question about the linux environment rather than about shell scripting –  Jan Dvorak Jul 12 '13 at 17:33
@JanDvorak In that case, would the question be more relevant on Superuser than Stack Overflow? –  Anderson Green Jul 12 '13 at 17:34
I would say, Unix & Linux –  Jan Dvorak Jul 12 '13 at 17:34
It's too old to migrate. –  Robert Harvey Jul 12 '13 at 17:36
@RobertHarvey "... were it a new question", I add –  Jan Dvorak Jul 12 '13 at 17:37
Looks pretty valid to me. –  Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 23:02
@JoeTatavaran Unfortunately, it appears that the question has already been deleted. :( –  Anderson Green Jul 14 '13 at 1:43

1 Answer 1

It's not a programming question. Well, it could easily be one, all they have to do is talk about including it in a shell script and give a snippet.

But in it's current form it's really an end user question. Yes, end user -- most Linux users don't consider sudo and whatnot to be programming.

Maybe if it was asked now it could have been migrated to Unix & Linux (or maybe Super User), but it's 2 years old, can't be migrated.

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The "anti-migration rule" seems to be working to our disadvantage here. I wish it were somehow possible to migrate this question to the Superuser or Unix Stack Exchange site, since the question and its answers are still useful and not obsolete. –  Anderson Green Jul 12 '13 at 18:06
@AndersonGreen Meh. It's old, it's answered, why does it matter? –  Manishearth Jul 12 '13 at 18:07
Because I'm afraid that the question will be deleted in the future(resulting in a loss of knowledge) instead of being migrated to the correct site. Is there any chance that the question's answer will survive instead of being deleted? –  Anderson Green Jul 12 '13 at 18:10
@AndersonGreen Upvoted. Has answer. Answer upvoted. Clocks out on all three counts. Nope, no deletion –  Manishearth Jul 12 '13 at 18:12
@Manishearth grossly offtopic -> broken window -> possibility of deletion nontrivial. –  Rosinante Jul 12 '13 at 19:37
@Rosinante Not grossly off topic, though. –  Manishearth Jul 12 '13 at 19:39
@Rosinante Why do you think that particular question is "grossly offtopic"? –  Anderson Green Jul 12 '13 at 23:41
It is fundamentally a question about how the sudo facility works. Any programming or scripting issues are incidental. –  Rosinante Jul 13 '13 at 1:35
@Rosinante So, if someone pasted two bash snippet and asked y u no work (with a clear display of effort, yada yada), that's still off topic? That makes almost all bash questions off topic. Most questions on SO on other languages are like this. –  Manishearth Jul 13 '13 at 9:53
@AndersonGreen While I disagree with the anti-migration rule, this isn't a good example: there are plenty of similar questions with good answers on Super User and Unix & Linux already, there would be no point in migrating this one. Its deletion is no loss. –  Gilles Jul 13 '13 at 11:04
personally, I think there's a clear line between the scripting language (iteration, conditionals, variables) and the operating system commands that people invoke with it. –  Rosinante Jul 13 '13 at 15:28

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