Ask Ubuntu will be 4 this year and as we toddle off into the future, we leave a trail of posts behind us.
Some are historically excellent, some were never that good and never got answered, and some have answers that no longer apply [to a problem that might still exist].
We've just had a couple of meta posts pop up asking for advice on how to deal with these age related problems so I thought it a good idea to ask how other SE sites cope with their older posts.
To compound the issue, Ask Ubuntu is slightly different to other SE sites. We only allow questions about "supported" Ubuntu releases on Ask Ubuntu. When something falls out of "support", it stops getting security updates and thus becomes —for lack of a better word— dangerous and we mark it as off-topic (we have a custom message that tells them they need to upgrade and how).
Another more Linux-specific thing is the evolution of drivers. Instructions from five years ago on how to install a wireless driver would probably destroy a modern Ubuntu install but the problem still exists. This is a common frustration when we get users arrive at Ask Ubuntu and tell us they followed a Ubuntu Forums guide from 2007 and everything broke. Shocker. We don't want to be that site in 2018.
It's also not just a problem of what to do. We could close and delete the one or two if they ever caused serious problems but we have 28,180 questions asked in 2010 and 2011. All of those questions are about releases that are now off-topic. I am familiar with questions like How to deal with obsolete answers? but how are we supposed to deal with these at our scale? We still have incoming that needs to be dealt with.
I am really looking to find out how other SE sites might already handle this before we discuss it on our own meta. I have a few talking points you might want to cover but I'll welcome any opinion:
In the cases where something is unanswered but the question would normally (if asked today) be closed as off-topic, should we be looking to close or delete these as off-topic?
What should we do about old answers that no longer apply? Sometimes things are just no longer required and some times they become outright incorrect. Our example is about Spotify which used to require a premium account to be used on Linux. Should we aim to maintain every accepted answer?
Is there any way to automatically highlight that an old question is (in Internet years), "older than time itself" and that readers from the future should take it with a pinch of salt... Or are the timestamps enough for this? Is there anything we can do to not be the site that breaks everybody's computers?
I'm almost certainly not asking enough questions so even if they don't fall directly into these questions, I'd love to hear from other sites on how they deal with age. If it's at all important, make sure you let us know what site you're talking about.