This isn't really a bug, more of a "why does it work this way?", hope I'm tagging it right

The default view at https://unix.meta.stackexchange.com/ is the "questions" tab.

Why is it that "the community" bumps questions to this tab that are ancient (in computing terms)?

It doesn't make sense (to me) to give focus to an un-answered "old" question vs. the questions that have recent activity (being asked, being answered, being commented on).

Several times I've seen a question with no answers - or one answer but not accepted yet - at the top of the "questions" tab and thought "Oh, I can answer that..." only to discover that the question in question is about Debian Squeeze from 2012...

Of course, the problem becomes defining "old" - especially in computing terms, and the *nix world.


1 Answer 1


IMHO, if a question is unanswered, it should be answered, no matter how old and stale it is. If it has a few old unaccepted answers, and they are outdated, then add an updated answer.

It is true that very old questions are unlikely to have their answers accepted, but I have seen it happen.

I think this "bumping" is a good thing, and as far as I have noticed, it does not drown out new incoming questions.

I believe that the aim is not to get as many answers accepted as possible, but to provide well formulated answers to all questions.

A good answer is usually an answer that has been accepted (a human would presumably not accept a bad answer). When a question has no accepted answer, "bumping" it provides a way for us to look at the given answers and improve on them, either though editing or by adding further answers. In that way, the overall quality of answers on the site hopefully increases.

This is a good thing, because even though the question is ancient, people will definitely stumble upon it and use bits and pieces from the existing answers.

Think of it as an opportunity for a bit of quality control if you will.

  • So would an acceptable answer for a question related to Debian Squeeze (3 versions old now) be "Upgrade to a more recent distribution, that feature was added 2 releases ago" ?
    – ivanivan
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 10:39
  • @ivanivan That's one way to interpret what I wrote, but, hmmm... no, that doesn't sound quite right. You can't always upgrade an entire system (or install a new one) to solve an issue. It obviously depends on the issue and context.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 10:47
  • 1
    @ivanivan Adding an answer saying "This is a known issue with version 1 of frob in Squeeze, and the issue was solved with version 2 of the frob daemon in Xenial. This is how you can get the latest version of it running in Squeeze..." would be better.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 11:10

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