I'm a little concerned that we're branching into an area that should be out of remit for this venue (specifically, regarding the question https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/33973/cdrdao-verify-cd#comment46037_33973 and others like it).

I can appreciate that asking for help with Unix utilities on other operating systems could be seen as on-topic (for example, accessing Unix filesystems from other operating systems). What I can't understand is how asking a question about a program that has been specifically packaged for another operating system is on-topic simply because the program is also frequently packaged by some Unix/Linux distributions. I can't imagine that we would accept questions about using Firefox on Windows, despite the fact that it is also true that Firefox is frequently packaged by Linux distributions.

I personally don't think it's productive to extend our remit this far. Where are we drawing the line?

  • When you start a meta discussion about a question, please add a link to the discussion in a comment on the question. Mar 12, 2012 at 0:13
  • @Gilles Sorry, thought I had.
    – Chris Down
    Mar 12, 2012 at 1:19

2 Answers 2


As far as I'm concerned, cross-platform applications are on-topic only if you are running them on a unix system. We might quibble over the definition of unix system sometimes (e.g. is OSX always on-topic, even if you're running a Coca application?) but Windows absolutely doesn't fit the bill.

Questions about Cygwin are fine inasmuch as you're treating it as a unix system that happens to run above Windows rather than above hardware or a virtual machine. If you're running some random program that happens to have a unix version, that doesn't make it automatically on-topic. This particular question is about a program that interacts with hardware, which is likely to be very dependent on the underlying platform, so it's firmly outside the expertise of the audience of this site. This question does not belong here.


My argument on that question was it's likely that the answer applies to Unix as well. If that's the case, it seems fine to keep the question; even though this specific asker might be using Windows, someone with this problem in the future might be on Unix. The only problem is it might be unclear if the problem is Windows-specific. In any case, the OP asked for migration this time

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