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Bear with me, I'm fuming about getting a decline flag at 665 fw, which will take about 20ish successful flags to make up.

I flagged this question for migration to U&L. It has absolutely nothing to do with systems administration other than the OP saying "I think this would be particularly useful for virtual appliances and server deployment." That cannot be the standard for allowing questions to stay on the site that are otherwise unrelated. I could pick any technology topic under the sun, ask a question, and follow up with that sentence. Someone somewhere can find anything useful, this can't be the criteria by which question relevance is judged.

Now I'm down 10 fw (which is a metric shit ton when you're at 665) and the question is still here. Why is this a more fitting place for that question than U&L?

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    I think part of the problem is we don't have the best migration choices list on SF (U&L really needs to be there - I know many if not most of the flags I put up are "This belongs on U&L") - U&L and apple.SE should probably be added at some point... – voretaq7 Nov 16 '11 at 22:15
  • @voretaq7 - this came up a few weeks ago - check out my analysis of migration paths here: meta.serverfault.com/questions/2004/expand-migrate-options/… – Mark Henderson Nov 16 '11 at 22:26
  • @voretaq7 U&L is our #3 migration target by the stats. DBA & Apple are tied in 4th place. – sysadmin1138 Nov 16 '11 at 22:28
  • @MarkHenderson ah I didn't see that meta Q - added a comment re: paths of lower resistance winning though. – voretaq7 Nov 16 '11 at 22:30
  • While I agree that the question isn't a good fit for SF and have voted accordingly "I'm fuming about getting a decline flag at 665 fw, which will take about 20ish successful flags to make up." suggests to me that you're more concerned about racking up a score than flagging for practical purposes. – John Gardeniers Nov 17 '11 at 21:45
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    @JohnGardeniers Im not sure what you mean by "practical purposes". I don't flag superflously and I run out of close votes almost every day. I take full advantage of /review and I actively answer answer questions. I'm less than 100fw from the gold Marshall badge. I would say that I care about my flag weight and the items that I'm flagging equally. It's a measure of how well I participate in the flagging process, much like how rep is a measure of how well you participate in the Q&A process. If they didn't want us to care about fw, there wouldn't be a shiny gold badge at the end of the tunnel. – MDMarra Nov 17 '11 at 22:15
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I was the one who marked that as declined because I've used these tools, have seen them used in sysadmin environments, and know the use-cases behind them. Each distro does have ways of customizing deployment, and many of them have more than one way of doing so. These tools, SuseStudio is the one I'm most familiar with, go farther in that they can spit out a virtual-machine disk at the other end that can be imported to any number of hypervisors. They also have much more friendly ways of specifying packages to include (no XML-hacking!) as well as ways of packaging custom software for inclusion.

It may seem like a toy, but they're quite useful in some environments. The OP is right, they are quite useful for Virtual Appliances and Server Deployments. If you need a way to define software for a specific distro and need regular exports to an Amazon AMI for use in AWS, it can greatly shorten the work needed to make what you want happen. It's a lot more convenient than maintaining your own YUM repos and tracking dependency issues with your custom-built RPMs.

In this case, you lucked into a mod with specific domain knowledge about the question at hand :}.

Yes, this could happily exist on either ServerFault or Unix & Linux. In light of how I've seen these products used, I interpreted this question entirely topical.

  • Also, preference should always be given to keeping a question on the site it was posted over migrating it – Zypher Nov 16 '11 at 21:53
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    It is the 'web based' portion of his requirements that make it sound non-sysadmin-y. I would want a CLI for something like that. – Zoredache Nov 16 '11 at 22:15
  • @Zoredache On reflection, I can see why that would be the case. It isn't obvious but one does have an API (susestudio.com/help/api/v2). That'd be one ugly bash-script full of wget calls, but it could work. – sysadmin1138 Nov 16 '11 at 22:40
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    Interestingly, the question ended up being closed via VTC, which bizarrely still does not allow high-rep users to nominate questions for migrations to the most appropriate site. – Skyhawk Jan 22 '12 at 19:07
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I would hazard that 75% of the flags we get are "this belongs on $x", which is generally not a valid reason for flagging , unless the site you think it should be migrated to is not in the standard migration path (that's what vote-to-close is for. A lot of people seem to think that a mod flag is a magic hammer that gets them what they want without requiring other community involvement).

Now, obviously U&L certainly is a valid reason for flagging as "belongs on", because it's not in the standard migration path.

However, this question is definately inside a grey area. As sysadmins, we love things that make our lives easier. And the ability to pick and chose what's inside a particlar distro before installation, well that's certainly useful.

I see it analoguous to asking about Windows System Image Manager (which allows you to customise an install image before it's been installed, by adding packages and drivers, or perhaps more importantly, removing packages).

So, yes, it's about Linux, but so are what, 50% of the questions on the site, and there's a huge overlap between U&L and ServerFault and SuperUser and AskUbuntu.

So, although I had nothing to do with that particular flag, I can see why it wasn't actioned. However, I also probably wouldn't have marked as Declined because I could see the merit behind the flag (I tend to not action maybe 25%-33% of flags that come through and still mark them as Helpful, because even though I don't agree with them, I can see where the flagger was coming from).

  • I understand your analogy with Windows systems, but I disagree. It seems like what the OP was asking for is more akin to nlite and family and WSIM would be more akin to kickstart. There are well-documented tools for customizing the installation of distros for sysadmins. What I thought the OP was looking for was something more hold-my-hand-though-this friendly, which is end-user land to me. – MDMarra Nov 16 '11 at 21:21
  • Also, unrelated but since you brought it up: If I'm out of close votes for the day and I see something that is in the migration path, but I can't vote to migrate it, is that a valid use of a flag or should I just sit tight until the next day? – MDMarra Nov 16 '11 at 21:23
  • @MarkM - good question. I'd say yeah, continue to flag in that case then, but if nothing happens, be prepared to continue to use your close votes on the same question tomorrow. Also, perhaps you're right about the comparison with nlite instead... I'm not particular familiar with un-attended *nix installations. – Mark Henderson Nov 16 '11 at 21:25
  • Thanks for the response. I didn't mean to nitpick you, especially since you weren't the one that declined. – MDMarra Nov 16 '11 at 21:26
  • @MarkM - I didn't detect any nitpicking, but I have a fairly thick skin. I can totally understand your frustration of losing 10 fw when it's a non-linear scale. – Mark Henderson Nov 16 '11 at 21:27
  • Flagging a move even if it's a close target can be valid. If you don't have the privilege to cast close votes then your only recourse is to flag. If you do have the privilege then a flag gets converted to the relevant close vote. – Iain Nov 16 '11 at 21:53

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