I just spotted this question on the front page, and I think this one and it's siblings listed in there should be closed/locked like their relatives (e.g.. the command line tools on Windows). What do you think?

  • +1; but would closing/locking have helped in this case? The reason it was frontpaged was because I edited my answer to make use of the keyboard markdown which I wasn't aware of when I posted it. (The reason it came to my attention BTW was due to my answer being awarded the necromancer badge a few minutes ago). – Bryan Feb 27 '12 at 22:38
  • "Hidden Features" are the exception to the rule that has been bestowed by the powers on high. Let me find the link. – Mark Henderson Feb 27 '12 at 22:39
  • @Bryan: It's not about your edit, which I think was fine, but these type of question where historical accepted here, but are not anymore and should be treated like other questions of this type, which is to lock them. – Sven Feb 27 '12 at 22:44
  • @SvenW, okay I thought you were suggesting it should be locked/closed to prevent it from reappearing on the front page, and I wasn't aware that either of those action would achieve that if another edit was made. – Bryan Feb 27 '12 at 22:53
  • We're not Wikipedia; something they do well is "lists of stuff", e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unix_utilities and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_MS-DOS_commands – Andrew Feb 28 '12 at 2:55

Definitely lockable.

  • Thanks, that was quick :) – Sven Feb 27 '12 at 22:40
  • before you lock it let me find a meta.so thread about hidden features – Mark Henderson Feb 27 '12 at 22:40
  • ...and now locked (I believe I got them all - at least all the linked ones) – voretaq7 Feb 27 '12 at 22:40
  • 2
  • @MarkHenderson Too late (though I can always unlock again to add comments). None of these seem to be talking about "hidden" in the traditional sense though, more "What are the cool tools/features you use every day that aren't in the docs" – voretaq7 Feb 27 '12 at 22:42
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    I have to disagree with that mSO post - These questions are the absolute definition of the "Locked for historical reasons" post notice (old, not really what we want to see in new questions, but valuable for "historical reasons") -- That said if people feel strongly that they should be left open I'll happily unlock them and we can stick a notice on them instead. – voretaq7 Feb 27 '12 at 22:46
  • I don't think they fit into our understanding about the site anymore, but I can unaccept the answer and we can treat this as a vote. – Sven Feb 27 '12 at 22:47
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    Lock it in a small room to die of asphyxiation in a pool of its own traumatically ejected body matter. Seriously, it's not good for ServerFault's format. – Wesley Feb 27 '12 at 22:51
  • @SvenW That's probably a good idea - throw up a "set our questions free!" answer and we'll see where it lands :) – voretaq7 Feb 27 '12 at 22:53
  • As much as these questions might now be considered as 'not a good fit', I'd love to be able to read and contribute to questions of this nature somewhere else on SF/SE. If only we could have an 'after hours' version of the server fault site, where questions of this nature would be allowed to thrive. – Bryan Feb 27 '12 at 23:07
  • With 5:-2 in favor of locking this stuff, I would consider this matter settled :) – Sven Feb 29 '12 at 22:33

I've always had an aversion to "hidden features" stuff. You'll find that most of the answers to those questions are about well known and well documented stuff. It would be hard to find something in the answers that genuinely qualified as a hidden feature. I see no value in any of those "questions" and would much prefer to see them vapourised.

  • 1
    Agreed. And any truly "hidden" features that do exist in the answers are going to be buried in the sea of "actually not hidden at all" nonsense – Rob Moir Feb 28 '12 at 10:43

The m.SO question posted by Mark is from July of last year; in October of last year, a number of SO's "hidden features" questions were closed and locked - and even as recently as a week ago, the one for Python was (re)closed.

The majority of their "big" hidden features questions seem to be closed and/or locked, but some are not; it doesn't seem to be quite a settled debate.

But, hey: we're not Stack Overflow, and I think we can make this one idiosyncrasy that we choose not to inherit.

  • Quite right, we're not Stack Overflow. – John Gardeniers Feb 28 '12 at 2:54

Most of these are not ServerFault specific; if a suitable format could be found ("What tool do I need to do X...?"), it might be suitable to move to Unix&Linux as a "canonical answer"-type question. If it belongs anywhere on the Stack Exchange network, it's not on ServerFault.

  • 1
    There is a suitable place for those questions - the bit bucket. – John Gardeniers Feb 29 '12 at 4:23
  • Unix & Linux categorically rejects any “hidden features” question. I don't think we'd be interested in any “canonical answer” question from SF; while we are somewhat lacking in that department, we'd rather evolve our own. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 29 '12 at 11:53

Please vote here if you think they should kept open.

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