My question Remote mouse pointer not visible in VNC was just closed because it is allegedly not related to "professional server, networking, or related infrastructure administration". This is not true.

I'm creating a template to generate a lot of virtualized machines which will run on a server to provide access over the VNC network protocol for professional software developers to do their work together on what you could call a virtualized workstation. And in the process of creating this template I discovered a problem, which probably is a problem best solved by system administrators.

I don't get it. Really.

Emphasis added to highlight topics which are explicitly included in FAQ.

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    What's with all the "(!)"? If you're going to write like kid you can expect to be treated accordingly. Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 4:08
  • 1
    Those mark the topics which should be asked on serverfault.com from the FAQ. You probably don't know about them.
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 4:44
  • 3
    @aef I think it's pretty fair to say that John (as one of the users prominently involved in helping craft our FAQ) is well aware of its contents.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 4:47
  • Well then, why the question?
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 4:48
  • Are you really voting me down because I marked words with an exclamation mark in my text?
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 7:42
  • Reading your answer I should have closed your question as Too Localized rather than going with Off Topic (which it appears to be). TL because, whilst your answer may solve your specific problem it does not solve the general problem (which in reality is what we're here for) and is therefore only of use to you.
    – user9517
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 8:06
  • @Iain: If you would close every question if the first answer doesn't solve it completely sufficient, there would be a serious lack of useful information on the site. I don't understand that argumentation. If a question is closed, there is no chance to ever get a better answer.
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 8:51
  • Most first answers generally answer the question posed rather than just saying I gave up and used a different tool, which, whilst solving your problem doesn't really answer the question.
    – user9517
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 9:29
  • @Iain Maybe, but how does it help to close the question? You won't get a better answer then.
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 15:57
  • And did you notice that there seem to be a lot of people not discussing this topic but instead downvoting my topic because @JohnGardeniers said it would be childish to mark words with an exclamation mark. I see no professionalism in that.
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 15:59
  • @ae: My spidey sense tells me that most people would look at your answer and walk away because you did too. DVs on meta are because people are disagreeing with you. You'll have noted that Michael has taken some too as people are doing the same.
    – user9517
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 17:38
  • @aef things work differently here on meta, downvotes mean that people don't tend to agree, whereas upvotes suggest people do agree. Don't take it personally.
    – user11604
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 21:11

3 Answers 3


I saw this, didn't vote to close this, and I disagree with the close reason. So I voted to reopen it.

That said...

  • It apparently wasn't clear to several people from reading just the question itself that you were administering these computers in a professional environment. More to the point, it would appear that these users believed that you specifically were not administering the computers in a professional environment. Modifying the question to make your environment and overall goals more clear would be helpful.
  • The subject matter of the question is fairly obscure for Server Fault. Even if it were blatantly on topic as-is, it still risks being closed as too localized. I'm pretty sure this question would be a better fit at our sister site Unix & Linux which welcomes questions of this nature.

This really strikes me as a fringe question at best -- If your question were about creating the template, or deploying the template it would certainly be on-topic for Server Fault, but your question is essentially "My upgrade included a VNC server that broke interaction between [list of VNC clients] - HALP!".

There is really no evidence of research (though I will give you credit for some decent troubleshooting), and really the only way to get an answer is to talk to the Fedora/GNOME developers and/or the VNC client developers to find out what's causing the unexpected disappearance of your pointer.

Following on what I just said about research, I personally don't consider your answer to meet our standards for an answer -- it's basically "Just give up and use [alternate software]" with no logical reason other than "[alternate software] worked for me!". The original problem still exists, and someone who can't change the underlying software isn't helped.

If your research has lead you to conclude that the only solution is using alternate software your answer should reflect that: Save other people who can't change software on a whim the pain of reproducing your work and give them something they can point to in order to get authorization.

If you simply threw your hands up and banged on stuff until it worked then the answer is only helpful to you -- Too Localized is just as bad for an answer as for a question, and questions with single "I fixed it for me" answers are fodder for the shredder during cleanup drives.

  • It solved my problem, and I posted what I did to solve that problem. People who can't change the software just lost their chance of a different answer because some guys closed the question. That wasn't my idea.
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 4:53
  • 1
    @aef I think you've missed my point (and/or did not read the blog post I linked to). A good answer should explain the "WHY", not just the "How". Your answer has no "Why", which limits its value.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 5:01
  • I don't know why, I guess its a bug. Should I have kept the solution to me, just because I don't know why? Think about all the people how CAN change the software product.
    – aef
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 5:04

I wouldn't have voted to close your question, but then again, I won't be voting to re-open it either in its current form. I'd suggest performing a quick edit, and adding some of the words that you emphasised in this meta question, then I'm sure you're question will be reopened and will probably score a few upvotes too.

  • It's not the words used that makes a question on topic. It's the context. Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 6:27
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    @JohnGardeniers Maybe I'm being dumb, but I don't see why the context of this particular question makes it off topic? It seems to fit the FAQ as far as I can tell, other than the fact it's missing a few words to make it appear as though the question relates to a professional environment.
    – user11604
    Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 8:38
  • My point is simply that the question either is or is not on topic. Throwing a few keywords at it won't change things. Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 0:40
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    @JohnGardeniers Not convinced, I've seen off topic questions here on SF relating directly to home use, which has then had any reference to home being edited out by other users, thus generating an on topic question with many up votes. So keywords can make or break a borderline question, which is what I think this question is.
    – user11604
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 23:02

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