What's the problem with the comments?
I thought the comments were basically valid, if just a little bit harsh. I also agree with Michael Hampton in that the OP is the first one who bristled when they didn't get a nice answer chock full o' pointers and links for them to reference. I think the following comments were at least partly in reaction to the bristling by the OP when it became clear they didn't want to hear good advice. From a sysadmin perspective we would totally put the brakes on something like this if we saw it crop up in our environments, because we know better than to try and implement:
"...the minimum things we should do before going live in production to ensure
that we don't subject the server to any security or other malicious
Since the OP doesn't have any sysadmins they don't have anyone on the inside telling them "maybe we should rethink this". They're a dev-driven shop as many start-ups are, and they will find out the hard way when they put an insecure server out there on the interwebs. Unfortunately, I think the OP walked away from their experience thinking most of the people on SF are rude and not helpful instead of going back to their team and saying "We should contract with a sysadmin to make sure we are deploying things properly and aren't putting insecure things into production."
"Here at Chotchkies we don't like to do the bare minimum..."
As we know, there is no such thing as "the minimum" when it comes to security. All it takes is one vulnerability and you are done, and the comments were in response to the lack of understanding of this concept in the OP's question. That plus it was impossibly broad to answer in the Q&A format of SF. Also we would never try to barely understand something, read a "Ubuntu for Dummies" hardening guide, throw it into production, and hope for the best without understanding the concepts behind the hardening guidelines and the best way to implement them.
It was also obvious from the OP that they didn't want to understand anything about what they were asking. They just wanted some guide or basic pointers to doing the "minimum" to get their code or whatever into prod, which goes against the grain of every decent sysadmin. This being the case, nobody here wants to give pointers or waste their time on any amount of half-hearted advice to an OP who doesn't even want the full answer in the first place. So what happens? The "old salts" who have been on here awhile cut right to the chase, because they have seen this whole thing play out before and they know better. They know whatever they say isn't really going to be implemented well or at all so they want nothing to do with it and discourage the whole thing altogether.
How could things have gone differently?
Well, nothing was really wrong with the content of the comments since they spoke the truth. The way in which that content was delivered could have been a little softer like saying:
"Your question is far too broad to be answered in a Q&A format like SF. I
suggest you start with understanding the OS better instead of focusing
100% on the app side of it before you decide to throw it into prod,
because if you don't, you will have many more issues down the road."
Or maybe we could come up with a canonical answer on why the OP's general approach is not a good idea, and why baking in good sysadmin practices from the beginning is a good idea? Whether or not they accept it is up to them, but at least they may not feel like their wrist just got slapped for asking something that is perfectly acceptable to ask on SO... Ahh... I think therin lies the answer that keeps surfacing time and time and time and time again... SF is not like SO and nobody coming to the site realizes it despite the many discussions and attempts at differentiating SF from its bigger, older brother. I'm not going to try and offer any suggestions on successfully doing this other than saying one thing:
Maybe SF should take it's own advice, admit that the community does not know how to accomplish this and contract with a marketing person/company who has experience on how to differentiate SF from SO enough so that it will be obvious to new people coming to the site.
Finally, lain mentions that SF "...has unfortunately descended to the lowest common denominator and like so many other places is just somewhere else for the clueless, feckless, hapless ... to to ask crappy questions." The last part is true since SF is open to anyone to ask questions, but as far as I know it is still up to the "old salts" to ensure that the first part never happens by shooting down questions like this in one way or another.