I tried something new with a question that came up today:
Is there a stable Unity release for linux?
Rather than closing it immediately, I posted an answer giving the current info and also explaining why this particular site is not the best place for such questions:
No. At this time the Unity site still refers to the Linux editor as an "experimental" Beta feature.
In future, please direct this type of software query to the makers of that software. Because it's time-sensitive (maybe in two months there will be a stable Linux build released), handling it through our Q&A here risks leaving misleading signposts for future users.
(So, if you're a future user reading this after May 2018: don't take my word for it — check the manufacturer's website for the most up to date information)
Technically this is an answer to an off-topic question, but I'm hopeful this gives a friendlier experience for the asker and visitors who happen by the question, while still having the effect of teaching that this type of question is not appropriate for this site.
So this may offer another avenue to deal with answers to off-topic questions: edit them into a form like the one above, where the answer itself instructs about why the question is off-topic.
This strategy wouldn't work for all off-topic questions, but maybe those that are "topic-adjacent"?
- The question is about game development (we shouldn't go way off-scope)
- The question is readily answerable to some extent (we shouldn't invest a ton of time on off-topic questions, but if it's trivial to answer there's not a big cost)
- The Q&A does not fit the StackExchange model for some reason (eg. time sensitivity, reliance on external resources, etc.)
I'm not sure whether this is a good solution to the problem, so I submit it here for the community's review.