With the developer preview of Lion available and the customer seed program in action, I imagine that we're going to start seeing questions about the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Since all the previewers are bound by an NDA, how far are we going to allow discussion to go on this site?
For example, is it okay to share or ask for a workaround for a bug or a trick/hack for some cool functionality?
Will we allow questions in the vein of 'Will it do this or this?'

How do you folks plan on handling this sort of thing?

This would have been a great question to ask during the Town Hall meeting, as great as the hackintosh questions were, this is highly relevant too. –  Jason Salaz Mar 2 '11 at 6:08
@Jason could have included a "relevant" link to the town hall digest –  Cawas Apr 5 '11 at 11:47
For link purposes: Update to FAQ regarding beta and pre-release software –  Graham Perrin Aug 23 '11 at 8:33
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3 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It's simple:

  • Is the question about something available to the public?
  • Is the question about something that has been officially announced?

If the answer to both these questions is "No," the question should be closed asap.

No rumors, no speculation, and no discussions—that's what keeps this site different from everywhere else, and what makes it work. There are enough places online for chit chat; anyone who wants that can easily find it elsewhere.

I agree that rumors, speculation, and discussions should be closed. However, while I do agree that questions about unreleased functionality should be discouraged, it should not be because it's under NDA (which we have no obligation to enforce), but because it may be subject to change prior to release, making the answers potentially incorrect. –  Kyle Cronin Feb 26 '11 at 5:46
I would also note that this a beta (or perhaps worse) and thus anything that is true now could be different in the public version and thus we should close questions re Lion –  Mark Feb 28 '11 at 14:04
@Kyle - you say we have no obligation to enforce but Hackintosh questions apple.stackexchange.com/questions/9562/… are closed because " off topic due to the violation of the Apple EULA" –  Mark Mar 4 '11 at 12:53
@Mark and Dori and Kyle... So, should hackintosh questions be closed? I would expect that it depends on the same points Dori just pointed here. –  Cawas Mar 4 '11 at 19:11
@Cawas: I would assume her first point could be said with an implied word left out: "...something LEGALLY available to the public." Creating a hackintosh violates the terms of the EULA you entered into when you bought OS/X, at which point you fail that check. (or you downloaded it illegally, again, failing that check.) –  cabbey Apr 5 '11 at 10:13
@cabbey I see... But using jailbreak also violates the EULA as far as I can tell, but those questions aren't closed. Maybe I should open a question about this. –  Cawas Apr 5 '11 at 11:39
hmm, I thought I had seen a couple of them get closed. But then there's also a (US) judge's ruling that jailbreaking isn't illegal and doesn't violate the EULA. It is actually a protected form of hacking for interoperability. (at least for now, here in the US.) –  cabbey Apr 5 '11 at 16:32
Dori - I have flagged several Lion questions and all remain open. It seems pretty clear you are advocating for closing them as well as purging comments that obviously relate to non-publicly available information that Apple has released on Lion. Not a huge deal - but the site isn't reflecting the "No rumors, no speculation" since iOS 5 betas, iCloud, and Lion are certainly not yet available to the public. –  bmike Jun 9 '11 at 20:37
I'll let the mods work (as a newcomer to SE - I don't know who they are - how to find them - and must assume they work behind the scenes to clean up the flags I have put) I just assumed you were a mod based on reputation score - but it appears there is another list somewhere I'm not aware of. –  bmike Jun 10 '11 at 14:45
@bmike (& @Dori): I think there are two issues here regarding the consistency (or lack thereof) you see in how Lion questions are handled. The first is simply keeping up with the volume of questions and all of their nuances. I, as a moderator, rely on the community (probably a bit too heavily) to flag things since my time spent here is sporadic so I focus on particular topics. The second reason I see is that not all questions about Lion are about Lion itself but rather about software running on Lion. That skirts the edges of this site's scope, and I prefer to err on the side of caution by... –  Philip Regan Jun 17 '11 at 18:31
... leaving the question in place in case a viable answer is posted. I don't think this is something that has been heavily discussed amongst the mods, at least not to my knowledge since I really can't do online chat, so the other mods may have a different take on the issue. As for there being a list of the mods, I'm not sure the SE sites have a publicly available list, but we do have one in the mod sections, and I think it would be great if there was a list available so users know where to look. At the same time, all new questions posted to meta appear at the top left of the page like comments –  Philip Regan Jun 17 '11 at 18:35
@Dori: I think I knew that at one point and just forgot. Thanks for the tip! –  Philip Regan Jun 17 '11 at 23:43
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As already noted, Lion is just a Developer's preview. I do agree to keep certain questions that are more deep than "will I be able to do X on Lion". The person asking if Lion/Xcode 4 was good for developing was on a fine edge, but the question drew a generic conclusion: "don't use betas for stable environments".

We'll have to pay attention and see what happens with Lion, and how many questions we get.

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I think that we should allow all kind of questions and answers. It is the responsability of the individual putting the question/answer not to break the NDA, EULA, ...

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