I have a mid-2012 Macbook Pro running High Sierra and I have to upgrade to Catalina (some programs are no longer updating). As usual I'm worried about bricking the machine, so I thought about asking the statistics (i.e. percentages) of problems related to upgrading the OS, and how these statistics change for recent releases: that way the QA would be based on data, not opinion-based like this, and therefore a bit more on-topic.

However, I still believe that such a question is off-topic (specially because it basically asks for a reference). Is that correct? How can I make such a question on-topic?

1 Answer 1


It depends how you ask the question. I love a good reference question, but sometimes they need some help to pass muster from people that vote to close. We are here to help you if it’s really one clear question and you can show your research (even awful research makes a question very good since lots of people can share how to do better research, and it the Internet loves a thing, it’s showing someone they are wrong about something - we just insist the tone be civil and not personal when you say a post is wrong.)

We have specific guidance about asking for off-site reference questions. Here are questions closed with that request for improvement.

Any of the above could get reopened once research is added and it meets quality standards as viewed by people with privileges to cast reopen votes.

Questions asking to recommend or find a Mac, book, tool, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Ask Different as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, edit this question to describe the problem and what research has been done so far to solve it.

So, show your research, try to make it about someone adding experience to help you find a better resource than the best one you could locate. If you say “I googled and nothing worked” you can expect swift close votes, but even then no worries, we can help you with edits and get it reopened.

  • Thanks for your guidance. I'll do my research and then posting the question (or, if the research goes well, I don't even need to post it!). Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 2:17
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    We love people that ask a clear question and then answer it with references. Especially people that are organized enough to ask clearly what’s on topic and get hell @GerardoFurtado thanks for your consideration and engagement here.
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 3:26

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