I voted to close this question "How can I fix this QGIS error?" as off-topic - submission of bug reports etc - but am having second thoughts as the GitHub repository seems to indicate that the plugin has been abandoned as issues are not being addressed and no commits have been made for a few years.

As issues/bug reports aren't being addressed, it seems a little wrong to close it when there's no avenue to report the bug for resolution and the GIS-SE community can actually assist.

I'm going to nominate for re-opening and let the community decide, but am interested in a general meta position.

Should bugs/issues with abandoned software be closed as off topic, particularly where GIS-SE can actually assist?

4 Answers 4


I agree with PolyGeo's statement that

We are not a formal GIS Software Support Site

But, at least in this particular case, I would not see the question as a bug report. I rather see it as a question on how to solve a specific issue. Therefore it does not matter whether the cause of the issue is a bug in an abandoned software or not. So this question is absolutely on topic and I have voted to reopen it.

Therefore I suggest the following:

  1. Leave the question open if: It asks on how to fix an issue or what the reason for an issue is. Most of these questions can be answered.
  2. Close the question if: It just reports a bug, or stating that bug should be fixed.
  3. No one here is forced to answer a question. If you think it is a bad question no matter if its the 1. or the 2. point, just ignore it, or if you feel like, downvote it.
  • Yes, thanks that's my feeling. I think your points highlighting the differences between questions on how to solve a specific issue and bug reports are the key. Even if the underlying issue is a bug.
    – user2856
    Dec 21, 2022 at 0:36

Ultimately we are all here because we appreciate the invaluable resource of information and problem solving this site provides and because we like to help others.

To the user the cause of errors is not known. They have a problem and they turn to this community for help. The community can help and that is great.

That's all that needs to be considered here. It does not really matter if the issue is caused by a bug in some software. A workaround is a solution for the user.

"We are not a formal GIS Software Support Site" is irrelevant here. The examples in the linked page where this quote originates makes that perfectly clear. This issue is nothing like those. If anything, if the software is abandoned, that is all the more reason to help users find an answer to issues that arise.


I agree with your first instinct rather than your second.

The custom close reason that your question relates to arose in the Meta GIS Q&A at Adding 'bug reports' to off-topic close reasons dialog?

That custom close reason harkens back to Allowing GIS SE to be support for particular software products?

In this case, you are asking about software (a particular plugin) that appears to have been abandoned by its developers. Even when there is no other support available for such software, I think we are best to stay with our mantra of:

We are not a formal GIS Software Support Site

which comes from the What topics can I ask about here? page of our Help.

If questions about abandoned software and/or their answer(s) are useful they remain on the site as long as they remain upvoted. The close vote indicates that trying to submit bugs, enhancements, etc for that abandoned software (or any software) is off-topic.

If anyone ever has an additional answer to add to a closed question, even on abandoned software like you describe, it is fine to flag the moderators, using the Other reason, to explain that, and ask that the question be re-opened temporarily for the purpose of adding that additional answer.


This falls is a grey area. I agree with those saying, on the balance, do not close.

"There is a bug in X." --> close, since main desired outcome is for developer to fix and this is not the site for it. This is even though an answer here might contain a workaround until such fixing is done. This is what I feel is the intent behind the "we are not a formal GIS software support site" rule.

"I can't get ... to work." --> keep open, since desired outcome is a method to get it to work. This is even through that answer may be a workaround, or even (as in this instance) a manual, user-implemented bug fix.

I feel the latter is the case here.

  • What about when "I can't get ... to work. I think there is a bug in X" or "I can't get ... to work because I think there is a bug in X"? Like you, I think any question where it's simply ""I can't get ... to work.", if the asker has described what they want to do, what they've tried and where they're stuck, is a candidate for leaving open. It's only the confirmation/suspicion that it's a bug that makes me think it's the software developer's responsibility (aka formal support) rather than on-topic/in-scope here, even if they have abandoned their software.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 22, 2022 at 5:27

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