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I posted an answer to this question, originally about the Apache Tomcat thread pool; after providing my assistance and helping the OP understand his problem, he's edited his question so my answer now appears almost unrelated.

Should the OP do this? I now feel less likely to get any up-votes/and more likely to actually be down-voted for not answering his direct "question."

What's the correct approach in such cases?

  • Should I update my answer again (and again...)?
  • Should I delete my answer because it's not really relevant any more (and to avoid -1's)?
  • Should the question be rolled back (and the OP ask the follow up question)?
  • Should it just be left as-is?


To further explain my example to Cody Gray:

Say you have a question titled: "Car Engine Problem" then the content "How to change oil?", then someone answers:

Undo the drain plug on the engine sump to let the oil out. {snip} Lift the bonnet (hood), look for a filler cap on the engine and dip stick {snip}

Then the OP changes the title to "Gearbox issue".

Now someone views the question and thinks "Hey, you don't fill the gearbox oil at the engine filler, plus you'd usually have to be under the car - not in the engine component" - so they downvote. Whereas the answer was correct - maybe worth an upvote, now it looks totally wrong.

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He's only updated the question title and tags. – ChrisF Aug 24 '11 at 16:25
Yes, but it significantly alters the emphasis / appearance of his question. – Mikaveli Aug 24 '11 at 16:28
I don't see how it alters the content of the question, though. A correct and useful answer to one is a correct and useful answer to the other. No, you shouldn't roll this back: people are encouraged to continually improve their questions. If you feel like you should update your answer, then please feel free to do so. If you don't want to play, then you can always delete it. – Cody Gray Aug 24 '11 at 16:33
@Cody Gray. It changes the context of the question: From something specific to Tomcat's thread pool, to general Java thread / stack analysis. Imagine a question titled "Car Engine Problem" and "How to change oil?" in the content and then retitling it to "Gearbox Issue" - the same answer wouldn't apply - same here. – Mikaveli Aug 24 '11 at 17:14
Your automobile example is quite poor and doesn't seem to reflect either what actually happened in this case or the description provided in your first sentence. The transmission (gearbox) has absolutely nothing to do with the engine or the engine oil. To my knowledge, Tomcat's thread pool does have something to do with thread/stack analysis in a Java application. – Cody Gray Aug 24 '11 at 17:18
Also, those linked questions are related - but specifically to whether or not to downvote the answers. I'm asking what the answerer should do with their own answers. – Mikaveli Aug 24 '11 at 17:19
@Cody Gray. The automobile example is actually pretty close. His question title, together with the images make it look as if he's blaming the waiting threads (part of the default Tomcat config), then it changes to a generic application issue. – Mikaveli Aug 24 '11 at 17:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In this case, the title and the tags were changed. The body of the question didn't change; this means that the question is not different from how it was before, and the answers that were given before are still valid. The fact he changed the title could help him to direct the question to the users who know the question, but that is not an essential change to the question.

If you feel that your answer doesn't suit the question anymore, you can delete it. As far as I can see, I don't see any reason why you would get any down-vote, or why you should delete your answer.

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