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This is a follow-up on my question How to exclude merged questions from searches, and @yoda's answer.

As there are questions in Stack Overflow that are the stubs of merged answers, but that are not closed (according to that answer), would it be possible to have an additional advanced search facility, to exclude stubs of merged questions?

For example:

  • merged:1 questions that are stubs of merged answers
  • merged:0 (or not)

I'm expecting that really only merged:0 would be useful on a day-to-day basis, to allow the full power of advanced searches, including sorting and filtering options, whilst still excluding merged answers.

An example use for this search would be - on the newest tab:

answers:0 closed:0 votes:5 merged:0

(If all merged questions were guaranteed to be closed, there would be no need for this feature, as it would be sufficient to search for closed:0.)

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

An even simpler solution would be to run a one-time job that flips the state of all open, merged questions. Once it's done, you will not need this feature at all.

That said, I do not think that this request is very essential. Sites other than Stack Overflow and perhaps Super User and Server Fault do not have as many open and merged questions. Even on Stack Overflow, although the number might be big enough to annoy you when searching, it's insignificant compared to the total questions and it probably might not be worth spending time to implement it.

Given that this applies only to questions before August 2011 (when the close before merge was implemented), you could perhaps construct some queries in the SE Data Explorer to weed out these questions from your search results.

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A one-time job to apply a correction would be ideal, I agree. (I see that the one you linked to yesterday has been fixed already.) I didn't know about the SE Data Explorer - thanks for the pointer. – Clare Macrae Oct 9 '11 at 21:07
What would need to be done, to make such a one-time job happen? For example, does a separate question need to be asked, requesting such a correction? – Clare Macrae Oct 11 '11 at 6:56
You can simply edit your question here to make it clear that you're requesting for a one-time job. Your request will be taken seriously if you can justify and provide a good reason for the dev team to spend time on this. – Lorem Ipsum Oct 11 '11 at 17:42
Looking for unanswered, unclosed questions in the English stackexchange turned up many merged questions. – John Baber-Lucero Nov 25 '12 at 2:06

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