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There is this question:

What is your favorite build server package? (Cruise Control, Team City, etc.)

Which is really a duplicate of this question:

Which Build-/Configuration Management Tool?

However, the latter question is closed as "not constructive".

That said, should the former question be closed under "exact duplicate", or as "not constructive"?

The good thing about closing as an "exact duplicate" is that the question is linked to a "root" question, if due to some reason (reopen votes, culture shift, etc) the status of the root question is changed, that status automatically applies to all questions that are marked as duplicates.

However, in closing as an "exact duplicate", you run the risk that people will not click through to the question duplicated. If they only see "exact duplicate" and do not click through, then there is the danger that they will think that type of question is acceptable for the site, which is in fact, not the case. The "signpost" doesn't exist to help educate users what is and isn't accepted practice on the site

The pro and con for closing as the same reason as the duplicated question are the inverse of the pro and con for closing as "exact duplicate" mentioned above.

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2 Answers 2

What?

If they don't click through it is their loss, but it should still be closed as a dupe!


This is what I assume someone who sees a duplicate thinks:

  • Oh! I want to find out how to X

    • This question looks nice! click!

      • Duplicate? Hmmmmm Lets see what of...

Etcetera etcetera....

So in the long run for historical purposes I believe they should be close as duplicates to keep those links as useful as possible and not have people stop at a dead end when there might not be one.

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I don't have a strong opinion on this, but I find myself thinking of my "Lazy Community" principle here, on both ends (users closing, and users finding the closed question)...

That is, as you note, users might not click through to the original question. But also... moderating users might find it easier to vote to close for another reason than Duplicate; comparatively, it's hard work to vote to close as a dupe, especially if you are the first one.

It takes lots of, like, reading. and stuff...

I think if the more direct reason to close is sound and solid, that works. Otherwise, closing as a dupe feels more "proper". Slightly.

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