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Exit strategies for “chameleon questions”

This question might be considered too localized but I am sure this hasn't just happened to me so I want to know how best to proceed.

Yesterday there was an MS Access question that needed some teeth pulling from the original poster to get details to even begin to answer the question. After a lot of back and forth, I was finally able to get enough details to answer the original question and provide the results they initially asked for.

Today, in the comments and by editing the OP has altered the original question so much that my answer no longer applies to the changes they made.

So basically my question for everyone is, should they be directed to accept the answer as given because it did answer the OQ (Original Question) and then they should open a new question? Or should I suck it up and rewrite the answer to now work with the new request they made?

Considering the effort I put into even trying to get the details to answer the question, it probably wasn't even worth it to try and help which is discouraging.

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marked as duplicate by tvanfosson, ChrisF, Andreas Bonini, Mark Trapp, user7116 Jan 6 '12 at 17:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2  
+1 for taking the extraordinary effort. Don't be discouraged! –  Andrew Barber Jan 6 '12 at 17:08
    
sorry for the duplicate question, I did search meta before posting and didn't find anything. –  bluefeet Jan 6 '12 at 17:40
    
no biggie; it happens! –  Andrew Barber Jan 6 '12 at 17:42

1 Answer 1

If the asker wants you to post an answer that is a reponse to information obtained through comments that clarified their original question, you should ask them to edit their question first (unless of course the edit would be a miniscule amount of change to what was origianally posted)

The reason for this is because questions with answers can help out other users in the future. If there's a question with a simple question, but an answer that is very different from the question due to comments/clarifications and such, then future users might not see this question as legible. Also some people might downvote your answer because the new improved answer has alot of stuff that wasn't asked for in the original question.

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I typically make changes based on changes to the original question. But at least in my case, the OQ was answered and then after they used my answer they admitted info was missing to properly answer the question. For smaller questions I have no issue with making updates but this was a long process to even answer the darn thing initially. –  bluefeet Jan 6 '12 at 17:12
    
@bluefeet Yeah some people ask really vague questions. I'd try to get them to fix it before considering answering it –  Gabe Jan 6 '12 at 17:22

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