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I flagged Entity framework strings using greater than operator as a duplicate of string1 >= string2 not implemented in Linq to SQL, any workarround?. It was declined with a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it as the reason.

Can anyone tell me why it was declined? I'm asking because I disagree, but also because I want to learn from my mistake if it is one.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I declined the flag, and it's really simple:

LINQ-to-Entities/Entity Framework != LINQ-to-SQL

The IQueryable<T> implementation is free to interpret those operators in completely different ways, if at all.

Just because both of them don't doesn't mean that it's for the same reason, and if they aren't there for the same reason, that doesn't mean the questions are the same as the contexts are completely different.

Its like asking:

  • Why isn't feature x in language a?
  • Why isn't feature x in language b?

Those wouldn't be marked as dupes and this is the same.

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Lack of knowledge on my part then. Thank you for replying. – Stijn Feb 23 '12 at 13:20
@Stijn No problem, moderators usually respond promptly and kindly when not poked with a stick. =) Don't let a declined flag discourage you from continuing to flag areas where there are problems. As long as you do it with the right intentions (trying to make the site better) its all good. Declined flags don't have the same agita that they once did. – casperOne Feb 23 '12 at 13:22

I don't really know what the official rule is, and flagging has been encouraged a lot over the past couple of years, but I dupe-flag only stuff that is asked by the same OP.

I feel "Normal" duplicates are not a moderator matter really; it's down to the community voting process to sort those out. Recognizing a duplicate often requires domain knowledge that moderators can't be expected to have - I wouldn't feel comfortable dupe-flagging even the very simple case you show, for lack of knowledge in C# and fearing that I overlook a difference that isn't clear to me, but obvious to somebody proficient in C#.

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Today seems like a great day to post any of your C# questions on Meta! Please make sure to add a wall of code, and sign your post. – jonsca Feb 23 '12 at 10:47
@jonsca you mean there's free upvotes, no matter what quality your post is? Cool, we have that frequently in the PHP tag. I think I'll look for some random C# code and make up an intelligent-sounding problem to score some points. – Pëkka Feb 23 '12 at 10:53
Must be on Meta, though. You also have to act surprised that you can't ask it here. – jonsca Feb 23 '12 at 10:55
@jonsca okay. Maybe also do an enraged follow-up post complaining about the Meta crowd to score some sympathy upvotes? – Pëkka Feb 23 '12 at 10:57
Flags about duplicates are not for moderators only; they are visible to any 10k user. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 12:08
@kiamlaluno maybe, but in the end, a mod has to make a decision on them, don't they? – Pëkka Feb 23 '12 at 12:10
@Pekka you make a fair point. I guess I shouldn't worry too much about declined flags. – Stijn Feb 23 '12 at 12:19
@Pekka'sReputationBordello Not really. If anyone casts a close vote, it'll be dismissed as helpful (or none, if flagger and voter are the same person). – a cat Feb 23 '12 at 12:19
@Pekka'sReputationBordello The point is that the flag is not saying "Hey moderators, do something about this!" I have found some flags about questions to close on EL&U, and done one of two things: vote to close when it was a question to close, flag the flag as invalid when it was not the case. If a moderator is not able to understand if the questions are really duplicates, the flag should be left for the 10k users to see it. It seems to me that in this specific case, it was evident the questions were not duplicates. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 12:25
@kiamlaluno but why cast a mod flag in the first place then? Aren't dupe-voted questions visible in the 10k tools anyway, even without flagging? (I really don't know) – Pëkka Feb 23 '12 at 12:28
@Stijn You should not worry about declined flags, as the number of helpful flags is used just to order the existing flags in the flag page; you could get two badges when you flag appropriately a certain number of times. It is good that you try to understand when, and how to flag posts, though. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 12:45
@Pekka'sReputationBordello Stijn's reputation is 627 on Stack Overflow; that means he can only flag a question to be deleted, not voting to close it. If he had the necessary reputation, his flag for closing a question would be changed to a vote to close it. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 12:48
@kiamlaluno ahh, fair enough, I wasn't aware of that. Then I guess your argument has merit. – Pëkka Feb 23 '12 at 13:00
Offical reason – casperOne Feb 23 '12 at 13:13
And stop trying to steal my business. – casperOne Feb 23 '12 at 13:13

Basing on the accepted answers, the questions are not duplicates.
In one question, the accepted answer suggest a different query; in the other question, the accepted answers says that an operator is not overridden from the String class, and the OP should use a static method of that class.

Flags like that, which don't use a custom reason, are visible also to 10k users. In your case, 10k users could have noticed your flag, and decided not to vote to close the question; it could also be that the flag was so evidently wrong that a moderator decided to decline it.

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The suggested query in the newer question is the same as the suggested method in the older question. – Stijn Feb 23 '12 at 12:24
Still, an answer is talking about a method to use, while the other answer is suggesting another SQL query to use; in one question the topic is how to rewrite a query that is not working, while in the other question the topic is overridden methods of a class. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 12:53
The newer answer rewrites the query to use String.CompareTo() method, but it doesn't explain the reason. The older answer explains that the original code does not work because it is not implemented in the String class (it is not overridden), therefore the code should be modified to use String.Compare(). String.CompareTo() and String.Compare() are equivalent. Both are about the same problem and both suggest the same solution. – Stijn Feb 23 '12 at 13:01
The text of one of the question is, "anyones knows how to do this? Edit: I am trying to do >=. I correct the Title." with the title "string1 >= string2 not implemented in Linq to SQL, any workarround?" I am not sure how it can be the duplicate of the other question, as one doesn't speak of queries, but overwritten methods. if the questions were "What time is it in Italy?" and "What time is it in Rome?" then they would be duplicates, but that is not the case here. Questions are not duplicates because you find a link between them; they are duplicated because they are asking the same thing. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 13:10
"Questions are not duplicates because you find a link between them; they are duplicated because they are asking the same thing." I'll keep this in mind. +1 – Stijn Feb 23 '12 at 13:18
To make another example, a question that is asking about pattern modifiers that can be used in PHP for a PCRE regular expression is not the duplicate of a question asking which PCRE regular expression to use for a specific case, or how to make a regular expression work in a specific case. Now, you could say there are too much questions about regular expressions, but most of them are not closed as duplicate of each other. – kiamlaluno Feb 23 '12 at 13:28

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