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I flagged the first revision of the following answer: Architecture wich allow communication between parts of the system.

With the motivation:

Should have voted on the other Observer answer.

What I meant was that the answer should be deleted since it's a duplicate of the other persons answer.

I got declined:

declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention

Was that incorrect of me? Should not duplicate answers be deleted?

share|improve this question
Your comment was probably unclear; I doubt that I would have known what you meant. If you had said it was a duplicate, it might have been accepted. As phrased, it looks like it's addressed to the poster, not to the moderator. – Keith Thompson Feb 24 '12 at 7:30
You should have flagged the question. It's a combination of shopping, can't-be-bothered-researching and poll/list. – Kev Feb 24 '12 at 8:21
For me, the original poster, the answer was clear, but jgauffin's behaviour felt a little rude (for details, see my answer). – DaveBall aka user750378 Feb 24 '12 at 14:02
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There were two parts in the answer you flagged: one part that said in essence “I agree with the other answers that recommend Observer”, and another part that recommended Rx.

If the post had only consisted of the first part, then this would have been an invalid answer, that should have been an upvote. A simple “not an answer” flag would have sufficed; I sixth the opinion that your flag is unclear and I wouldn't have understood what you meant.

But the post had another part that none of the existing answers mentioned. For that reason, deleting the answer would not have been appropriate. If Rx is not a good answer to the question, downvote.

Furthermore, it is perfectly legitimate to lend your voice to advice already provided in another answer, when it's part of a post with added value. This is best done with a link to the answer that provides the more complete advice.

If there's already an answer that says “do X and here's how”, and you want to say “do X and Y”, then it's completely normal to

  • either write “do X (see [bob's answer](link) for details). Then, do Y, here's how…”
  • or completely explain how to do both X and Y, if you don't think the existing answer makes a good enough job, or you think it's better to have all the information in one place.

P.S. When you discuss someone's post on Meta, please link to the meta discussion in a comment so that the person knows it's happening.

share|improve this answer
I don't agree that the RX link alone is enough for an answer to that question. He could have upvoted the observer answer and written a comment with the link. So either way, the answer should be removed?… – jgauffin Feb 24 '12 at 19:30
@jgauffin Well, I know nothing about the subject, so I don't know whether Rx is relevant or not. If it's not relevant, then yes, the answer should be removed; but, like me, a moderator may not know whether Rx is relevant and should err on the side of caution, so if you think the answer should be removed, you'll need to explain to the moderator that Rx is a side remark and not part of the answer. Don't bother with this question, it's closed, and won't benefit from a cleanup. – Gilles Feb 24 '12 at 19:47
True. I will include a better description next time – jgauffin Feb 24 '12 at 22:30

Since I am the poster of the answer that's being discussed here, I am of course totally against it being flagged ;)

I wrote the answer because of the additional information, and while answering, I thought it's useful to also mention the observer pattern, since my answer and all other answer were related to it. Hence I think my answer was not a real duplicate and your flagging was really incorrect.

While I think it's great that you, jgauffin, are doing quality assurance here, I dislike the way you are doing it:

  • You only flagged my answer, whereas the statement about the observer pattern was mentioned three other times. I also indicated this fact in my answer - which is another piece of information: all answers were related to the observer pattern. This inconsistency in your behavior feels unfair to me.
  • When doing something which tends to upset people, I find it a good idea to do that in a kind tone, which I think you did not.

Those two points led me to ignoring your comment - although I did understand what you meant.

  • Finally, not mentioning this thread at my post is another point in your behavior that makes me think you are being rudeunpolite - although you are probably a very kind person.

Maybe the moderators felt the same, and that also contributed to them declining?

share|improve this answer
Which part of Don't second or fourth. Vote on another answer is rude? How should I written instead? English is not my native language, and I'm a to the point person. And RX could have been written as a comment to the other Observer answer. – jgauffin Feb 24 '12 at 14:12
Sorry, I didn't want to say you are rude, only that the sum of your behaviour felt rude to me. If I want to make sth. sound kinder, I use different grammar, e.g. subjunctives, and give openly more information. – DaveBall aka user750378 Feb 24 '12 at 14:18
Sorry. I do still not understand where I am rude? What sum of behaviour? By writing my comment and asking here to know if I were correct to flag? – jgauffin Feb 24 '12 at 14:24
Gotta be honest... your answer kinda stunk. Now, I'll grant you that part of the reason is because the question also kinda stunk. But "I agree, here's a [link]" doesn't really qualify as an answer. – Won't Feb 24 '12 at 15:56
On the contrary, der Won't: My answer is awesome! I showed that all answers were circling around the observer pattern - using my own neologism, which got picked up by Gilles. Furthermore, Rx is an awesome extension to the observer pattern. And all that information in such a short answer. That makes about 1% awesomeness per letter. ....awesome !^/infty – DaveBall aka user750378 Feb 25 '12 at 9:27
@jgauffin: You could have either flagged and commented consistently all other answers or none, to be fair. You could have explained that you don't think Rx is enough information for an own post. You could have posted a link to this thread as a comment, like Gilles did. I wrote this post just because I thought you might value my feedback on how your behavior felt to me. If it offends you, I'll delete it. – DaveBall aka user750378 Feb 25 '12 at 9:36
you are funny :) – jgauffin Feb 25 '12 at 11:59

It's not a duplicate answer because it supplies more information beyond the user's agreement with the previous answer.

While it's true that that part of the answer need not be there, but rather be reflected in an upvote, the other part of the answer provides more diverse input on the problem that was not addressed before by any other answers.

Flagging it is going a bit too far—a simple edit (or suggested edit) removing that first part of the answer (and following that up with a comment telling why, like you did) should be enough. But since the rest of the answer provides significant information that another user did not contribute to the discussion, it should remain.

share|improve this answer
I disagree that the advice to use the observer pattern should have been removed. It's better to have a single comprehensive answer than to have all the bits spread around. I've reverted that part of your edit. – Gilles Feb 24 '12 at 13:01

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