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This post is related to this Stackoverflow question:
MySQL simple beginner query?

Linked question has started as a simple beginners question. It got properly formatted (revision #2). At that point it also received two answers one of which also got accepted. Everything ok so far.

But afterwards this question got severely edited but in a way that answers aren't related to the question any more. OP asks about something else now as it did by the time, answers came in. It also got -4 score. But that's likely related to question being poorly defined.

Original poster also commented that his question is exact duplicate of a nother one which seems unrelated. Or it actually tells us what poster really wanted to ask us. It seems that he was likely struggling with join statement and not aggregate functions as it reads from his question... Anyway.


Instead of voting this question to close, I'd rather revert it back to revision #2 where the question is last time related to answers (ans accepted one as well) while also being properly formatted.

Should we vote to close this question or rather revert it as suggested?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, it should be reverted to the original version.

The person who asked the question apparently decided that their original question had been sufficiently answered and made a drastic edit to change their question into something else.

I'm not sure why that was done, but as you point out, it does invalidate all of the existing answers. That's what makes it a bad practice.

If you decide that you've asked the wrong question and actually have a different one, or your original question is solved but you have a follow-up question, you should start a new question.

But regardless of whether it is also reverted, it should definitely be closed. As a duplicate like the asker suggests, as "too localized", or even as "not a real question"; take your pick, it doesn't really matter. This question is not likely to be useful to anyone else in the future and there's no point in it hanging around on the site.

There's really little point to much hand-wringing about what to do with questions that are this bad. The current score of -4 is an accurate indication of its quality.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. Revereted the question back while also providing additional note to OP not to edit it any further but rather ask a new question. – Robert Koritnik Mar 12 '12 at 7:52
@Robert: Only thing to note is not to get into an edit war with the OP. If he rolls back again or makes a new edit, let it be. Flag a moderator to lock the question. – Cody Gray Mar 12 '12 at 7:53
But about closing it I disagree. OP is a beginner and doesn't know about aggregate functions. I't not localised, it's not a duplicate of the other question and is relevant. It should stay. But as said I reverted it back to revision 2 + added a note. – Robert Koritnik Mar 12 '12 at 7:54
I flagged it for moderator attention now to lock it. Thanks. And I wasn't getting into war with OP. I was merely trying to help them to use the service as it should be used. :) – Robert Koritnik Mar 12 '12 at 7:57
BTW. Low score is a good indicator of question's quality after it's been drastically edited. not as it was originally. Because it used to be very simple and completely clear. Non localised and about aggregate functions. – Robert Koritnik Mar 12 '12 at 8:00

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