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What is the policy on pointing out hazards which are mentioned in framing a question, but not really what the question is about? In particular, I've seen a few questions where the version of the database product mentioned is old with known security vulnerabilities or known data-eating bugs, and minor releases which fix these issues are readily available and don't require a conversion -- install and you're out of danger. If pointing this out isn't responsive to the question as it is framed, what's the right thing to do?

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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/128508/178438 (definitely not dupe) –  Manishearth Apr 10 '12 at 1:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you just want to point out a caveat/problem/mistake/warning, it's probably best to leave a comment or, if it doesn't change the intent or meaning and is important, make an edit to the question. If you're leaving a comment and need to include a code block, you can post it on an external service (jsfiddle, pastie, gist, etc...) and add a link to it.

If you are posting an actual regular answer to the question, I think it's also okay to include some side information at the end not directly related to the answer if you feel it's important or useful with respect to question. For example, I'll sometimes correct or point out details of the code in the question that were not directly asked about if I think the OP (or some other reader) could benefit. Just be careful not to dilute your answer with completely irrelevant tangents. And if you're leaving an answer, make sure it also actually answers the question at hand first.

Also, try to avoid being offensive, argumentative, or pedantic when pointing out things that you find are relevant but not directly related to the answer of a question. Say your bit, but if you encounter resistance, it's probably most productive to let it be.

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