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A duplicate question, at times, can have a more correct title of the question made earlier.
In addition, a duplicate question, can increase the reputation of the person who gave the correct answer to the "master" question, because in a duplicate question, surely there will be a comment with a link to the "master" question.
Moreover, most of the links generated by a duplicate questions are internal to SO, this also increases the use of SO itself. So for me sometimes duplicate questions are useful, and sometimes i can learn new things.

As example of my first point, in the environment two question could be:

Master: "put pins in mapview"
Duplicate: "How to add MKPinAnnotation in MKMapView"

The duplicate title it's obviously better than the first question title, and maybe nobody ever will edit the title of the master question.

This is not really a question, I just wanted to know if anyone thinks differently :)

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closed as not constructive by animuson, Mat, kiamlaluno, Cody Gray, ChrisF May 23 '12 at 21:15

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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What's your point? Duplicate questions rarely get deleted. They're left in place as an alternate route to the duplicated question for this very reason. –  animuson May 20 '12 at 0:35
    
No point, it was just a thought. I know that they will not be deleted, but are always considered a bad thing, like all the downvotes caused only by the fact that it is a duplicate. –  Mat May 20 '12 at 0:42
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Well, why the downvotes? What is so horrible and wrong in my thinking? I know that the concept is that everyone can edit and change the title/question, but my thinking was referred just to the fact that a duplicate question, however, is always considered a bad thing. And since I added the tag discussion, I still do not understand the downvotes. –  Mat May 20 '12 at 11:34

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Here's the official line on duplicates (well as official as it gets around here)

From Dr. Strangedupe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Duplication

  1. Having one “perfect” form of a question that contains every possible answer to every slight variation of that question is a myth at best and actively harmful at worst.

  2. Having dozens and dozens of variations of the same question is clearly bad.

  3. What we want is on the order of 4 or 5 similar-but-not-quite-the-same duplicates to cover all possible search terms and common permutations of the question. It is also OK for these duplicates to have their own answers so people who find them don’t have to click yet again to get to a good answer.

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Hmmm... It seems you are advocating one of these:

  1. Let's allow an explicit "This question relates to that question" tag, which leads to following links all over, which is what Stack Overflow exists to prevent.

  2. Let's allow a migration, saying, "This question is the Wiinnnnnahhh! All your comments are belong to us!" and forcibly merge then information.

Or leave the current plan, saying "This is a duplicate! Go edit or comment on that other question!" which seems to work.

I'm not sure I see an upside to change.

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It seems the only real problem here is this:

The duplicate title it's obviously better than the first question title, and maybe nobody ever will edit the title of the master question.

Well, that's why duplicates link back to the master, and even redirect anonymous visitors if there's no answers on the duplicate. But if the original post's title is really that bad, edit it to describe the problem for searchability/comprehension. Just like you should with any other post.

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I'm not sure I agree with this at all. There are questions that cover the exact same ground as the ones before them, and while that number can only increase ever, it leads those of us who want to ask a question to do one of these things:

  • Search questions that have a similar premise to our question
  • Research the subject further (Google, books, peers, etc)

It also leads to less truly unique questions making its way to the surface, while the list is bogged down with similar questions with slightly differently worded titles/premises.

So no, I'm really not a fan of this. The system as it stands is fine.

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