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I have been answering on StackOverflow for some time, but recently ran into a situation where I might have been in the wrong. If I am wrong, I would like to correct it in the proper way.

I posted this answer in response to a fairly often repeated topic. It references a known application of which several working versions demonstrate the capability required by the OP. This resulted in a small discussion with another high rep member.

What I need to know is:

a) Is it incorrect to point to a known solution on the market even when its mechanics are unknown?

b) Is it considered improper to reference a solution for which there is not directly supported API on the specific platform?

I ask this because I was made to feel that the answer was not acceptable due to these circumstances, and I do not believe that was the correct response. This is especially true because many of us work so hard to provide great solutions whenever we can.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

IMO just pointing to an app (i.e., pre-edit) is an appropriate comment, but it's not an answer.

Post-edit (i.e., the theory) is a better answer: although not an actual answer, it would have been impossible to read as a comment. Although step 4 reads as either "then a miracle occurs" or "Step 3: ???", which is a little sketchy--as it's the key to answering the question.

I also don't see Nokolay's comment as anything other than what it was--questioning the usefulness and validity of the answer. IMO the response was reasonable, and measured.

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I agree with every point. I have, however, seen accepted answers where someone merely pointed the way. This is how I was trying to help this individual –  Fuzzical Logic Jun 11 '12 at 10:59
    
Regarding the other poster. Fair enough! I shouldn't take offense and should just consider it as further discussion. Thanks for your opinion. –  Fuzzical Logic Jun 11 '12 at 11:00
    
@FuzzicalLogic The act of accepting an answer doesn't mean it's good, or appropriate :) I don't think providing ideas or theories is intrinsically bad, but it depends--and as with anything here, someone might not share the same view. –  Dave Newton Jun 11 '12 at 11:03
    
Absolutely agreed. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a community faux pas. Based on the link you provided, however, it goes against my own ethics to keep that post. (While I may respect a developer's ability to circumvent the system, I do not publicly advocate any developer purposefully circumventing the intention of the system.) –  Fuzzical Logic Jun 11 '12 at 11:08

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