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When an answer is selected by the question-asker, I think it would be useful for people who are searching through to find answers to filter the answers by positive and negative.

For example, if Person X is wondering whether Activity Y is possible then they could search for affirmatively answered questions relating to that topic. With this system revisions could be made to older questions to if the status of said activity changes. An example I would to to draw your attention to is here: google map and siri implemtation , despite my answer being negative at the moment (i.e. saying that it is not currently possible) that could change in the future. Under my system, my answer would be marked as the answer, but would be as a negative answer, which would be open to revision at a later date.

Now I know what you're thinking: "We've already got the down vote", well yes, but the down vote is to show that you think that the answer is wrong, however my answer in the aforementioned example is correct at the time of writing, so a down vote would not be the right thing to do.

Thanks for reading.

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It certainly is an interesting problem. I imagine SO has a lot of historical content that is no longer accurate. (Nearly all of my "you can't do that with HTML" comments/answers have been rendered moot by HTML5, for example.) –  David Jun 21 '12 at 11:04
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Yes/no questions only form a tiny part of all questions. –  Dennis Jun 21 '12 at 11:48
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Asking just "is X possible" without trying it to see shouldn't be encouraged, it should be downvoted. –  Wooble Jun 21 '12 at 13:23
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The thing is, when a question gets answered with 'No, that's a bad idea', the last thing we want is people moving onto another question that tells them how it can be done. This is how we end up with regex HTML parsers. –  Lattyware Jun 21 '12 at 15:09
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1 Answer 1

"Is it possible" questions bother me for some reason. Virtually every programming problem is solvable given enough time, effort and money, unless you're breaking some law of physics. So when someone asks "Is this possible," what they're really saying is "Throw me a bone."

What they really should be asking (in fewer words) is this: "Since I don't have unlimited time, money and resources, is there some reasonable approach to solving this problem?"

Of course, I'm not actually saying that everyone should use this preamble; the point I'm trying to make is that "Is it possible" questions are lazy. Is it possible for me to go to the moon? Sure it is. Is it likely, in my lifetime? Probably not.

Consequently, the notion that we should create some mechanism to categorize answers to questions that have a flawed premise at their core seems ill-advised.

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Yes, everything is possible! –  BalusC Jun 21 '12 at 15:04
    
Is it possible that everything is possible? –  Ben Brocka Jun 21 '12 at 15:08
    
I'm sorry Ben, that's not possible. –  jcolebrand Jun 21 '12 at 15:22
    
@jcolebrand you are impossible to please. –  Richard J. Ross III Jun 21 '12 at 15:23
    
That's possible, however. –  jcolebrand Jun 21 '12 at 15:27
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