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There are many POSTs over SO wherein the comments are like:

  • Do you see the AJAX request going?
  • Which URL it is hitting? What are the request headers? The response headers?
  • Are you sure the you are getting the response in the format you are expecting. Check the responseText of the request. Use chrome's debugger for this purpose (or firebug if on FF).
  • Can you access it in the first place? Can you use curl -v and check if it works that way?

I think to have a question/answer would be a good resource to have over this community. (It would be Community wiki -- no reputation change intended). I hope that the answer will be a good post to link to in most AJAX related problems.

In summary:

  • Can I write such a post (because to me, it feels a bit stupid to write and question and answer then and there)? Is that question/topic within the bounds of SO?
  • I plan put in the general steps (with the screenshots). I hope it is improved by people better than me. I also plan to hint upon the structure of HTTP..
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2 Answers 2

There's nothing wrong with providing a great canonical question and answer for something that keeps coming up. There are some areas where we have a lot of duplication because even though the questions boil down to the same thing, their context makes them unique enough to stand.

The idea of community wiki is not to ensure that you don't gain reputation. In fact, that's an afterthought. The idea of CW is to allow editing by a broader audience. In the case of a canonical question and answer, that makes sense.

Just ask the question in a way that covers all of the stuff you intend to put in your answer, while trying your best not to let the question fall into the overly broad category. It's also a good idea to have both your question and answer at the ready and fully revised to your satisfaction.

As long as a canonical answer is really needed and no other existing posts cover the subject in the depth you think is needed you should be fine to do what you're planning. Do spend some time searching, could an existing highly up voted answer serve this purpose if you added your screen shots and additional information?

You should also leave a comment under your question explaining that you're writing a canonical answer, it's a work in progress. That helps prevent people from duplicating content that you're probably about to post by answering the question.

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I am mainly active in the Scala tag, and this is a fairly common practice there. There are about a dozen threads of this format, which serve as a very useful resource for several topics. The community feedback suggests they appreciate such content. This is well within stackexchange rules too. So, go ahead and do it. :-)

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