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Should I continue adding a question if I have found the answer myself?

Despite regularly clicking the "Ask Question" button and partially filling out the form to do so, I've only submitted four questions on my regular Stack Overflow account. This is because I often find myself discovering the answer to my own question while filling out the form (the process of translating an issue into words seems to help me understand my actual issue and therefore solve it, so the answer is reached by myself, not by the list of related questions), and then cancelling the question (see Why is it that properly formulating your question (for stackoverflow) often yields you your answer).

Should I always be cancelling these questions, or should I be using the "Answer your own question" feature to post both the question and the answer, provided the question isn't too specific and localized?

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Do you mean you figured out the answer yourself while writing, or you found the answer in the list of suggested related questions? –  Bart Jul 25 '12 at 18:29
@Bart - I mean I figured out the question myself while writing it. –  jeff Jul 25 '12 at 18:33
You might want to clarify your question then. Two of the answers seem to assume you found a duplicate in the list of suggested related questions. –  Bart Jul 25 '12 at 18:34
@Bart - Thanks, I did so. –  jeff Jul 25 '12 at 18:36
<<Insert obligatory reference to rubber duck here.>> –  JimmyPena Jul 25 '12 at 18:38
@JimmyPena Done: codinghorror.com/blog/2012/03/rubber-duck-problem-solving.html –  Bart Jul 25 '12 at 18:51
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marked as duplicate by kiamlaluno, Pops, jonsca, Toon Krijthe, Al E. Aug 1 '12 at 15:50

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

If you figured out the answer yourself while formulating your question (that is, not from the suggested related questions which appear), it might be valuable to post it anyway and add an answer as well. So I would say, go ahead.

That is of course provided that the question and answer would normally be suitable for the site if they were from different users. (I.e. no dupe, not too localized, a real question, etc.)

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I'd also suggest that answering one's own question shouldn't be overdone and if the solution is trivial or not likely to help someone else, it should be cancelled. –  Al E. Jul 25 '12 at 18:47
Sure, all the normal rules for both questions and answers still apply. If it's too localized, don't post it. Self-answering does not mean you can get away with posting content that should normally not be there. –  Bart Jul 25 '12 at 18:50
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If you found the solution to your question on Stack Overflow, then your question would be a duplicate of another question. That's the entire point of showing you so many related question, to prevent people posting a bunch of duplicated ones.

If you just happened to find your solution elsewhere, still check all the suggestions to make sure it's not a duplicate before proceeding to post your question and answer.

You can always post your answer in another question if it provides an alternate way of doing something, explains it better, or looks at the problem from a different perspective. A variety of answers to the same question is good. A variety of the same questions each with one answer, not good.

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