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When answering, could we be informed that “the following people are already answering this question”?

I ask a lot of question on SO, so this recommendation/idea comes from that experience. I'm not really sure how this would fit in with the current structure of SE.

Oftentimes after asking a question, maybe after an hour or so, I end up finding the answer I needed somewhere. And it comes time for me to answer the most difficult question of all: do I delete this question, or do I keep it in case someone answers and others may benefit from it. The problem is, if I don't delete it and no one answers, my acceptance rate goes down. So usually I'll just delete it.

However, sometimes I fear that someone is typing a really really long answer to my question since itäs only been an hour, and so I imagine the nightmare that person experiences when they find out their essay will be gone to waste. Overall, this never-to-be-seen-again answer could have benefitted many people had the question remained.

Since SE has gone "live-happy" lately, where answers and comments refresh live, I thought it might be interesting if the original asker of the question (or anyone else for that matter) could see how many people are currently responding to the question (just count, not necessary to display their names). This way, if I know someone is replying, I won't delete the question, and others can benefit from it.

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marked as duplicate by random Aug 30 '12 at 20:24

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.

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[Robert is typing an answer...] –  Robert Harvey Aug 30 '12 at 20:20
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@RobertHarvey Neal is agreeing with Robert –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Aug 30 '12 at 20:23
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1. Stop worrying about your acceptance rate 2. Post your own answer if you can. This is explicitly encouraged. 3. Whatever you do, don't delete your question –  Bart Aug 30 '12 at 20:24
    
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2 Answers 2

Often times after asking a question, maybe after an hour or so, I end up finding the answer I needed somewhere. And it comes time for me to answer the most difficult question of all: do I delete this question, or do I keep it incase someone answers and others may benefit from it.

You post the answer you found, of course.

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Well, see, for me at least, I look for more theoretical answers. Explanations, the whys, not the hows. I'm not that experienced of a programmer to tell you why. When I say find the answer, it means I've found how to get it done, not necessarily that I've understood why. I know someone else can better answer that question. –  maq Aug 30 '12 at 20:23
    
@mohabitar Make your answer CW and add a comment so others can add to your answer and there you go. –  Alenanno Aug 30 '12 at 20:24
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@mohabitar That's still good enough to put in the answer. Other people may edit in an explanation, or provide another answer with more detail after reading yours. –  Servy Aug 30 '12 at 20:25
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First off, if there are no answers to your question it has no effect on your accept rate, so that's a non-issue. Really the affect it will have is that if you delete it, and someone else has the same problem, they're less likely to find it. If your question remains and gets an answer, that person could be helped. If the "other answer" was on SO, consider closing the question as a duplicate (or flagging for a mod to do so for you).

What you should do is provide an answer to your own question with whatever solution you found elsewhere.

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