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In reference to Why is javascript files generated by dart is so huge?

The accepted answer, which was correct at the time, is now wrong. In this specific case, the program mentioned (frog) no longer exists.

What is the best practice?

  1. Edit the original, accepted answer? (In this case, I would end up changing 99% or more of the answer)

  2. Create a new answer, with the correct and updated info.

I feel like such a wholesale update for 1 isn't correct, but option 2 might not be noticed.

What is the correct way to update answers that were correct a long time ago, but are no longer correct?

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2 Answers 2

I would really only suggest editing the accepted answer if the now incorrect information is actively harmful.

For instance, if we lived in an alternate universe where JavaScript's eval was widely known to be safe, and the accepted answer is "use eval! It's completely safe", then suddenly, in this alternate world the people discover a flaw in JavaScript that makes eval unsafe, then maybe editing the answer would be the thing to do.

However, if it's not harmful, just add your own answer. Let the community decide at that point what answer is the best. After all, all the green checkbox really means is this: It is the answer that helped the original poster solve his or her problem. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's the answer that all future visitors should use.

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Thanks, that makes sense. I'm still concerned that people treat Stack Overflow as "correct when I read it". Therefore, I feel compelled to update the answer just a tiny bit, by adding "UPDATE: This information is no longer correct, the frog program no longer exists. See xx for more." How about that? I'd otherwise leave the answer alone. –  Seth Ladd Nov 18 '12 at 5:51
    
@SethLadd I would suggest not editing the answer as such, but adding such a comment instead. –  waiwai933 Nov 18 '12 at 8:15
    
Yeh, just to clarify, I only suggest editing the original answer if the lack of information is harmful. Otherwise, take the lighter-handed approach. ;) –  jmort253 Nov 18 '12 at 8:20
    
But even when editing it, I wouldn't change the actual answer. The only change I'd make is adding a big warning on top. (I actually did that somewhere since I considered the top answer dangerous) –  CodesInChaos Nov 18 '12 at 15:53

You could comment on the currently accepted answer saying that it is now wrong. The answerer is active on the site and would probably fix it if given a heads up.

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Exactly. I recently updated an answer of mine to add a notice at the top that my answer was obsolete as of version x of the software discussed, with a link to a "What's new" document to show what had changed, all because someone pointed out in a comment somewhere that things were done different now. But I'd have hated someone for changing the answer for me. –  Martijn Pieters Nov 18 '12 at 8:15
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@MartijnPieters and murgatroid, editing is sort of at the core of the platform, and any user can suggest edits for a reason. I spend a lot of time on here as it is, and I'm not sure I'd want to wait for days to see if a user comes back, when my edit would basically fix the problem and simultaneously notify the original poster that he/she can come back and add more information, which kills 2 birds with 1 stone. Post fixed, and poster can do more to the post if he/she likes. If he/she doesn't, I can still move on with the rest of my life. ;) –  jmort253 Nov 18 '12 at 8:18
    
@jmort253: Absolutely, but as you point out, unless the answer is dangerously wrong, don't make a radical edit. :-) Comment instead. –  Martijn Pieters Nov 18 '12 at 8:20
    
@MartijnPieters - Right, to clarify. I'd only edit if it was something that could be harmful. Thanks for clarifying! –  jmort253 Nov 18 '12 at 8:21

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