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I recently posted a question asking about a specific Powershell syntax issue. I got my answer and successfully tested the code.

As of this morning, the SAME code is throwing an exception, and I'm stumped. The code hasn't changed (apart form correcting my syntax issue from above), but my question has changed to "what am I missing that's making this crash?"

On one hand, I want to refer to my old question so people can see the trail I've followed to get to the point; on the other hand, I don't want to find the question closed with a bazillion "You were just asking about this code!" remarks.

I'm sure many of us get a block of code running, only to get stuck on a subsequent algorithm with a different question entirely.

Guidance? Suggestions?

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You're supposed to post one question per question, not one question per code. Makes sense, I think? –  BalusC Dec 13 '12 at 13:55
    
That's what I thought, but too many times it's been either ignored or cancelled with "didn't you already post this question?" comments... –  dwwilson66 Dec 13 '12 at 14:14
    
Just ask a clear question. Don't reuse the same title or question or what. It's after all not exactly the same problem/question, right? –  BalusC Dec 13 '12 at 14:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think you're right to be a little wary of this situation. Few things are as tiresome from an answerer's point of view as a person asking a question, getting and accepting an answer that they say has solved the problem, then re-posting the same question. If you're making a new question with the exact same code, it's likely that some of the same people will see both, and recognize the code. It's possible that they will not realize, unless you make it quite clear, that you have a new problem with the same code.

How do you make it clear? Somewhere near the beginning of your new question (though preferably after the first three or so lines so that the preview on the Questions list page still contains information specific to your new difficulty) make reference, and link to, the previous question. You don't need to go into the details; just mention that you had an earlier question about the same code that seems completely unrelated to the new problem.

For the best results and bonus points, you should address the older question in a way that does not assume that every reader of your new question saw that one. I.e., don't make your title "New prblem with my flang code, guys"; neither say things like "Thanks for the help with the old problem, need your eyes again."

Just explain, clearly but succintly, why this new question represents a distinct problem ("Solved an earlier syntax problem here, but I can't find any connection to this exception I'm seeing now.") and you should have no trouble. If your question is incorrectly closed as a duplicate, raise a custom mod flag or an appeal here on Meta.

(You should also be aware that if you ask many questions featuring the same code, you're likely to get remarks at some point about "writing your application for you" or "SO is not a debugging service". Perhaps more than at other times, when repeatedly seeking help for the same task, you will need to demonstrate that you're truly stuck.)

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You can ask a new question with a link to the previous question.

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Sounds good...what I HAVE been doing is stating up front "Yes, I did ask <link>this</link> but a NEW question has popped up. That sounds like the best way? –  dwwilson66 Dec 13 '12 at 14:15

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