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In an effort to build up knowledge on SO, I sometimes ask generic questions about obscure informatics things.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1314743/what-is-name-mangling-and-how-does-it-work

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1175506/design-patterns-not-in-the-gang-of-four

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1204078/what-happens-when-you-run-a-program

In some cases, answers rightfully report links to very detailed wikipedia articles, or webpages containing everything and the kitchen sink about that specific argument.

I was wondering if it makes sense to ask such questions when the argument is so extensively treated on the pedia? Should we aim at collecting knowledge on SO regardless of other sources, or not ?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Asking questions and then answering yourself is not disallowed and is encouraged (even though some members of the community will frown upon it).

If your question is a legitimate topic and the information you post is from Wikipedia, there isn't anything generally wrong with that.

What I would suggest, however, is you don't just link to Wikipedia and you at least make an attempt to include other sources of information as well (if not your own personal knowledge). We don't want to just be blatant content copying sites.

Edit I may have misread you at first. I thought you said that you were wondering about posting questions and providing your own wikipedia-sourced answer. My comments concerning the wikipedia answers should still hold, however.

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I definitely don't think you need to include the preamble

I ask this question not because I don't know, but because it appears to be missing on SO and it can be an interesting question for googlers. Actually, I am oblivious of some details of the process.

That just clutters up the question.

I do think it's worth asking questions that don't already appear on SO, even if you know the answer already. However, if all you have to add is a link to and a quote from Wikipedia, I'd say just ask the question and don't answer it. Let others provide the answers.

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