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I asked this question Why doesn't PRIu64 work in this code? since my code which wasn't behaving as I thought it should, and I wanted to know how I should go about resolving it.

Then based on the comments, I continued debugging, and have now made progress with understanding what's going wrong. I need to now ask a new question to try fixing it. Specifically, I noticed that one of the header files is not getting included and would like to learn why.

This seems drastically different from my initial question, so should I edit the same question with my progress or create an entirely new question? What is the better alternative for the community?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I tend to agree with @GeorgeStocker.
However, even if you did decided to start a new question, it would be a good practice to add links to previous questions, for several reasons:

  1. To show progress
  2. To give context to your question.
  3. To show people you are not a "help vampire"

I recently came across similar case of several related question from the same user that gave a very strong impression of "help vampire"ness. Had the user linked them properly and showed a bit more candidness about the whole topic I would have felt more comfortable with them.

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There are two things at play here.

Generally, if you've got to ask 20 more questions (that's an exaggeration to make a point) in the course of fixing one question, then you probably don't know enough about what you're working with, and need to do some more research.

Stack Overflow is not the first line of 'Hey, I don't know how this works', it should be something you use after exhausting the Docs and Google -- because if the community has to do that for you, your question is likely going to get voted down and you may even be seen as a help vampire.

Secondly, it's great that you're actively working on your problem. That's a good thing.

As to the answer to your question:

If the question is wholly separate, ask a separate question; but beware that if the community thinks that you're just using them as human debuggers, they get tired of it and will start reacting negatively. This is just something I've noticed from being here for a while.

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Thanks for your reply. I know you did not imply this, but I have been using SO long enough to understand that it is not a human debugger. Before I asked the question, I have tried figuring it out on my own. If you read my question, you will notice that I am not asking people to debug my problem and get me a solution, but only asking for ideas on how I should debug it. Also, most of the time, I am able to narrow down my problem, and ask a precise question, but this time I had to resolve 2 problems along the way instead of one. –  Happy Jan 26 '13 at 14:56
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