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Today I answered this question on StackOverflow.

The OP was asking what was wrong with his piece of code, and the answer was that he was missing the template keyword. The OP was likely unaware of the possibility of using that keyword in that context. He just could not figure out why his program was not working.

Now the question has been closed and marked as a duplicate of another question asking when and why the template and typename keywords should be used.

Although this latter (very long) Q&A does indeed provide the information that would have led the OP to the solution:

  1. He could have never found it, because he would not even think of searching for answers related to that keyword;
  2. It provides way more information than he needs to fix his program.

So my question is: is it correct to close his question as a duplicate? My feeling is that it is not, and the linked Q&A should only be provided as an additional information to a dedicated answer.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think it is correct to close as duplicate in such case. The question still exists and as far as I know will still be indexed by search engines, it's not like it's getting deleted, just marked as duplicate and new answers can't be posted.

OP can or can't find the duplicate in the first place isn't really relevant: the fact still stands that there is answer elsewhere.

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Disagree with "OP can or can't find the duplicate in the first place isn't really relevant". Users coming here to find answers is pretty important, and much of the moderation occurring of late seems to be contrary to the spirit of the site, this sentiment included. – StingyJack Feb 11 '13 at 15:58
The main purpose of the site is helping as much people as possible, not just the OP; unlike most other places the focus is not on personal help and that's why it's so strict and so many questions get closed. So the OP get a "secondary role", for good or for bad - not my decision, and in the long run it probably what makes Stack Overflow so special. – Shadow Wizard Feb 11 '13 at 21:09

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