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Sorry if this has been asked before but I couldn't find anything mentioned in my search.

I'm wondering if there's a way that we can prevent dead-links form forming as accepted answers? I found this question ASP.net MVC returning JSONP which is a reasonably popular question and a common problem.

The accepted answer just leads to someone's blog, which has a high quality blog with lots of really useful detail. There was a period however where this link was dead, based upon the comments at which point the community lost a great answer.

So the general question is, how should this be dealt with? Should the entire contents of the blog be copied into the StackOverflow answer? Should we try to extract the useful sections (which in this case, most of the blog is required) or should we leave links there as answers and let them slowly die over time reducing the quality of StackOverflow?

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The blog's contents aren't necessarily free to copy and paste. A summary, along with a couple of quotes, will often be the best way to go. –  Pëkka Apr 17 '13 at 11:05
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You cannot copy the entire blog post due to copyright reasons. A long blog post may not even be a good answer here. Instead, summarise the relevant content of the blog post in enough detail that it answers the question asked. Answers should be able to stand on their own, even if all links dies.

If a very long text is required to answer a question, chances are the question was too broad to begin with. Answers do also not necessarily need to provide everything you need to know to solve your problem. A hint on what topics to study further can be a good answer in itself.

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This particular example that I read needed about 4/5 sections of code to be included server side, and detailed a large chunk of client side code. Without the detail around them (which is what the blog was about) it could be very difficult to understand how the parts knit together and what their real purpose was, which makes it quite difficult to extract out the relevant bits. –  Ian Apr 17 '13 at 11:56
    
In the linked case the answerer was posting a link to his own blog; copyright isn't an issue (it also, IMO, makes the whole link-only answer even less appealing) –  Wooble Apr 17 '13 at 12:55

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