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Aftering getting slightly annoyed with what seemed to be a simple problem, I decided to consult the minds here at Stackoverflow. So I asked a question. Immediately, a few people flooded in their suggestions and answers which didn't solve the problem, and in most cases only demonstrated that the authors hadn't clearly understood the problem. After several more minutes, a local jQuery guru stepped in and said my code worked just fine, and that nothing was wrong with it.

So I went back to my local code and tested, and it didn't work. After a minute or so I realized that the markup-example I gave on SO (intended to be a simplified version of what I had locally) was actually different than what I had locally. Turns out, I had been thinking of something a bit different when I finished my markup, and began my jQuery. This resulted in me confusing the results of my script, and thus posting a question regarding a problem that never really existed to begin with.

When I realized what I had done, I tried to delete the question. But you can't, too many responses. So I thought about voting to close, but I don't really think this type of situation calls for a vote. So in the end, I simply posted my own answer giving a thorough explanation for what the issue was.

Granted, this type of thing won't happen very frequently, but when it does how are we to handle it? Did I do the right thing by explaining what I was confused about, and proving a detailed answer for anybody in the future who comes across the question and finds some assistance from it? Or should I alert a mod and ask for deletion (hoping that won't influence my rep negatively)?

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I up-voted your answer, so that it will be above the other answers. –  Brad Gilbert Aug 26 '09 at 16:51
    
Somebody didn't appreciate your up-vote apparently :) –  Jonathan Sampson Aug 26 '09 at 16:53
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Proof that you check the code on examples, before it gets posted. –  Brad Gilbert Aug 26 '09 at 16:53
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Brad, typically I do but this seemed "so simple" that it flew right beneath the radar. –  Jonathan Sampson Aug 26 '09 at 16:54
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@Brad: Agreed, nothing like spending a little time on a question before expecting others to spend time on it. –  GEOCHET Aug 26 '09 at 16:54

7 Answers 7

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Thank Gumbo, apologize to those looking for a problem where none existed, explain how you were confused, and move on.

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You should vote to close as 'No longer relevant' and explain and apologize in your comments or edited into your answer.

It might also be advisable to flag your question to a mod and asked them to assist you in closing it.

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If it's easy to delete the question, then delete it, but if not, I'd do what you did - post what the real problem was and its resolution. It's not worth jumping through hoops to get the question deleted.

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Either put a comment (or edit your post) to say "Hey I fixed it. Sorry." or something, or maybe flag it for a moderator to come in and close/lock/delete/whatever.

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I would make an answer saying "there is no problem. These aren't the droids you're looking for," accept it, and then inform the moderators, asking them to close it for you.

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Sometimes I think it is better not to delete the question. Depending on the question of course, someone looking for the same issue through Google could find the SO entry, and realize its own misunderstanding : the fact there is no problem at all. I think it's important in that case to put an answer, trying to brifly explain the reasons behind this mistake, as you told. If it doesn't add complexity to the undestanding of the issue of course.

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Just do the RIGHT thing :).

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