Note: I'm using this question as an example, it's possible that the problem doesn't exist in that specific question.
Say someone asks a question. How do I find the value of this <input> with regex in PHP?.
Normally, I would like to close it as a duplicate of Parsing and processing HTML/XML?, the canonical question with great, informative answers. However, for some reason, I can't find that question in the dialog:
- It's name changed recently (it used to be called How to Parse and Process HTML/XML in PHP?)
- The duplicate search is filled with crap - Since this question was asked so many times, lots of questions clutter the duplicate list, and I can't find it.
But I did notice that most questions are duplicates of the canonical, Parsing and processing HTML/XML? question.
Now let's see my possible workflows in the case I can't find the question in the list, but I have found another question which is duplicated by it:
- Search the question on Google (remember its name changed recently): "How to parse and process HTML in PHP"
- None of the first few results are immediately obvious (because again, the title was changed).
- So I pop a few open, and find it.
- Copy the address, back to the other tab and paste it in.
- Close as duplicate.
Total time? About 50 seconds. Unrealistic for a question that gets asked so many times a day. I'd like to keep my sanity intact, thank you.
Copying the original from the duplicate
- Go to the original I did found, which is a duplicate of said question.
- Figure out if it's the real question (because again, the name changed).
- After confirming it's the question I intend, copy the address, either from the open tab I used to confirm the question, or from the link in the duplicate I chose.
- Paste the link to the dialog.
- Vote to close.
Total time? About 30 seconds. Better, but still rather annoying (very rather annoying).
What do I propose?
I propose that links to other questions be linked inside of the duplicate dialog. Meaning, that if I hit the link to the original from the original/duplicate I initially selected, I'll be redirected to that question inside that dialog.
It's not too much of a stretch to imagine that a question linked inside the question might be another (better) duplicate.
So our new workflow is:
- Find an original from the list, it's not the one I wanted but it's a duplicate of the canonical I wanted.
- Click the link in "This question has an answer here: Parsing and processing HTML/XML?"
- Question is already loaded, vote to close.
Total time? Not sure, haven't measured it. I can argue I can complete that in less than 10 seconds.
Can we? Pretty please?