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I answered a question based on my theory, without actually trying out the solution myself. Then after a small conversation over comments, it turns out, this won't solve the said problem.

Now I have two possible solutions; this time coded, compiled and checked:). Now where should I post it?

  1. Edit my previous answer, remove the wrong solution and write the new one, which will definitely clean my answer, but leave readers confused with the comments.
  2. Edit my previous answer, keep the wrong solution, tell people that above solution doesn't work, then follow it up with the new solution.
  3. Post a new answer with new solution and delete the wrong answer.
  4. Post a new answer with new solution but keep the wrong answer as well.

Want to know what is the proper way of doing things?

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If you choose way 1, flag the comments as obsolete (one flag for the entire comment thread). All listed ways can be proper. It's your decision, but I would probably choose 1 (+ Flag) or 3. –  Daniel Fischer Jun 14 '13 at 11:48
    
Related question. But it is related to delete downvoted post. –  hims056 Jun 14 '13 at 11:53

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If the base idea of your answer stays on track, then edit it (and flag the comments as obsolete). If you're basically redoing the whole answer, then do (3) -- delete and post your new answer.

But it's really up to you, either one is OK.

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I personally would edit the original answer instead of posting a new version. There are a few things that you could do with the old incorrect version.

  • You can use the code (<strike>) to cross out the incorrect old answer.
  • Add a Edit: note to the new answer stating that after further clarification from the OP this is the corrected answer.
  • Flag the comments that no longer apply for cleanup since they are obsolete.
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I disagree, no reason to clutter up the answer (strikeout and edit), correct it and flag the comments and be done with it. –  Time Traveling Bobby Jun 14 '13 at 12:22
2  
@M.NightDemonbobby IMO, there are times that editing the answer to include a note/strikeout are valid. –  bluefeet Jun 14 '13 at 13:12

On occasion I have discovered or it has been pointed out in the comments that an answer of mine was somehow wrong, for instance addressing an obsolete version of a framework.

In that case I simply re-edit the whole answer, noting at the top that I have re-written it based on the enlightenment kindly provided in the comments. People wanting to know what the original (wrong) answer was can look in the edit history.

Usually, someone else will have provided another answer in the mean time, maybe even a better one. That's all right, the votes will handle that and let it float to the top above my zig-zagging attempt at an answer.

Why not just delete it? If someone has taken the trouble to read it, find the flaw and point it out in a comment, I feel I at least have to put a bit of effort into correcting the answer myself.

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