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If I answer a question, the answer text area and "Post Your Answer" button disappear and a new button "Post Another Answer" appears (so far so good).

If I then delete my answer, the "Post Another Answer" button stays, when it seems the page should revert to the initial "Post Your Answer" state.

Further, if after deleting my answer I now click the "Post Another Answer" button, a pop-up asks if I would like to edit my existing answer to improve it instead - the same message I get it I hadn't deleted the answer.

While it is possible to edit a deleted answer, it seems way more likely that if I click "Post Another Answer" after deleting an previous answer that I now want to post another different answer, so asking about editing the original (deleted) answer seems nonsensical.

It would seem better when there are no non-self-deleted own answers to do either:

  1. The user should see the text area and a "Post Your Answer" button - ie deleting all own answers restores the initial state, or
  2. If "Post Another Answer" is clicked when there is no warning pop-up

I would prefer option 1, but either seems like an improvement. The basic premise is that if I delete my own post I'm declaring it "closed". If on the rare occasion I want to edit a deleted post, I'll know that I want to do that and do it directly.


The use case was that I got some downvotes for an answer and wanted to deleted it to discard the negative reputation, but then wanted to post a completely different answer.

Had I simply edited the answer, I would not have reclaimed the reputation and since the downvoter(s) are anonymous, I couldn't inform them that the answer had completely changed so they could then consider removing the downvote. Much simpler to start clean.


The existing functionality seems OK if your post was not self-deleted - eg if a mod deleted it - then asking to edit the deleted answer seems reasonable.

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Alternatively, limit it to answers that are deleted by third parties (e.g. moderators) - that's when it's often better to edit the existing, deleted answer than to post a new one. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 18 '13 at 15:39

2 Answers 2

Why should it do that? You have posted an answer, and the fact that it's deleted really doesn't change anything. It can still be undeleted. The button should be encouraging you to just improve your existing answer when possible.

In this case, the button is working well. It's asking you if you really want to post another answer rather than edit your existing (albeit deleted) one. You have a completely different answer not relevant to your deleted one, so you confirm and add your answer. Where exactly is the flaw in the design?

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I'll tell you why: The use case was that I got downvoted and wanted to delete the answer to discard the negative reputation and post a completely different answer. –  Bohemian Jul 18 '13 at 15:44
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Generally a downvote is supposed to trigger an edit to improve or fix the content so that it becomes useful. If the answer is so different that it warrants deleting the old one and posting a new one, then I still don't see how the button is failing in its purpose. –  animuson Jul 18 '13 at 15:46
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You're not the only one to think of that use-case, @Bohemian. Of course, some folks skip the whole "post a completely different answer" bit and just opt for the "discard downvotes" option. Those folks tend to get themselves into trouble... –  Shog9 Jul 18 '13 at 15:47

Deleting a post doesn't re-write history. You're still posting a second answer - and the system confirms that this is what you really want to do before doing it.

We added this confirmation because folks repeatedly posted multiple answers when they shouldn't have; it doesn't block you from doing so, but it does at least try to make sure you do so properly informed.

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That's fine. And I'm for that use case. My use case is not that though - I don't consider a deleted answer as "already answered". I've declared my answer as rubbish and deleted it - that is my confirmation that any further posts are really intended. –  Bohemian Jul 18 '13 at 15:53
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That's fine, but the system cannot interpret your actions to mean this since other people do the exact same thing and mean something else by it. This is a fairly rare edge-case at best (it's been suggested in the past that multiple answers to the same question be prohibited entirely because abuse was so common compared to valid uses), and I'd rather err on the side of warning folks away from it unless they know what they're doing than make it slightly easier for the minority who do know what they're doing. –  Shog9 Jul 18 '13 at 15:59
    
Well, it was a surprise to me to see the pop-up. That's why I asked this question. btw, I've been posting on SO for a couple of years now and never thought of the "abuse" case, which I assume is just keep peppering a question with an answer until you get an upvote, delete if you get a downvote, etc. –  Bohemian Jul 18 '13 at 16:09
    
@Bohemian: That's OK. Only us mods could come up with the worst case scenarios, thanks to the nature of what we do :) –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 18 '13 at 16:24

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