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Few days ago I answered a newbie question, and the answer was accepted yesterday.

Today I woke up thinking of what poor an answer it was (I'm not normal, I fear): I wrote it to help the asker, who just needed a direction, and I indeed gave one, providing a working quick and dirty example. But now, thinking that the answer is going to remain, and to be found by google searches (and with my name on it!), I would like to improve it.

Few lines need to be changed and few other ones to be added.

What is the policy? Should I edit my answer now that it has been accepted? If so, should I edit it in a way that shows how the code was before my edit or not?

Also, will the asker (should he/she ever connect again) be notified about the edit?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

Absolutely edit the answer. Sometimes it's worth leaving an old version of the answer, but it really depends on the situation. (I sometimes have multiple "versions" within one answer; each has a bold title, and they're separated by horizontal rules.)

Don't worry too much about the asker - no, they won't get notified of the edit, but that's probably not too much of a problem. The long tail of other people finding your answer in the future is more important.

(As an extreme example of where editing is important, I recently answered a question incorrectly. It was accepted, but then the error was pointed out by another user who had posted a correct answer. I edited my answer to be correct, but requested that the asker deselect mine so that I could delete it as it was essentially superfluous.)

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Did the other user get a badge for correcting Jon Skeet? – Super Long Names are Hilarious Sep 3 '09 at 9:25

It is totally encouraged to edit accepted answers to keep them up-to-date. I would make sure that the part which the questioner accepted is visible somehow (depends on the answer/question).
Leaving a comment to inform the questioner would be a nice thing!

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I've made edits to accepted answers before - but only in an additive or corrective fashion, never the overall answer.

For example, spelling, grammar, adding links, etc.

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