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Similar to 'editing to add links', is it also ok to add an example?

I was going to answer this question but I noticed that one answer had most of the things I needed to say, except perhaps that the questioner didn't perhaps understand the answer and I feel that an example may help.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If it will improve the answer, go right ahead. Take a cue from the FAQ

Like Wikipedia, this site is collaboratively edited. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your questions and answers being edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

If the original author doesn't think so, they'll just roll it back.

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thank you very much. –  Preet Sangha Sep 5 '09 at 11:40

The only thing that I wouldn't do is change the character of an answer. If an example is consistent with the answer and contributes to bettering answering the question, I might add it, I might comment that an example would help, or I might answer the question myself if I felt that the example was the most important thing or the answer would be significantly different with an example (e.g., the example would need elucidating).

I wouldn't add an example that wasn't consistent with the answer, though. If an answer talked about foo, bar, and baz, I wouldn't add an example that used widgets and gadgets. I also wouldn't add an example to an incorrect answer to demonstrate that it's incorrect. In that case I would use my own answer, with an example, to show the correct solution.

My opinion is that, while this site has some wiki-like characteristics, it's not like wikipedia in that we aren't trying to formulate a single, correct answer. If that were the case there would only ever be one answer to a question and we would all just contribute to it. Rather we each have our own answers -- or ones we agree with that we can vote up -- and the wiki-characteristic that is in play is editing and amplifying to improve clarity, not to change content.

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