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I found this question: Seedable JavaScript random number generator and a big bunch of questions marked as duplicates of it.

The problem is, this question itself include a partial answer in the form of some bad code. So the first thing everyone who is redirected to this question sees is a bunch of code that looks much like an answer, but which they are best off ignoring. On top of this some of the answers naturally comment on this code, thus including information that is not relevant to the general topic.

In the specific case I request that another question is chosen to be the "hub". The following question is clean and concise, so a good candidate for a replacement: Any pseudo random number generator in Javascript?

In general I request that no question is ever marked as a duplicate of a question that is significantly more complicated, provoke more complicated responses, or in other ways generate unnecessary noise. The result of such a duplication mark is a worse experience for those seeking an answer to the simple question.


Ilmari Karonen has now heavily edited the question in order to make it a better duplicate hub. Is this a practice with any precedence? If so are there any further guidelines for its application? If not, what does everyone think about it?

Also this question has been closed as duplicate of a quite different question. Did any of the closers bother to read and comprehend what I wrote?

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The "Any pseudo random number generator" question is much worse than the "How to create" one. For one thing, it's worded like a library recommendation question (even if it's not exactly one), and the only answer is a joke (the only real content is "replace the returned function with a generic PRNG such as ARC4"). –  David Robinson Mar 10 '14 at 19:37
@gnat Are you serious? It is another question about duplicates, that seems to be as far as the similarities go. –  aaaaaaaaaaaa Mar 10 '14 at 21:12
@DavidRobinson Ultimately this branch of questions is borderline library recommendation, and the most upvoted answer on "How to create" is a straight library recommendation. We might as well make the question fit the answer. The joke answer would of course have to be removed. Alternately, someone have in a slightly different context suggested to create dedicated duplicate target questions: meta.stackexchange.com/q/157942/145545 –  aaaaaaaaaaaa Mar 10 '14 at 21:38

1 Answer 1

Generally, the easiest and most effective solution in cases like this to just edit the question into shape. For example, in the particular case you cite, the code dump in the question (and the paragraph above it) could simply be edited out.

A slight complication here is that several of the existing comments and answers more or less directly refer to the code in the question. For the comments, the solution is simply to flag them as obsolete — comments are ephemeral, anyway. For the answers, it might be helpful to also edit them to provide any missing context, or at least to leave a comment noting that the answer refers to code that has since been edited out of the question.

share|improve this answer
I don't feel quite confident making that sort of edit, by normal rules the question does not need to be edited, ugly mess or not, it is not like the asker was wrong to include his code, it just makes it a bad duplicate question target. –  aaaaaaaaaaaa Mar 10 '14 at 21:22
@eBusiness: A post doesn't have to be wrong or bad to be edited, it just has to have something that can be improved. That's especially true for questions (and accepted answers), since they're "pinned" to the top, and so any flaws in them diminish the usefulness of the whole thread. –  Ilmari Karonen Mar 11 '14 at 20:54
We do kind of discourage too small / too radical edits from new users, but that's mainly because those edits have to go through the review queue, and it's not always easy for reviewers to tell valid but radical improvements from vandalism. (Cue rant about some reviewers' apparent inability to even tell their ass from a hole in the ground...) Anyway, I edited the question for you; so far, no-one seems to have objected. –  Ilmari Karonen Mar 11 '14 at 20:54

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