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Sometimes, when I answer a question on Stack Overflow, I have two different answers that are equally valid. This happens most when answering architectural questions where there are many valid ways to solve a problem.

Is it better to put each alternative into a single answer, or put each alternative in its own answer?

Posted each alternative separately will allow the voting system to float the best answer to the top, but I don't want to be accused of rep whoring by "flooding" a question with answers.

What's your opinion? One or two answers?

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marked as duplicate by Martijn Pieters Aug 5 at 20:06

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3 Answers 3

The system is designed to have separate posts for every answer. There is nothing wrong with this, it is not 'rep whoring'.

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3  
I agree. Having seperate solutions allows the community to vote on each according to its merits. –  beska Nov 3 '09 at 22:34
    
I agree, but the only time I ever answered a question twice (with two completely different answers), a moderator deleted one after (badly) merging it into my other answer, and left a snarky comment. –  Abhi Beckert Dec 8 '11 at 4:24

You could always put both options in a single answer and state which one you'd recommend and why...

Option 1

some quotes

<somecode.../>

Option 2

some other quotes

<somedifferentcode.../>


Option 2 is probably best because of x, y, and z...

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2  
This is what I normally do. –  Ryan Michela Nov 3 '09 at 22:26
1  
I usually use this format as well. –  gnostradamus Nov 4 '09 at 1:44
1  
I usually do this, however there was one question I answered where the two solutions were so diametrically opposed that allowing the community to vote separately on each seemed the better solution. –  Flexo Aug 18 '11 at 10:48

I don't think there's a single right answer for this.

If they're two radically different solutions then two answers might be the best solution, but you'd have to judge each case on it's merits.

While the system doesn't prevent you posting multiple answers, it discourage you from do so, so the default position must be to post a single answer containing all your information. This is the message you get when you click on the "Add Another Answer" button.

Are you sure you want to add another answer?

You could use the edit link to refine and improve your existing answer, instead.

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2  
+1 I agree. There are situations where it's best to have one answer that covers two similar bases, and there are situations where it's best to have two answers that cover completely opposite bases. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 3 '09 at 22:36

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