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What are “Community Wiki” posts on Stack Overflow?

On the one hand, I can see where the Community Wiki feature serves a useful purpose sort of like copyright expirations: after an extremely popular post has lived its life and the person who came up with it is credited with his contribution, it automatically enters the public domain so that others can tidy it up to make it more useful to the community at large.

What I don't understand fully is the purpose of user-designation of posts as Community Wiki on SO. I'm a relative newbie to the site, but from what I can tell from having read the discussions, CW started out as a place for meta-discussion regarding SO, which was discontinued once Meta was launched. Based on the pattern I'm seeing these days, it seems that calls for someone to mark a topic as CW usually is their way of saying it shouldn't be on SO at all; it should be deleted outright. As such, shouldn't these questions just get close-voted and summarily deleted? It appears to me that CW simply leaves it up there, and is more the tool of a jealous member trying to deny another member rep points because he started something that's of interest to the community (or at the least, bound to get responses).

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marked as duplicate by Ladybug Killer, random, ChrisF, Tom Ritter Dec 6 '09 at 13:57

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

CW is not for jealous people, it's not for Meta discussion and it is not for non-programming related stuff.

Read here, for what it is good for: What are CW posts on SO?

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