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Basically, add a new question view: Common. This would contain questions that have had both 10 or more upvotes and have 1 or more other questions closed as duplicates.


I suspect some at least can be avoided by adding the "Common" view for questions and a note in the FAQ to direct users to it.

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Further reading on why this won't work: – jasonh Dec 24 '09 at 21:20
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It won't change much. There's already a list of possible duplicates shown when asking a question and it's completely ignored by some. Adding a common list won't change much, it will only add clutter. Also, on a site like SO, which has a lot such questions, that list will be almost useless, because it will be huge and almost impossible to follow.

I forgot to mention one thing: no one reads the FAQ.

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Wait, there's an FAQ? – Jared Harley Dec 24 '09 at 15:20
Yeah, there's a FAQ? I should probably read that. – Bill the Lizard Dec 24 '09 at 16:22
I musta been one of the 5 people that read the FAQ out of the gate... – RCIX Dec 25 '09 at 0:07
I read the FAQ as well, but most don't or they simply forget what they read. – alex Dec 25 '09 at 0:12

There are a few problems. First of all, some duplicate questions aren't that common to begin with. Considering the amount of questions asked already, it's very likely that questions have been asked before, yet no one noticed it.

Also, some questions appear to be duplicates but aren't because some important condition is completely different from the situation in the original question. For example, someone might ask how to retrieve a list of files in a certain folder. Plenty of people have asked this so you could consider it a duplicate. But then there could be an additional twist, like how to do this on a Mac? Or on a PlayStation? Or in Pascal? Or in GWBasic? Or in ADA on a Linux system? Or maybe even in Assembly for MS-DOS? (Yeah, I'm old. I still remember DOS.)

There is no automated solution from filtering away duplicate questions. Worse, focusing only on the most common questions means you'll get a lot of duplicate uncommon ones.

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