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I often find myself knowing how to approach a problem that someone has posed but I can't offer an answer that gives specific advice on exactly which function to call due to lack of API knowlege of, say, .NET, or the particular library they are using.

What do people feel about posting a generic answer? Should I bother?

Here's my current thinking:

From a general point of view, are such answers just noise? Especially when the question is answered by someone with a more specific knowledge, providing an API ref, method name or code.

From my point of view I have been downvoted in comparison when a more specific answer arrives. Whilst I endeavour not to take it personally, it can be a little disheartening.

The main justification - that I can think of - for providing a generic answer is that it gives someone a few ideas to go away with so that they can perhaps get a new angle on their problem.

I guess in some ways I'm also attempting to second guess the kind of answer that someone is after. So perhaps it would be more beneficial to post a comment instead.

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From my point of view as someone who asks questions, I am always grateful for some pointers. Adding a generic answer AFTER a specialized one (for the same thing) was added is bad.

When I ask a question, I'd rather have a rough answer ASAP and then I'll leave it some time for "better" answers to come in. But then again, I usually try not to ask "Plz send me the codes" question, so normally a vague answer is already good enough to get me going in the right direction.

However, if you are really just "guessing", maybe a comment works better - always depends on the exact situation.

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