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This question brings up a similar idea: Adding someone else's answer to your own to make a better answer, but doesn't address it for what I'm suggesting.

When you get tons of answers, some may be great, some may be bad, and some may be good but don't provide a complete solution. When I get an answer that I accept that has helped me figure out a solution, I want to accept it as the winner even if it hasn't provided a complete solution. At this point I'd like to put my exact solution not as an addendum to my question, but rather below it as like "OP provided solution", or something to that affect. This could speed up the search efforts by passers-by instead of them having to read all the answers.

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I've accepted an almost answer and then posted an answer with the actual solution - stackoverflow.com/questions/664476/… –  ChrisF Feb 9 '10 at 17:05
    
@ChrisF - that's a good practice. i did the same thing here (called it a "postmortem"): superuser.com/questions/99661/… –  quack quixote Feb 9 '10 at 17:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In cases like this I edit the answer with more complete information.

For those without editing privileges, I suggest adding a comment to see if the user is willing to update their own answer.

If that fails, or you can't comment, then add a new answer.

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@Pollyanna It seems that it's not a very popular idea so this will do. It just leaves many holes in the system because a lot of answers I get don't ever get changed on request, and comments go unanswered sometimes as well. –  orokusaki Feb 10 '10 at 16:02

You already have this ability. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Get editing privileges
  2. Edit the best answer to include a comprehensive solution
  3. Accept that answer

Now the solution you used is displayed directly below your question.

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One of the core design choices is that reputation is completely optional. –  Andreas Bonini Feb 9 '10 at 21:27
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@Koper: So is editing answers. You can always edit your question to add an epilogue if you lack the reputation to modify the accepted answer - it's mostly an aesthetic difference. –  Shog9 Feb 9 '10 at 21:48
    
This doesn't address the problem for those who haven't editing privileges (which is the majority of all users). A real solution is one that all (or at least most) users can use. –  orokusaki Feb 10 '10 at 15:58

Why don't you want to answer your own question and accept it? You can always credit the original poster who helped you and link to it for more info, and it makes it even easier for future users.

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Answering my own question seems OK if I didn't get any helpful answers, but if I figured out my problem based on somebody else' answer, then technically their answer should be the winner. Then, if I offered a solution, passers by could see the solution from start to finish. It's more natural this way. –  orokusaki Feb 9 '10 at 14:59
    
Agreed with waiwai933. If nobody else had the correct answer, then they are "assisted answers,"and are better rewarded with upvotes. Compile the information into a well-worded answer, answer the question yourself, and mark it as the correct answer in a couple of days. –  Robert Harvey Feb 9 '10 at 17:05
    
i think this is the best solution when a) there aren't many other answers and/or b) the final solution was assisted by other answers but not truly given by other answers. otherwise, follow Shog9's suggestion and edit the accepted answer to make it better (assuming you have editing privs, of course, otherwise add a "final solution" section to the answer). –  quack quixote Feb 9 '10 at 17:30
    
remember, accepting your own answer means the accepted answer is listed in straight by-vote order, it won't automatically be the first answer shown in the default ordering. –  quack quixote Feb 9 '10 at 17:33
    
@Robert Another problem is that a few times when I've answered my own question I've received vote-downs with no explanation of why, even when my answer was the perfect solution for my question. I couldn't help but think that the users did it because I accepted my own answer (and probably rightfully so after they put time into an answer that got me to a solution). –  orokusaki Feb 10 '10 at 15:56
    
@quack Good point. That's part of why I'm bringing this up, because there is no sure way to make the "right" solution the first one that everyone sees, which is optimal if you know that it's the right solution and you've tested it. –  orokusaki Feb 10 '10 at 16:00
    
@orokusaki: I can understand why someone might do this, but that's not the purpose of downvotes, so a downvote for that reason is not really legitimate. The criteria for a downvote is "This answer is not helpful," but people do downvote for all sorts of other reasons. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 '10 at 18:29

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