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StackOverflow contains a lot of questions (peculiarly, in [algorithm] tag), that say, like, "at the current state of art it's unknown whether this problem has a polynomial solution". The thing is that the "current state of art" is constantly changing.

Should there happen a massive cleanup of such answers, when scientists, at last, solve this problem? Or the reference to "current state" are enough to invalidate all such answers as soon as it happens? What measures should we take now to make such a cleanup easier in the future?

Note that this is not "predicting-the-future" question ("when?", or "will it happen?"). It's about "what will we do when it happens?" The scientific progress imposes a serious threat to StackOverflow reputation as a source of up-to-date answers! We should think about our strategies in advance, before it became a serious problem!

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closed as off topic by George Stocker, perbert, BinaryMisfit Feb 11 '10 at 16:59

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"The thing is that the "current state of art" is constantly changing." In this specific art, it hasn't changed much. – xmm0 Feb 11 '10 at 16:16
This is one of the reasons why we need "no longer relevant" back. – Gnoupi Feb 11 '10 at 16:17
In all seriousness (or at least most of it), I think this question has already been raised for Super User. Advancing technology makes SU answers obsolete much faster. – mmyers Feb 11 '10 at 16:24

if (P == NP)

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My Magic 8-Ball says: "Reply hazy, please try again."

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If P==NP, I'll be deciphering the SSL traffic sniffed from Jon Skeet's network and hijack his account!

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I'm pretty sure that once P = NP is 'solved' then the whole of the computer industry will change so drastically that Jeff and Joel will throw up their arms in panic and reboot SO by erasing the database.

Either that or there will be a collective, "Meh," and they'll let people who are interested in revisiting old P=NP problems work through them at their leisure.

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Well, the whole debate started 40 years ago or so, and there's been no progress made. I suspect it's ok to not worry about it. If you like, you could add a state-of-the-art tag, and industrious people could review them when the start of the art changes.

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