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I recently encountered performance problems with a commercial software from some well-known vendor.

Asking the StackOverflow-community for help to track down the issue resulted in a detailed answer, which helped me to actually find out what happens - but I found the assumptions in that answer to be wrong.

I'd like to do some things now:

  1. Show my appreciation for the helpful answer
    • Upvote (certainly gonna do that)
    • Add a comment (sure)
    • Accept? (does not feel right at the moment, since the answer is not correct)

  2. Share what I found out (does not fit in a comment)
    • Notify the poster of the answer
      (He would have to do my tests again, which doesn't sound fair)
    • Edit the provided answer to add the result
      (I don't feel comfortable about editing answers, and I would have to change quite a lot)
    • Add my own answer containing my tests and findings
      • Accept it?
      • Accept the other answer?
      • Accept neither?
    • Edit my question to provide the answer (No. It's a question, not an answer)

  3. Try do find out if anyone knows why it happens
    • Edit my question
      (won't get much attraction any more since it is quite long and already has an answer)
    • Post another question (now knowing what exactly causes the problem, but not why)

How would you proceed?

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1  
If it's almost correct (i.e. by adding a single comment, you can make it correct), you should add the comment and accept the answer. –  LeakyCode Apr 16 '10 at 10:15
    
@Fearless Spammer: Thanks, would certainly have done that. Further tests showed that it was not even as correct as I thought, so I wrote that into a comment. –  Peter Lang Apr 16 '10 at 11:22

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The primary function of the accept mark is to point out a correct answer to future generations IMO. Appreciation and thanks can be expressed in comments and upvotes.

I would ask the helpful user whether they want to edit their answer to reflect my findings. If they do, accept it. (GIve it a few days' time, not everyone is active on SO on a daily basis.)

If that fails, I would post the correct answer and accept that.

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From SO/help: "Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for him or her personally [...] Before I read that, I would have thought what you said (that the green checkmark is for the best answer), but it appears that that is not the case. –  A.M. Jun 17 '13 at 13:35

When such case happens that my answer helped the asker to find the correct solution (but it ave only pointers, it wasn't the actual solution), I advise him to post the working solution as an answer, and answer it.

For people reading after, it's much better, and you can comment and upvote the answer which helped you, as reward. But keep in mind that all questions indeed have much more use than only your case, but also all persons coming after with the same. Marking the correct solution should be the way to follow.

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