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For all of my questions I have received great answers. I have implemented the answers in code and they work. I now feel compelled to close the questions because I don't believe there are more or better answers out there.

Should you close your questions that you feel have been answered sufficiently? Would allowing more people to answer dilute the existing, good answers?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 14 '09 at 14:39

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

I don't think you should close your questions lightly. There are very few questions that have a definite answer that will never change, or that cannot be improved upon.

Someone might come in three months or a year, or later, and be aware of a caveat that nobody knew about when you posted the question. Maybe there was a security flaw in the approach and it was discovered later. Maybe it doesn't work anymore because Windows 20xx doesn't support feature Y anymore. Maybe the question was about Internet Explorer 10 and the correct answer changes for Internet Explorer 11. Maybe you asked the question in regards to FireFox, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Safari, but the answer doesn't work in the as-yet-unreleased super-duper-browser that will dominate the market in 3 years.

The way I look at it, these questions and answers are not just for you but for anybody who might have the same question in the future. Just because an answer works for you now, it doesn't mean necessarily it will work for someone else in the future.

By letting the question open, you give the chance for other people to contribute an even better answer later.

Reason for closing a question:

  • The question has attracted noise/trolling/attacks or other bad behavior.
  • The question has been asked before in a different post which has a better answer (then, post a note with a link to the other alternative and close it).
  • The answer will truly not change (for example, because it's linked to legacy technology that won't ever be updated)

Reasons why I might be completely wrong about this:

  • If no one ever closes the question, who's going to stop people from trashing the question in a year?
  • Editing power allows for highly trusted users to modify an answer when needed, as new information becomes updated, so leaving it open might not be necessary.

The need for guidance on closing posts has partially been provided by the reason for closing which must now be selected. "Already has the best answer" isn't on the list at all. In general, it is a good practice to only close a post for one of the provided reasons.

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Regarding your reasons you might be wrong, it's up to voters and moderators and editors to ensure a question isn't trashed. If it is, the revision history is there. Garbage answers will be voted down or maybe deleted. –  Nathan Fellman Jul 14 '09 at 18:29
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"but the answer doesn't work in the as-yet-unreleased super-duper-browser that will dominate the market in 3 years." You mean Chrome? –  Anders Dec 16 '11 at 16:59

Euro Micelli's post covered it well. I just wanted to add, I can't tell you how many times I've stumbled onto a Yahoo Answers page that has been closed with several incorrect or incomplete answers. It's quite frustrating, to say the least. We certainly can do better than they have.

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I definitely agree with Euro Micelli; closing the question seems very drastic.

However I'd say an important thing to maintain is to select an answer as the accepted answer to indicate which solution was most appropriate to you; and to vote up good answers and perhaps vote down bad answers. I've seen many questions where there are several very good answers provided but it seems that the questioner has taken the answer and lost interest. That may well make people think an ideal answer hasn't been determined when it has. I think it's vitally important to show your gratitude for good answers and perhaps scorn for bad so votes act as a more accurate measure of answer quality.

Apologies if I have veered slightly off-topic here; however I think this point is related and rather important.

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I agree with Euro except for this.

The answer will truly not change (for example, because it's linked to legacy technology that won't ever be updated)

On occasion, products like this go opensource and thus the development keeps going so even if it's legacy, you may want to keep it open just it case. Besides all the new stuff will go to the bottom of the 'vote sorted' list anyway.

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On the hand if a post has a gazillion answers, is anyone ever going to read through all of them? Especially if you already have perfectly good answers by checking out the first handful posts.

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hopefully the good ones are on the top! –  jjnguy Sep 16 '08 at 4:11

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