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Sometimes on SO I find that the question I asked, while lengthy and chock full of details, really only served to provide me with a sounding board against which I was able to find that the answer was not with my code, but with the fact that my mental model didn't encompass all the possible details. Like for instance, XML parsing ;)

So what's the best way to handle those questions? Should I leave the original question which in hindsight looks asinine or just replace the body text? What would I put as the answer when nobody has responded?

What do you do in that situation?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

First off, don't be afraid to look asinine. One of the best presentations I've seen on the topic is the Myth of the Genius Programmer from Google IO 2009. Looking foolish has to happen to everyone and is instructive if you take the correct lesson from it.

To wit, this is one of my questions that ended up being asinine because I didn't include a key piece of info. I just left the original text and appended a section that showed the missing info.

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~ Thanks for the response, and yeah, I don't mind looking asinine, that's usually how those questions make it onto SO in the first place ;) ~ I guess what I'm trying to say is how do I keep the content that can help others solve it themselves when nobody was necessarily able to help me solve it... – jcolebrand Jun 2 '10 at 15:40

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