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Sometimes asking a question here is part of the thought process of answering it. E.g.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3155468/cperl-indentation-for-emacs-inside-brackets/3155632#3155632

Now it's a valid question and someone even upvoted it, so someone else must want to know this.

Also, the answer is correct, even though I posted it myself.

I don't want to wait two days to accept my own answer.

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Ummm, tough it out? Delayed gratification and all that? You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes ... –  C. Ross Jul 1 '10 at 10:36
    
@devinb you don't need to issue a comment with every downvote along with your full answer (the answer suffices as explanation); you should know that your comments of this type tend to get flagged, and I tend to agree, and remove them –  Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '10 at 10:58
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@Jeff With proliferation of people saying "Why did my answer get downvoted?" and (ridiculous) feature requests of "you MUST comment if you downvote" I figured I would do my part to be as open as possible. Do you know of any other way to indicate that I've downvoted? I don't want people to think that every time I answer a question, I've downvoted it. –  devinb Jul 1 '10 at 12:22
    
@devinb You only seem to downvote questions where you reasonably disagree with the premise or nature of the question, and your corresponding answer always gives a measure of "this is not a good idea" in one fashion or another, explicitly stated even if you don't use those exact words. For example, your answer here points out why it is a good idea the two day period exists and why removing it is a bad idea. Comparatively, your answer at QID 54739 does not have any such connotation to it, so no one would think you downvoted. –  Grace Note Jul 1 '10 at 13:07
    
@Grace Thanks. I'll stop leaving those comments :D Sorry to anyone I bothered. –  devinb Jul 1 '10 at 13:15
    
I think this should be fixed. It's silly for questions to remain unanswered if they really were answered. I don't necessarily thing you should get points for accepting your own answer though. though I can think of a few badges. –  xenoterracide Jul 21 '10 at 9:32
    
I'd also like to say that I expect that this might lead to less people answering there own question and more unanswered questions. –  xenoterracide Jul 21 '10 at 9:35
    
oh, and people might read the answers and realize that it's been answered and still not leave an answer even though it's marked unanswered. –  xenoterracide Jul 21 '10 at 9:36
    
@xeno: I don't want points, I don't think I asked for points anywhere. Just want to be able to close the question once it's satisfactorily answered. I guess the points are what motivates people here though, I don't really know. –  delete Jul 22 '10 at 7:59
    
possible duplicate of Why must I wait 2 days before accepting my own answer? –  Michael Mrozek Dec 10 '10 at 7:45

5 Answers 5

If we didn't have a waiting period then everyone could answer their own question immediately.

The two day period is to give other users a fair chance to answer your question and earn the accept.

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But there is no chance; the answer is OK, and I can change the accepted answer later anyway. –  delete Jul 1 '10 at 8:52
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@Kinopiko - having an accepted answer will put people off answering, so you'll be less likely to get alternatives to choose from. –  ChrisF Jul 1 '10 at 9:43
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This site should be more about Q&A and not rankings. Oh noes someone else can't answer my question... Perhaps I've already solved my issue. Why should they waste their time on a solved problem. I'd also like to state that I've answered questions that had an accepted answer months ago because there was a better answer (or because there was an answer now that wasn't possible when it was asked) –  xenoterracide Jul 21 '10 at 9:29

To Jeff's answer I will add that in general there may be subtleties or trade-off at a deeper layer that you are not instantly aware of. There may be un-obvious consequences to choosing a particular way to solve a problem that a more experienced commenter can point out to you.

These are reasons that do want to wait: so even if you use your own solution you have to come back and see what other have to say.

Even if this does not apply to a particular case, even if it does not happen often, it is worth you time.

So, have patience.

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It would be a good idea to state what the subtleties/reasons/tradeoffs are, or at least give an example. –  delete Jul 1 '10 at 8:53

In your case, it is a very simple task you were asking about, so it is reasonable to assume that no one else can think of something better.

However, the purpose of StackOverflow is admitting that "none of us is as smart as all of us". We are admitting that there is something we do not know, and that we want to see if anyone else has a better idea.

This means, in the best case, someone else comes up with something better than what you thought of. Marking your own answer as correct immediately is very close-minded, because you are saying that it is literally inconceivable that anyone else could come up with something better. That is not what you want because you should always be looking for better answers, even if the one that you found is perfectly acceptable.

This is why the two day waiting period exists, so that the other users on StackOverflow have a chance to help and improve on the answers that already exist. In the worst case, you just accept your own answer after two days, but hopefully you won't have to, because something cooler could have come along.

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I think instead of removing the waiting period, it would be cool if we got a notification in our Recent Activity section after the two days are over and no answer has been accepted.

This would be useful because it will ensure that we don't forget to mark our own answer as correct and lose % accept rate over it.

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I think you're always reminded to accept an answer once you pay another visit to your question. And it would show poor interest in your own question if you 'forgot' about it or loose interest within 2 days –  Ivo Flipse Oct 27 '10 at 5:54
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Ah, but if you've answered your own question, most of the time, that implies that you have resolved that question and moved on. In that case, why would you be likely pay another visit to your question? –  Chetan Oct 27 '10 at 6:02
    
@Ivo One week after a question is asked, you get a nag on your profile to remember about accepting an answer. That nag is only for a few weeks, though. You don't actually get anything on the question itself when you look at it, unless you count the reminder when upvoting an answer that some users get. –  Grace Note Oct 27 '10 at 21:16
    
@Grace: It would be great if, in addition to the nag on the profile, we also got a notification about it, in case you don't check your profile often. –  Chetan Nov 1 '10 at 20:02

I always recommend not answering your own questions immediately.
If you don't answer immediately you very well might get more points.

Think about it, your question moves to the top of the Active list when you post it, and again when it gets an answer. By waiting to answer your question, you are more likely to get more people to post answers. Which also makes it more likely that someone will look at the question.

If after some amount of time you don't get a satisfactory answer, go ahead and post one.
( you may want to post a comment saying that you plan on posting an answer later )


I also don't recommend accepting answers right away for many of the same reasons. So I don't really consider the forced delay to be that onerous.

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