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I ran across a deleted answer to a question that, although not helpful to the questioner's particular situation, may be helpful to others who find themselves in similar situations.

We can't comment on deleted answers, and even if we could, the author wouldn't receive a notification. Jeff's answer suggests that a notice for the revision wouldn't make it either.

I'd like to encourage the author to undelete the post.

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Just comment on another of their old posts, and delete your comment after a while. That's also the method a moderator used to contact me after I flagged a post, for example, so to my knowledge it's not frowned upon.

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Post the answer yourself. The original author wanted it deleted, and that's his prerogative - indeed, from the look of things, he had good reason for deleting it!

But if you feel that it was an important contribution, just add it yourself. Elaborate on it to note that it won't work for the OP, but in general might be a good option for others facing a similar problem:

This won't work for the 2.6.9 kernel you're using, but post-2.6.13 you can use inotify to monitor file changes without the overhead of polling.

That said, even with the added qualification this answer doesn't answer the question - so proceed with caution.

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It's good form to credit the original author, when doing this. – Michael Petrotta Sep 12 '10 at 20:49
@Micheal: no it's not. He wanted it deleted, so attributing him can be very dangerous. Maybe he wanted it deleted because his company asked to take the information down, or for other personal reasons. I wouldn't ever re-post a deleted post and say who originally wrote it. – Andreas Bonini Sep 12 '10 at 21:12
I probably would make some reference to the previous author unless I felt he had some reason for wanting to be anonymous... But I wouldn't expect anyone else to do this, or fault them for not doing it. Unless you have a reputation of >= 10K, you might not even be able to refer back to the actual post to note down the author. Ultimately, if you delete something you shouldn't expect to get credit for it - that's missing the point. – Shog9 Sep 12 '10 at 21:21
@Michael: Shog and Kop are right. You can (should) state "from a deleted answer: " or something. – Henk Holterman Sep 12 '10 at 22:01
It gives me the willies to re-post content without attribution. "From someone else" doesn't feel like enough. And if the attribution is that sensitive, maybe the content is, too. – Michael Petrotta Sep 12 '10 at 22:04
I don't think verbatim reposting is the right thing. Forget about credit - that's someone else's content. Maybe a rewrite, retaining the answer's core usefulness. – Michael Petrotta Sep 12 '10 at 22:06
@Michael: if the original content is sensitive - obviously so, either because the author stated that or because it contains passwords or some such thing - then you should neither re-post nor undelete (nor request undeletion). Re-writing in some way is probably appropriate regardless (I suggested as much above), but I wouldn't worry about it too much. – Shog9 Sep 12 '10 at 22:20

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