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Ok, this title may not make sense, but please bear with me :)

I recently found myself puzzled by something in FluentNHibernate: a weird mapping artifact was popping to say hello to classes it had no relatioship to. After scratching my head, banging it a bit against the desk, I proceeded to search for info.

After a while, I decided to ask the SO community:

I'm seeing seomthing really weird in a project using Asp.Net MVC on the NHibernate stack (that is FluentNhibernate, NHibernate, NHibernate.Search and Lucene.net)

I have two POCO classes (called here ReferencesThingie and AlsoReferencesThingie) that both reference a third object (called Thingie, my naming convention is cold and efficient) and ...

And then the following happens, while I'm typing the question

  • "Hey, I forgot to check the current versions, maybe that'll help..."
  • "Mhhh, weird, i didn't notice that"
  • "Wait a second, I have to add this info to the SO question"
  • "Wow! I smell a rat!!!"
  • "Victory! Problem solved!"

So here's where I'm at. I'm looking at a question I didn't ask, already formatted and mostly documented with solid facts. Seems like a waste to not ask it, but I already have the solution. What should I do with it?

  • Ask it and answer it right away after?
  • Keep it to myself; if I managed, others will?

What's the official take on these non-questions (let's call them facts)? Wouldn't that lead to people adding facts to the site, not coming back even in the case of a better answer, thinking that question and answer are a little capsule that shall not be broken? Because let's face it, even if somebody pointed out a better way, the way I've worked and sweated for may always seem sweeter...

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possible duplicate of Moving a personal technical blog to Stack Overflow/Server Fault –  ChrisF Sep 30 '10 at 9:20
4  
Should i post questions when they're answered even before i post them? You ran into Jon, did you? ;) –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 30 '10 at 9:40
    
I didn't ran into Jon. I must ask too few questions (or too obscure ones) for him to pay attention ;) –  samy Sep 30 '10 at 9:43
    
@ChrisF, i'm not sure it's the same since the question is answered live while being typed. Bogdan_Ch seems to approach the problem by first having a good idea, then formulating it as a question, then answering it directly. Here i'm wondering about the question and it's live answer being worth posted, with all their cruft and before being refined to a blog post –  samy Sep 30 '10 at 9:49
    
@samy - there have been other meta questions about answering your own question and a lot of them have been closed as a duplicates of that one. Maybe it was the wrong master question. –  ChrisF Sep 30 '10 at 9:55
    
@ChrisF - i'd argue that i'm not wondering about answering my own question, and rather about posting it in the first place :) but i see how my question relates to the one you're linking to. I have the feeling that posting a blog post (ie a question you already know the answer to, answer that you may have prepared in advance and proofread) and posting a question you've answered while typing it is different but it doesn't change the end result so... –  samy Sep 30 '10 at 10:03
    
Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/39236/… –  Pops Oct 1 '10 at 0:13
    
Exact dupe of an entry in the FAQ: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17463/… –  Pops Oct 1 '10 at 0:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I say ask away!

Personally, I would ask the question and wait for a bit before you provide your own answer - you never know, the community may come up with a better answer than the one you already have!

If no one comes up with an acceptable answer in a day or so, go ahead and answer your own question.

This is why chat conversations with my brother (who is a better coder than I) often go like this:

Me: question for you
Him: okay, shoot
Me: I'm keep getting a NullReference error from my class
(five minutes pass by, his chat window says "Jared is typing a message")
Him: well? do you have a question or not?
Me: yeah, never mind, I'm dumb

Almost every time I try to explain the problem I'm having, I end up finding the bug in my code (or that one place I forgot to pass a value, etc). Let's just say I end up typing "yeah, I'm dumb" quite a bit.

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5  
Yay for rubberducking! –  Piskvor Sep 30 '10 at 9:13
1  
@Piskvor - cool, now I learned something! Thanks! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging –  Jared Harley Sep 30 '10 at 9:31
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Same thing here, but i must confess i never had the idea to ask an inanimated object; i prefer coworkers, and the "duh" moment i have when the bug jumps at me in front of them :) –  samy Sep 30 '10 at 9:50
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Depends on the coworkers... :-P Sometimes you'd be better off with the inanimate object! –  gWaldo Sep 30 '10 at 12:58

Self Answering is acceptable on SO. You can do so right away, though you have to wait two days before you can accept it. We want the site to be a complete repository of Q & A.

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