I have the following situation:
- There was already a question in the form Is there a program for X?.
- And I asked the more specific question Is there a free program for X?
The second question was closed as a duplicate.
But I am not sure about how this should be handled in general. Esp. in this case, this is kind of bad because none of the existing answers to 1 answers the second question (all given suggestions are non-free programs). The author already accepted one of the answers so it is unlikely that these questions will get much traction anymore.
There are probably a lot of very similar cases like these.
One example: Is there a free per-app network bandwidth monitor for MacOSX? closed as duplicate of Is there a per-app network monitor for MacOSX?.
The latter does not have answers to the more specialized version.
The answer to the latter is even a step more specific: Its suggestion is a commercial firewall application which also contains a network bandwidth monitor.
To take the thought even further:
The issue does also exist in the other way. I.e. if you have asked Is there a program for X, there always will be a question Is there a program for Y whereby Y is more general than X.
So, obviously, stating that the most general question should stay and all others should be marked as duplicate doesn't make sense. (The most general question in this case would be Is there a program which can do everything.)
To the given example:
- My question: Is there a free per-app net bandwidth monitor for MacOSX
- A question like Is there a net bandwidth monitor for MacOSX is already more general (because the question which I asked made two further specifications: free and per application).
- Now you can make it more general: Is there a system monitor for MacOSX (many system monitors probably also monitor the network card)
Every further generalization in this case would probably be closed as being too unspecific (e.g. if you leave away the operating system and accept just any tool). At some point you would end up with the question Is there some application which is obviously a very general version of all the other questions.