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I asked this question: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4189630/search-for-first-last-any-or-all-occurences

In my opinion the question was clear:

I can't decide whether my (ab)use of yield and subsequent break out of the iteration is a strike of genius or a hideous hack. What do you think? Do you have any other ideas for such a situation?

Meaningful answer could look like this:

  • It is good (because...)
  • It is bad (because...)
  • It is better to do it this way ... (because...)

After 4 days that question still got no meaningful answer, so I decided to answer it myself, and accept my answer. People didn't like that and started voting my answer down and then my answer got deleted by the user Community. I assume that is automated because of too many downvotes or because of flagging or whatever.

My answer was:

Lacking useful answers I am declaring my (ab)use of yield as a strike of genius.

which in my opinion is a fully legitimate answer. It could be better if I explained why, but it is still a fully legitimate answer.

One user commented on my answer telling me that how I answered my own question and accepting that answer was not how SO is meant to work. The FAQ clearly says that it is allowed to answer my own question.

It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, ...

Why did people not like my own answer? Why did it got deleted?

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3 Answers 3

Short answer: writing your own answer is perfectly fine, but you have to follow the same guidelines about answer quality that you would for any other question.

Longer answer:
You and that user are both wrong. That user was wrong because of the FAQ that you pointed out. You were wrong because your answer has no value. It doesn't explain why your version is a "strike of genius." You may be right, you may be wrong, but without any justification/reasoning, it's just a worthless opinion.

Note that I'm not trying to subtly take a position either for or against your correctness here. I don't know Python, so I'm not qualified to do so. What may have contributed to the problem is that your question is subjective to begin with. It's very, very hard to find a worthwhile SO question that asks "is this a good way of doing X?"

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In short. You have the right to accept your own answer, even if its completely useless for other readers. But the community has the right to downvote.

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It got deleted because it was flagged by 6 SO users. I didn't see it but I'd guess at either "offensive" and/or "spam". It cost you 100 rep.

That wasn't very appropriate, it was (arguably) neither. The normal way to deal with disagreement about an answer is to downvote it. 5 SO users did in fact do so. But that costs rep, -1 for the downvoter, -2 for you. The flag gets used a bit too frequently as of late to achieve a "nuke from orbit" goal without its associated cost.

The best possible way to interpret this is that there were enough SO users that thought they might lose rep. Instead of counting on getting it back when you delete your own answer after it got downvoted enough. That was possibly an impression that you created by your answer. And your question, you ignored pleas for explaining your goal. That's a liability at SO, you're dealing with people, not predictable logical machines. It's not for everyone.

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Thanks for the information. Regarding your remark about me ignoring pleas for more information: I did not ignore them. Check the history. I edited my question to give more information after the first comment. –  lesmana Nov 20 '10 at 8:27

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