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Reference question: Can't set video mode for SDL screen on embedded device

Sometimes users solve their own questions, which is great. Sometimes they say they've solved it and move on, which is not so great. The above question is middle-ground: the user posted an answer to his own question, but as an edit to the question instead of as a real answer.

Should any action be taken in such a case? The obvious solution is to copy the edit into a real answer. But is this the right solution? In this case, the answer is a little hidden and there are no other answers, so it appears on the unanswered list.

Related:
Should I update my question to include the correct answer?

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What is wrong with posting an answer as community wiki ? –  HamZa Jul 3 '13 at 22:59
    
Well if the user found the answer himself, I want him to get the rep for finding it, not have it be lost. Because we are probably dealing with low rep users in these situations that are most likely grasping for rep –  Cody Guldner Jul 3 '13 at 23:01
    
An missunderstanding of me was answered here, it should cover your question. –  bummi Jul 3 '13 at 23:01
    
@bummi That kind of answers this, just worded in a confusing way. But I think an answer here will help, because then there will be something to reference to in the future, not an accidental answer that kind of answers this –  Cody Guldner Jul 3 '13 at 23:04
    
    

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

We just saw this problem on Gaming. Questions belong in the question body, while answers belong in the answers.

I would suggest rolling back the edit and then suggesting the user to post their edit as an answer (or, if they already have done so like on Gaming, tell them to accept it). If they had the prudence to return and provide the edit for their solution, it's probably likely they'll return if they are told in comments to post an answer.

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I'd only roll back the edit in those cases where they say they solved it without providing the actual solution. I'd still suggest they put the solution in an answer in any case. –  Bill the Lizard Jan 6 '11 at 15:28
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@Bill I suppose that if the answer isn't yet around, you could probably hold off on the rollback until a proper answer is added. But removing the "SOLVED" and similar indicator from the title I think would be a good idea at any point. –  Grace Note Jan 6 '11 at 15:29
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Agreed. When people are adding "SOLVED" to the title, I guess we need to point out the "Accepted" feature as well. :) –  Bill the Lizard Jan 6 '11 at 15:33

When the OP edited the solution into the answer instead of answering:

Here is what I suggest and has worked out for me before:

  • Leave a comment about it, suggest he posts the answer part as an answer. Something like:

Hi, it's great that you solved your issue! Please consider posting it as an answer and accepting it. This way, it would be clear to other people facing the same issue that this question has an answer. Thanks!

A surprisingly large amount of people are willing to cooperate here. If the answer itself is good I tend to upvote it which assures OP that it was the right thing to do. If OP asks for clarification - you can link him to relevant pages on meta depending on what he's asking.

  • If OP does not respond within two 2 days. You edit his solution out of his question, and post it as a community wiki answer. This is not a perfect solution but it helps users who run into the question. Be sure to attribute the solution to OP.

  • If OP responds some time later, offer to delete the community wiki answer, and suggest that he posts it himself.

When the OP edited the solution into the answer in addition to accepting it:

  • Leave a short informative comment about how people can tell what he ended up doing by seeing the accepted answers. Explain that it appears first. Refer OP to relevant meta post depending on context.

  • If OP does not respond within a day or two, edit the answer out of the question.

What could be done in the system level

Looking at the comments on the question you can see that Chris suggested that OP posts his answer. OP tried to and was prompted with:

Oops! Your answer couldn't be submitted because: Users with less than 100 reputation can't answer their own question for 8 hours after asking. You may self-answer in 7 hours. Until then please use comments, or edit your question instead

A user reading this might understand "You should edit your question instead of posting a self-answer". I think a better phrasing is needed.

I'm not sure if that's still the current phrasing though given that the question is old.

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Excellent, thorough answer. Everything you said is right. –  AndrewC Jul 4 '13 at 16:26

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