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I wonder about the right way to elaborate on an answer.

The question was "how can I write this code in one line". The currently highest voted answer gives a working one-liner, but offers no further explanation.

I would like to elaborate on this answer and explain what it does. I don't have the right to edit the answer. I could comment on the answer, but it would be hard without formatting. Is it ok to copy the solution to my own answer to explain it further?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you came up with the same idea in the same moment, absolutely go ahead and post a more detailed answer. It is likely to gain more upvotes in the long run. It's what makes SO great.

If the previous answerer came up with the solution and you want to elaborate on their exact line of code, I'd say it's good style to reference the author somehow, like e.g. so:

I'd like to elaborate some on the (correct) one-liner @xyz provided. When you do this, the following happens: ...


As shown by @xyz, the correct answer is some code here. This is because ....

crediting the original author prevents any animosities from coming up.

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That sounds reasonable, thanks! – Daniel Hepper Jan 15 '11 at 11:17

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