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On two different questions about module X for a specific framework, a user replied saying to use instead the module Y, which turned out to be developed by him.

On the first question, he first added a comment suggesting to use module Y, and when the OP commented back that he would like to a give a hint on how to use module Y, he added an answer saying how to do what asked by the OP using the module Y, and not the module X that the OP already installed. On the second question, the same user was wondering why he could not see an option in the setting page for the module X, and the other user once again suggested to use the module he developed, without to even check if what reported from the OP was correct; I verified the option the OP was looking for was present, and concluded it was just a problem with the module version used by the OP.

Considering that module Y is not necessary, and it is probably not the recommendation that should be given to who is already using the other module (which has the same purpose, and it is better known), what should be done with both the answers? Should they be converted in comments to the questions? Should it be done just for one of the questions, considering that both the questions were asked by the same user?

Both the modules are licensed under GPL v2; it's not a case of promoting something that would return money to the author, if not indirectly. (The more users use his module, the more users will know his work, and probably ask him to develop a custom module for them.)

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9  
Is module Y jQuery? –  random Apr 24 '11 at 1:58
10  
@random, no no, that would be "You should totally drop that and try module Y". –  hyperslug Apr 24 '11 at 2:30
    
See also the FAQ entry about spam flagging –  Pops Oct 3 '12 at 19:42

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well, I believe the answer to your question is in FAQ already:

May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if they happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers. Also, if a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons.

If you see consistent promotion of some Module Y by one of its developers, you can always flag the answer marking it either "Spam" or "Requires moderator attention". In the latter case you would explain the case.
If moderator share your point of view, the offending user account will probably got deleted (or ban, or something).

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3  
Most of the time, you should go with "requires mod attention." Spam flags can do powerful damage to rep, and they don't invite deeper investigation by mods. Save spam flags for blatantly obvious, off-topic one-off spam, like ads for discount Gucci handbags. –  Pops Oct 3 '12 at 17:34

I think it's totally valid to talk about or suggest something that you developed, as long as it's something relevant and connected to the question.

In the end, it's the OP who decides whether the answer solved his problem or not, and the other users can express their opinions by downvoting/upvoting the answer.

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4  
It's still required to disclose any affiliation one might have with a product, be it commercial or not. –  Pëkka Apr 24 '11 at 8:44
    
I would also expect the user would also answer to the question being asked. If I ask if a setting page has a specific option, and why I cannot see it, simply answering to use module Y is not even an answer; I would still want to know why I don't see that option, as it could be I simply need to update the module I am already using. –  kiamlaluno Apr 24 '11 at 9:24

If the OP is looking for a solution to a problem, it's fine.

If the OP is looking for a solution to a problem using a given technique, it's dodgy.

Context is key here; it may or may not be appropriate to ditch one module in favour of another.

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