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Addendum / Preface

I did not get any response to this question, so I will explain why I'm asking: at some point yesterday evening I hit the 3K rep mark in SO: that means that now I have the power to vote to close questions. Voting is not flagging: I believe it's a much bigger responsibility. I'm not just saying: "hey, could you please take a look at this question? I believe it should be closed" anymore; now, I'm saying: "Let's close it". In light of this new responsibility, I want to make sure I understand what determines when a question is a duplicate or not. Most of the cases will be easy, obvious ones, and I'm not interested in those. This one below, on the contrary, does not seem obvious to me and thus I would appreciate your comments. This is not a question about "give me those 10 points back!". My flag weight is high enough and I could not care less for 10 more points in there.

Original question below:


This question: Android Development Environment Linux is about installing the Android SDK on a computer without Internet access. The fact that it's running Linux is completely irrelevant to the problem.

So, I linked this other question in a comment: Android: Download the Android SDK components for offline install and flagged the question as a duplicate. The original asker even thanked me for the link in there.

Why was it not then closed as a dupe?

The accepted answer (by TheTXI)) to the question: When is a duplicate question not a duplicate? proposes: "Rule of thumb: If you ask a question similar to another question and it is likely to get the exact same answer, you have yourself a duplicate question." and that is clearly happening here.

PS: If you see the time at which I flagged the question, you will notice it was after the asker thanked me for the link and thus I confirmed that it was the same problem.

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In lieu of a detailed answer explaining the various nuances of the "exact duplicate" close reason, that rule of thumb leaves a lot to be desired. "How many children do Barack and Michelle Obama have?" is not an exact duplicate of "How many children do George and Laura Bush have?", even though they are similar questions and have the exact same answer. –  user149432 Apr 25 '11 at 23:52
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@Mark OK, I understand that a single phrase like that cannot cover every single aspect, but in this case in particular, it was exactly the same problem and exactly the same solution. More like "how many children does Obama have? vs "Number of children of the current president" –  Aleadam Apr 26 '11 at 1:46
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I think issues like this are why it's great to be able to join the ranks of users that make those types of decisions. You can now influence what defines a duplicate question through your newfound vote to close ability. I'm sure every SO user can think of an instance where they didn't agree with a "moderator" style decision but the fact that you now have the ability to help make those decisions is the solution (in a loose sense) to your problem. –  Jeff Swensen Apr 28 '11 at 5:11
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@Jeff this is very true. I guess I still feel around here like a "new kid on the block" and I do not want to mess anything up. I've been really active for only about a month in both SO and meta. I should get over it... –  Aleadam Apr 28 '11 at 6:18

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you have close voting privileges, just vote it. If other 4 users with close vote privileges agree, they will also vote on it. If nobody agree, your vote will go away after few days later.

But if you flag it for moderator attention to close it, the decision is by only you and a moderator.

Moderator or other close voters may think that,

  • that question has better answer than old one
  • or they may think that merging is better instead of closing as duplicate
  • the other post is on Windows XP, and this one is Linux, so they don't want to close it as duplicate just because of personal preferences.
  • and there is a lot of posts like that, they may ignore just for this case

May be there is many mores that I am not seeing also ...

You just need to move on, instead of just sticking on one post, I think.

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I will move on, I promise! As I just replied to Jeff's comment, I feel quite new around here, but both @YOU and and Jeff made me realize that the point of having 5 votes is exactly this one: people think differently. Case closed. –  Aleadam Apr 28 '11 at 6:22
    
For some reason I can't accept the answer: "An error has occurred - Please retry your request", in two browsers (chromium 10 and firefox 4). I'll wait until tomorrow and post it as a bug if continues. –  Aleadam Apr 28 '11 at 6:34

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