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I'm using the definition in Exit strategies for "chameleon questions"

I've recently come across a few questions where the OP has answered their question via an edit in the question.

I'm really not sure what the right thing to do with these is; the OP has been good, and updated their question with new information as people ask for it, and has supplied feedback on different approaches tried.

The last update then contains an answer (or solution), as part of the question instead of as a separate answer, which is where it gets tricky.

So, should we:

  • Live with it
  • Copy the solution into an answer, and edit the answer out of the question
  • Send a comment @OP <edit> asking them to do it </edit>
  • Or something else?
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This sounds like a pretty constructed scenario, so I'm not sure how often this advice will be useful, but if (as you say) the question really was good until the last update, where an answer was edited into the question, then:

  1. Massage the question back into a "question" state (any updated info remains, any answer stays out)
  2. If...

    • ...the update was the poster really answering their own question, and no other answerers got it right, then comment on the question telling the asker to post their own answer.

      If you are evil, post the answer as your own instead.

    • ...the update was the poster saying how they used an existing answer to solve their problem, then it's really just superfluous information. In that case, if there was anything interesting, add a comment to the right answer with the interesting bits.
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2a) was what my truncated comment @OP should have said (fixed now). I was trying to avoid the evilness of posting as my own answer (which feels like stealing rep), but as @Ninefingers points out, it can be a wiki answer – Phil Lello Apr 29 '11 at 23:37
It might sound like a constructed scenario to you, but it did happen to me today. Basically I think this can happen when a XY-esque question is revealed. At least that is what happened in my case. At first I thought the problem was caused by X but now I've discovered that X couldn't have caused the problem so I'm tracking down Y. – Erik Nov 5 '15 at 18:29

I would say it depends on the value of the question/answer at hand. If you think "hey, wait, somebody else could use this" then edit the question, remove the answer, paste it as an answer and indicate what you have done to the OP.

I might be tempted to leave them a comment first asking them to do this, but if they don't given a reasonable timespan I would probably post their solution as an answer. I might be tempted to community wiki it in recognition of the fact that I didn't write it and am merely providing the answer in the appropriate place.

If the OP has marked the question "never mind, fixed it now" I suggest attempting to solicit an answer (pointing out the obvious rep benefit that may come with posting an answer) from the OP. Otherwise, as drachenstern says, not a real question.

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Somehow my 'send comment' line got truncated (fixed now)... ideally the OP should get the rep for the answer, but the I'd overlooked the option of a Wiki answer, which seems like the best approach. – Phil Lello Apr 29 '11 at 23:35
@Phil I agree, giving them the rep is the ideal situation, and the more I think about it the more I think CW is the best way to go in this set of circumstances. – user142852 Apr 30 '11 at 0:07

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