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Here's a common occurrence, at least for me. After searching SO for an answer to my question and finding none, I begin drafting a question to post. With a good title, sometimes I find a solution among the Related Questions, but sometimes not. Then I begin typing away my question, refining and reformulating as I go. Fairly often, by the time I have the question worded just right, the answer becomes clear! Now I close the page or go back since there is no Abort button (which I really think would be nice, but I digress). However, it might be fun to keep track of how often a user goes through this process, only to answer his own question.

More precisely, how often does a user go to all the trouble of typing up a long (> N characters) question, only to discover the answer in the process, and therefore never post the question? Yes, I am aware that some times some people feel it's appropriate to post anyway and then post an answer, but for my part, the answer is often what's left in the box not the question, so I just move on.

I realize this may be hard or impractical to implement, but am I the only one who does this on a regular basis?

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+1 - Happens all the time to me. As soon as I put my question into words, I've figured out a solution. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN May 16 '11 at 22:06
Rubber ducky, you're the one... – Josh Caswell May 16 '11 at 23:07
@Josh - the shortened version of your URL in my FireFox comes out with a bit that reads &url=http:/...ucking&ei - I'm not game to click ;) – Mark Henderson May 16 '11 at 23:56
@Farseeker: Whoops! I quite understand. I grabbed the google link somehow instead of the actual address. It spoils the joke a bit, but: – Josh Caswell May 17 '11 at 0:55
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, I am aware that some times some people feel it's appropriate to post anyway and then post an answer

This is exactly what we want you to do. Post the question, and the post the solution you figured out as an answer. Come back later and accept it. You never know — someone else might have an even better answer for you.

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Usually the question doesn't feel so universal once I've gone through this process. Also, I hate to think that people will spend time trying to find a solution for me when I already know it (during the lag between posting a question and an answer). – PengOne May 16 '11 at 22:02
@PengOne - you don't have to wait too long before posting your own answer. I self answered my latest question 3 hours later after doing more research and finding the answer. – ChrisF May 16 '11 at 22:14

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