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Scenario:

  1. User A asks a question, reporting Bug X
  2. User B answers question, with correct answer for resolving Bug X
  3. User A tried out B's answer, and it works. However, now Bug Y becomes apparent (that had originally been hidden by Bug X)

What is the correct thing to do? Should User A ask a new question (since the original question and answer are useful on their own)? Or should User A edit the original question to reflect the new occurrence of Bug Y (changing the entire issue being addressed by the original question)?

See this question for an example (though I have seen this a number of times before).

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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think moving the question goal posts like this is a bad idea, also one question becomes two and things get messy.

If user A's Bug X is solved by user B's correct answer then ideally that should be the end the question.

If solving Bug X works but uncovers new Bug Y then a new question should be asked but referencing the original Bug X question if needs be.

Ideally or perhaps optionally, user A would also annotate his original question or add a comment to the correct answer indicating that there is a related question about the new bug.

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New Question, without a doubt.

As Kev points out, moving the goalposts is a really bad idea. It can also lead to downvotes or removal of upvotes if someone coming along after the question has been changed sees answers that don't address the current problem.

Part of the point of SO is to allow people searching for an answer for the same issue to find it quickly and easily. Changing a question to solicit answers for an entirely new issue defeats this goal, since the original issue that was worked to resolve is now obfuscated by the NEW question or sub-question.

Make a new question, and include a link from old->new and new->old for clarity.

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