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Taking the Microsoft development world as an example, over the past three years we've seen three new versions of ASP.NET MVC and a whole new .NET Framework (and ASP.NET). In jQuery world we see the same thing where we've had quite a few releases over the past three years.

One of the things I've been concerning myself about is when users vote to close new posts as duplicates of questions when older tooling and frameworks were in their prime.

With new tools and frameworks come new, improved and superior ways to solve a problem. These older questions and their answers, whilst still valid, are perhaps outmoded and we're guiding less experienced users to carry on using these older practices through close-as-duplicate.

I'm wondering if the community should be (or are) a bit more mindful when voting to close questions as a duplicates of 2-3 year old posts and ask themselves "does the older post, asked about Framework 2.0 really provide a satisfactory solution for today's Framework 5.0"?

Do we really want to be referring OP's to these older solutions such that they're code is stuck in a timewarp?

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(In line with my answer) possible duplicate: At what point does a question become a duplicate? –  Josh Caswell Jun 14 '11 at 3:12

3 Answers 3

This is a great question!

I feel the same as you do. I think that older versions of the frameworks might not have as good of a solution as you would be able to create using the newer versions.

Along those same lines, the people here have grown technically and you also have a set of fresh blood added to the mix. I find that this can spark new discussions and ideas that have the potential to retool an older solution into something better.

I hope those with the ability to close thread do keep that in mind when flagging them as duplicates.

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This is a Q&A site not a discussions side. Also there is no reason that an asnwer to the old question can't be edit to show the better way of doing it with a later version of the framework. –  Ian Ringrose Jun 14 '11 at 8:34
    
@ian - I don't think Brian means discussion in the sense of the waffly stuff we close down, I think he meant that as a general term. On your second point, whilst this is true and I partly agree I think you can end up with a confusing mess if that isn't managed well. Also these ancient questions and answers, whilst perhaps is canonical material, they tend to have accreted a fair number of answers over time. Getting new material addresses more modern approaches to stand out is kinda hard in these cases and especially when you have a popular and highly upvoted accepted answer. –  Kev Jun 14 '11 at 11:40

I don't think the rule here is different than any other case. If the older answers still solve the problem, then it's a duplicate.

If the framework has been changed such that new methods are used or required, then it's not.

If the OP doesn't think that the older answers apply, or specifically wants answers addressing the newer framework, then that information needs to be part of the question to begin with.

That's the way it is; the particular subject doesn't change the nature of a duplicate.

Older questions have often accreted lots of useful information, and funneling new questions that represent the same problem back to them only increases their value, in my view.

You're right that if Foo 2.0 has a single function to perform some task that took a dozen lines in v1.0, new questions about that task aren't dupes. If the solution to the task hasn't changed, though, then v2.0 isn't by itself a good enough reason not to link to the older question. Leave the pointless promotion of the new version to the marketeers.

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The new questions should be worded or edited to word, to address the new technologies. So the closers will know that you really want a .net-5.0 answer, not 1.5.

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