I think this is a common scenario on every Stack Exchange:
- User 1 asks question A
- Question A gets answers X, Y, and Z
- User 2 asks identical question B, but adds arbitrary condition excluding answers X, Y, and Z
- User 2 asserts that question B is therefore not a duplicate, and may even reference question A.
A typical Stack Overflow example would be a question with two answers, one suggesting to use a specific framework, and the other providing a template of an equivalently complex hand-rolled solution. There is inevitably going to be a follow-up duplicate claiming that (a) the framework isn't an option and (b) the custom solution is too complex.
A recent example (today, in fact) on Seasoned Advice was a question about how to store something; the original question got plenty of answers (fridge, freezer, garden, vase, even one answer linking to a list of options). The new question is exactly the same thing, simply placing arbitrary restrictions ("don't want to use the fridge.")
So my questions to you are:
- Is this type of question actually considered to be a form of duplication?
- Should they be closed?
- If so, is Too Localized a better reason than Exact Duplicate?
- Should we show sympathy by leaving them for a little while, or close ASAP to avoid leaving "broken windows"?
- How should we respond to the people who post the questions, especially if they object to closing?
- ...as a normal user?
- ...as a moderator?
Since I got criticized for not linking to examples (even though I think everybody should know what I'm talking about), here are a few:
- Advantage of var keyword in C# 3.0 ("i saw this question but did not understand the real purpose of using it")
- Setup for Apple's Accelerate FFT for the iPhone ("i saw this question but unfortunately the answers didn't help because i don't have a strong sound related background")
- Wondering how to deal with nsnumber objects in an arithmatic operation ("I saw this thread but wanted to confirm")
And the one that inspired me to ask about this:
- I have seen this thread ... but I don't want to use any of the answers. Seriously, that's the entire rationale.
Basically any time I see the phrase "I saw this [question/thread] but...", it's obvious what's coming next 9 times out of 10.