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I was solving my own problem and several times came close to posing it as a question

See: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7053022/sending-with-smtp-using-c-vs2010-net-4-win7.

However, shedding sufficient blood, sweat, and tears, I managed to solve it.

I felt that solution was worth sharing with the Stack Overflow membership and so I posted it and indicated that it was solved.

Apparently this is a no-no ... sorry, I do not understand why. My departed Mother taught me that sharing is a good thing. Sharing takes time. I invested a substantial amount of my limited personal time in sharing this solution that I'm sure will help others who will fail into similar traps.

Is there perhaps some eleventh commandment "Thou shalt not share"?

B-(

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  • See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17845/…
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:59
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    What was your actual question you were trying to answer? I see an answer posted there (where there should be a question) but what is the question?
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:11
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    I understand your frustration, but Stack Overflow has its own unique format.. for good and for bad, we are all obliged to stick to it. Aug 14, 2011 at 7:22
  • @Robert Harvey Hi Robert, to answer your question i need to rephrase it to "what would my question have been had i not discovered the answer at the eleventh hour myself". in that case it might have been something like "How do i get c# .NET 4 SMTP to work?" and i would have described my problem without adding the solution that i fortunately discovered. Since we are in meta here, i suggest this meta discussion might better evolve to something like "is sharing solutions a valid activity for so?"
    – gerryLowry
    Aug 14, 2011 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

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Questions should be questions and answers should be posted as answers, answering your own questions is perfectly acceptable, just stick to the format.

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    In addition, it helps if you wait a day before posting your answer. Nobody knows why; it's just one of the great mysteries of SO. Actually, posting your answer a day later makes it look less like you're using SO as your own personal blog. It also gives others a chance to weigh in with their own answers first.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:32
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    @Robert Harvey: I really wonder if that is such a good/ethical thing to do, this potentially wastes hundreds of man-hours.
    – brunnerh
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:34
  • In almost all cases I've seen where someone has posted their own answer to their own question, someone else has weighed in with knowledge or wisdom the OP had not considered.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:37
  • @Robert Harvey: I do not doubt that something may be gained, but it might come at a considerable price.
    – brunnerh
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:38
  • I'm having a little trouble figuring out what ethics are being violated here. It doesn't matter who answers the question, and everyone contributes their time voluntarily here.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:49
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    @RobertHarvey, H.B. I, for one, consider it basic politeness to share your wisdom as soon as you have it (and have the time to share it). If you know the answer at the time you post your question, post your answer immediately. If others have a better answer, they can post it anyway. If others do some research to reach the same answer, then by not posting your answer immediately you've wasted their time. Aug 13, 2011 at 22:49
  • @Robert Harvey: If you have a problem worth sharing it's likely to be a nail biter (is that an approriate phrase?) and as there are a lot of fanatics here surely some will dive into the problem and invest in some cases rather large amounts of time, time which might be spent better on a problem that actually needs solving.
    – brunnerh
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:51
  • @Gilles: I'm inclined to agree, but you know as well as I do that some members of the community (for whatever reason) dislike it when the OP immediately posts an answer to their own question. In fact, I've seen some people tell the OP in comments, "If you already have the answer, just put it in your question."
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:51
  • @H.B Yes, but the community sometimes sees this as an abuse of the system, as asking "not a real question." If you already knew the answer to your question, why are you asking it?
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:53
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    @Robert Harvey: Then they are in the wrong and should be pointed to the official blog, it's allowed and even encouraged.
    – brunnerh
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:55
  • @RobertHarvey That would be an SO thing, then. I haven't seen it on SE2.0 sites, or even on SU and SF. Aug 13, 2011 at 22:56
  • Like I said, I'm inclined to agree, but this issue is by no means cut and dry; see here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17845/…
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:58
  • @Robert Harvey ... i do not see this a personal blog; it's simply sharing; if i wrote a blog article, it would go into substantially more detail. in searching for a solution, i read quite a few blog articles and found very many of them to be far too brief for my taste.
    – gerryLowry
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:02
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    "How do i use SMTP with C#?" is not a question that would stay open. It's NaRQ: Too Broad. It would have to be fleshed out a bit more than that.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:30
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    I left a comment on the question. Case closed.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:34
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To make this work, you have to make your question and answer look like other questions and answers on Stack Overflow.

  1. Like Jeopardy, you must phrase it in the form of a question. Your question must follow the same formatting and guidelines for posting answers as everyone else's.
  2. Answer your own question in the answer, following the usual Stack Overflow guidelines for answering.
  3. You can accept your own answer two days after you post it.

Note that the debate about whether or not you can post an answer to your own question is a bit of a red herring; the "answer" you posted was not well-received because you didn't follow the Stack Overflow format: Questions are questions, answers are answers, and you didn't post a question.

Instead, you posted an answer where a question should be, to a question that... well, I don't even know what the question was.

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  • i would have preferred to break it into question and answer BUT the answer can not be posted for two days. as i said, i'm trying to be helpful by sharing. imho, it would be unhelpful to NOT post the answer immediately because then other so members would waste their own valuable time trying to solve a problem that I've already solved ... if i did that, then it would seem to me that it was not a question but a quiz. to my credit, i wrote in the first line "any comments are definitely very welcome. ". please forgive me if i seem to be on the defensive.
    – gerryLowry
    Aug 13, 2011 at 22:59
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    @gerry: What do you mean? Your answer can be posted immediately. See here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/102288/…
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:02
  • @Robert: You need some minimal amount of reputation to be allowed to post answers to your own question immediately. Aug 13, 2011 at 23:06
  • @Paŭlo: I have no idea what that rep amount might be. It does makes sense, though.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:07
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  • @Robert Harvey: Maybe this should be included somewhere on the privileges page, does not seem like it's there.
    – brunnerh
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:26
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    @H.B It looks like it's relatively new. The changes come so fast now I can't keep up with them.
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:27
  • well, I don't even know what the question was — related to that, I never understood why the FAQ uses Jeopardy as an example. As far as I understand, that game is about guessing what the question is!(Really, that sentence confused me a lot a long time ago.)
    – Arjan
    Aug 14, 2011 at 6:38

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