Let's say someone asks a question that requires multiple "parts" to an answer (for example, an advantages/disadvantages question). Now let's assume someone answers this question and touches on most points, but is missing a point or two (and let's say his/her answer was picked by the OP as the correct answer). Would it be better to add that additional information as your own answer, or suggest it to the author of the correct answer in a comment? Also, if the answer is a community wiki, is it good etiquette to edit another person's answer and add more info?


2 Answers 2


If you have information that further answers the original question, I would submit the information as another answer (instead of adding a comment). That way it comes under the scrutiny of the voting system and allows users to comment directly to your answer.

Also, the general etiquette of editing posts seems to lean more towards copy editing; making the post more clear and concise. Correcting grammatical problems or spelling errors is okay. Adding to or changing its meaning is not.

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    I disagree strongly with that last sentence... I don't think i've ever run into trouble adding to or correcting problems with an answer, provided i was respectful of the original author (adding alternate solutions vs. editing out controversial assertions). You could argue that the rep system encourages posting new answers over editing existing ones though.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 28, 2009 at 17:58
  • I shouldn't say that "changing meaning is not [okay]" as a policy that everyone has to follow. It's just my personal behavior/opinion. If a user is saying something they believe but is blatantly wrong, I wouldn't go in and change it all up to make it true. I would just leave a comment pointing out the error. I would fix a statement (or code) if I felt that it was a typo or if something simple was omitted, though. That's just where I draw the line. Commented Jul 28, 2009 at 18:22
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    Heh... I suspect i probably behave fairly close to what you describe. If an answer is completely worthless, unhelpful, flat-out wrong, etc... Then i'll probably post a different one rather than edit. If it's decent, i will edit to expand on it.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 29, 2009 at 0:24
  • See, now I was coming around to your way of thinking after this: stackoverflow.com/questions/1196840/simple-sequence-generation/…. I pointed out an error in the sample code. The problem is now the code works as written but the implementation was changed (and is now completely wrong). And I would be a jerk for putting it back the other way (with my corrections). I should have just fixed the original code outright. Commented Jul 29, 2009 at 1:16
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    Heheh... You know, that post reminds me of something else (tangentially-related): examples. I've seen answers that do a good job of describing the solution, but don't put it all together in an example code listing... and end up confusing the person asking the question (who's new to the language or API). I'd just as soon edit in an example to an already-good answer than add a duplicate answer just to provide semi-redundant code.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 29, 2009 at 6:22
  • There ya go. You got me rethinking my assertions and I learned something new today. Commented Jul 29, 2009 at 15:45

Robert Cartaino's answer is somewhat ambiguous to me. I agree that if you have additional information that significantly answers the question you should add another answer, but I also think that you should include all of the other information so that your answer is comprehensive.

Every answer should stand alone. They might cite other answers, but they should answer the question as completely as possible.

The only general exception to comprehensiveness should be in cases where there are actually multiple independent answers. Tho, even then, the best answer would be one that exhaustively and definitively includes all possible answers (and any important info about the differences thereof).

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