I was trying to edit this question and it gave me this error:

enter image description here

The other question is Java heap space out of memory. Indeed, it has an identical title, but if I can't submit an edit because the title is identical, why can the OP ask a question with an identical title?

Just as I suspected, nothing is checked when I submit the question. See my test question (you need 10k on SO).

Now try to edit it, without changing the title and watch it complain.

It seems like the filter has been disabled.

FWIW I think this is a huge waste of time and resources. When this thing was on I had to wait a few seconds for my edits to go through. This also won't make people write better titles, they'll just get annoyed and reorder the words, add punctuation, etc. just to get around the filter.


The "why can it be asked with that title, but not edited" - that was simply timing (asked before the filter was enabled).

It is currently was disabled, but this is was due only to a performance issue that didn't show previously. This has been reworked, and is pending deployment deployed.

There is a question of firing during an edit that doesn't actually change the title - this seems undesirable, so I suspect I'll tweak this it has now been tweaked to only fire when creating or editing the title.

Re making trivial changes - in those cases we lose nothing; we do, however, get a chance for a much better title than "what is wrong with this code?" (and other painfully common titles).

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It is a good idea to have something like this for new questions, but I'm not so sure about blocking edits to old questions.

  • You should block edits which change the title to some duplicate, yes.

  • If my edit didn't change the title at all (e.g. if I only changed tags or body), this error message looks a bit strange - I was trying to improve the post, didn't I?

    Maybe make it only a warning, and show it already when I'm starting to edit the question.

    This question title is already used by [this other question]. Consider changing it so it clearly indicates what this question is about.

    (Make it a list if there are multiple questions with this title.)

    If you want it to stay an submit refusal, still change the message to something more friendly, like this:

    This title is already used in [another question]. We now disallow identical titles on questions, please change the title in your edit to be more specific to this question.

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As per the latest podcast, Jeff said a restriction on duplicate titles would be implemented.

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    Personally, I think it'll be a statistical nightmare. There are only so many word combinations used in programming and for questions in general. I forsee a huge number of incoming Meta questions. – Lance Roberts Sep 21 '11 at 6:32
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    Hmmm, so this is a new feature, huh? That explains why now it takes forever for me edit a question. – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 21 '11 at 6:46
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    Oh man this is a terrible idea :( I really didn't think they'd do this. I am not optimistic that any meaningful percentage of titles will be truly improved, most will just become harder-to-detect garbage. – user154510 Sep 21 '11 at 15:50

You ask a question that includes XYZ. A while afterwards, XYZ is no longer allowed in questions. What should happen to all questions that have XYZ in them? It is nearly impossible to remove XYZ in most cases, so you can't do a massive find/replace. So, you grandfather those questions in.

But now, any time a post is to be submitted that has XYZ in it, it must be blocked. That includes edits, otherwise I can edit any post and add XYZ, in order to sneak it in.

There have been a number of instances where this has happened[citation needed]. I assume the dev team determined it wasn't worth their time to come up with a complex algorithm to determine if the diff of an edit includes anything which blocks now, but which did not block at the time the post was originally submitted. I would agree with them.

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  • When the OP posted the question, that title already existed. – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 21 '11 at 13:30
  • @NullUserException_: You ask a question that includes XYZ. Awhile afterwards, XYZ is no longer allowed in questions. What should happen to all questions that have XYZ in them? – user1228 Sep 21 '11 at 13:33
  • Nothing. But my point is, the other question had been there for months, and this one was posted yesterday. If I can't edit it, why should they be able to post it (and I didn't change the title)? – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 21 '11 at 13:39
  • @NullUserException_: When did XYZ get put in the killfilter? – user1228 Sep 21 '11 at 14:58
  • Why do you need a filter at all? Isn't it just a matter of SELECT COUNT(1) FROM Posts WHERE Title='?'? – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 21 '11 at 15:03
  • Just posted this now: stackoverflow.com/questions/7502399/… , confirming my theory that it doesn't check anything at all when I ask a question. – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 21 '11 at 15:25
  • @NullUserException_: (edited) Your question edits, did you confirm or deny this bug? – user1228 Sep 21 '11 at 15:53
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    It looks like the filter has been disabled (hopefully permanently), because I can edit other questions as well (see the update to my question) – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 21 '11 at 15:59
  • @NullUserExceptionஇ_இ See Marc's answer. – Chris Frederick Sep 21 '11 at 18:54

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