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Closing posts as duplicate of very old questions

I asked a question recently on SO about WPF v Winforms. Granted this question has been asked before but the most recent question that was referred to was over 2 years ago.

Surely a question like this needs to be re-asked and re-answered with reference to recent developments? New versions come out, new tools come out.

If for example I asked the question "What is the best programming language for Windows?" 5 years ago, it would be quite stupid to close the same question asked today. Questions take on meaning from their temporal context. Questions are different if they have been asked at a different time.

To address this issue, perhaps there should be time limit as to when a previous question can be declared a duplicate. Maybe a question more than 2 years ago shouldn't be declared a duplicate.

I think this goes to the issue of closing duplicates in general. One of the attractive features of the SO site is that it allows people to post a question and then receive answers literally within minutes of asking. That's what I believe sets it apart from other forums. I think harping back to questions more than 2 years ago is really at odds with the fast paced high volume aspect of the site.

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    Counter: If you asked "What is the best programming language for Windows?," it would be closed as not constructive, regardless of the existence of the same question n years ago. Nov 29, 2011 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


I don't think you could set such a generic limit as it will always depends on the technology evolution of the domain you asked about.

When your question is closed as duplicate of another one, it should be when the original question (the one you are duplicated) contains the answer to your question. If this is not the case, if the answers in that question are not applicable anymore to your problem, then it shouldn't be considered as duplicate and your question shouldn't be closed (or could be reopened).

Alternatively, if the question you are duplicated doesn't have an accepted answer, you still can offer a bounty on that question so a new answer appears!

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