I've recently browsed some questions that all refer to each other (i.e., the first comment is "duplicate of" or "similar to" [some other question]). I've found browsing through these different Q&As to be confusing and tedious.

Is there a better way to sort these questions so that the best answer comes to the top of all 3 in some way? The biggest advantage to stackoverflow, as I see it, is that when a question is answered, the question is immediately followed by the 'best' answer.

My instinct is to post a new question summarizing or simplifying the other questions. Is this acceptable? Is there a better way to go about it?

Example: These 3 are related but not quite the same, though each has components that inform the others...

Would it be appropriate to ask a question like: "What is the best implementation of an 'attribute dictionary'?" and include links to / a summary of the other examples?

(the question I'm asking is not Proposed better way of handling duplicates, ironically)

  • How do you evaluate the best answer among similar questions? the answer accepted by the questioner may not qualified from other people's opinion. there are numbers of question that have accepted answer which is not the most voted answer. – yorkw Dec 16 '11 at 9:44
  • @keflavich I also agree with you.. – Sarin Jacob Sunny Dec 16 '11 at 13:27
  • There should be a stack website called "DuplicateOverflow.com" where they all get transferred to ^_^ – Gabriel Dec 16 '11 at 15:16
  • see also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/37466/… – Ian Ringrose Feb 14 '12 at 16:45

No, please don't do that. You are essentially proposing a list question, which is tolerated only slightly and then, only if it's truly a good question, but are in general, treated with extreme prejudice (note how many of these are deleted by Jeff, sorry, visible by 10K+ rep users only).

In this case, you'd only be obfuscating the real problem at hand, as the title would attract the attention, but then the content would be obfuscated by the fact that the question, and or answer, is indeed a list which the user then has to click through to see if the problem even directly relates to them.

Even if you summarize, those summaries will be backed by a link, as you'd have to attribute all of the summaries, which again, turn it into a list question (and even worse, one of links).


In Joel's blog post The wikipedia of long tail programming questions he recommends that

If you keep seeing the same form of question ... [you should] ...write a great, canonical answer, once and for all. Make it community wiki so that as many other people as possible can make it great. Work really hard on writing something that is clear, concise, and understandable by as wide an audience as possible.

I don't know if you can do that here (I don't know Python) but its possible to solve this on a specific question, but as casperOne points out a General solution that you described doesn't solve the problem in a general way.

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