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How to deal with obsolete answers?

I searched for how to handle exceptions in rspec and got to this question.

It did not help as the syntax is outdated. So I figured it out myself and added a new answer. But I can hardly imagine that it will top the current answer. So basically every user has to go through trial and error until he reaches my solution.

In this special case I would need 76 votes until the right solution gets to the top.

This might also be an issue in games that release patches very fast, like Starcraft 2. This build order is outdated and cannot be used anymore due to several constains patched several months ago. As you cannot play Starcraft 2 with old patches this information is useless. Someone new to the game might try this and get confused.

How should we handle such cases?

  • Given that both your examples are other sites, wouldn't it be best if we migrated this to Meta.StackOverflow? Commented May 5, 2012 at 14:14
  • I guess you are right, can someone please migrate it to meta.stackoverflow?
    – ayckoster
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


If the question itself is outdated, then simply vote to close it for being too localized:

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

If only the answer is outdated, you can either improve the answer with more recent information OR leave a comment instructing that the answer is no longer recent and could be improved; alternatively you could put your own answer if you think you would be changing the original too much.

Outdated answers aren't necessarily wrong and thus they should not be down-voted or flagged, note that they could even benefit people that are still being restricted to use a certain old version.

Related: Should outdated answers be voted down?

  • 1
    Agreed: Leaving a comment saying "Note that this response is out of date, see the answer by X below" is the best way to get people's attention. The fact about outdated answers is that very few people will see them (since it's necessarily an old question), so counting on a good amount of people to mark at "outdated" or anything like that won't work.
    – Jeremy
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 17:21
  • 1
    Is it considered rude to point to your own answer as an updated response?
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 16:29
  • @Tamara What do you mean by "alternatively you could put your own answer if you think you would be changing the original too much." Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 5:51

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