I just had an interesting experience, which I think highlights an area where StackExchange could improve the "close as exact duplicate function".
This happened when I wanted to find out if allowing down-votes on comments had been discussed here before. I searched for
comments down vote in the search bar up top. The first search result that was actually relevant to my query was for:
That question was closed as an exact duplicate. So, I followed the duplicate pointer to:
However this one was also closed as an exact duplicate, of:
If these questions are indeed exact duplicates then, under the principle of
a=b=c -> a=c, wouldn't it make more sense (and a better user experience) to link
a directly to
c instead of forcing the user to follow the entire chain?
Of course, part of this currently relies on power users and moderators to choose
c when closing
a as a duplicate. But, this could be handled by the StackExchange system directly in a couple of ways:
Upon detection of a duplicate chain being proposed:
- Suggest: "Did you mean to choose this non-closed post instead?"
- Transparently and automatically replace the proposed duplicate with the root, non-closed question.
Or, there may be another alternative I'm not thinking of. Still, I really don't see a reason to keep (and leave the potential to enlarge) chains like these.