I have a couple of questions on SO, :

1: Codeigniter - How can I sort my database result object (sorting php objects)

2: Codeigniter 2 active record — How do I create temporary table to apply second sort order?

Both I feel are interesting valid questions I would like an answer to, both pertain to the same problem - I was seeking two different approaches to solving the same problem, extensive google searches didn't find an answer.

Both have answers which do not answer the question and are stuck (one says there is no way of doing it the way I proposed and prompted question 2, the other needs more input from me but is veering towards an approach other than that requested.

Finally, I have found a third solution which does not relate (directly) to either solution but works great for my needs.

The trouble is, I dont really have time to set up tests and examples for these old approaches to move the questions forward.

Quite often when I find a solution before anyone answers - I post it myself as an answer, but in this case it doesn't answer the question asked (although it does solve the problem behind it).

Any suggestions on what I should do here - shall I just delete them, or shall I leave them up unattended in the hope someone knows how.

My thoughts are, delete the one I am told not possible, leave the other. Although this is about specific posts, are their any general guidelines for deleting questions?


Well, first, you may not be able to delete your questions because they have answers (unless there are no upvotes on them...).

That being said, even if they could be deleted, I would leave them up in case someone does come up with an answer in the future. Just because no one has given a satisfactory answer yet (to the question asked) does not mean that there won't be one in the future.

A good question without answers is still a good question and should remain (at least IMO).

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  • Just a note: as long as the answers have received no upvotes, the question can technically still be deleted. – Bart Sep 24 '12 at 14:17
  • Ah, I have learned something new. Thanks! – Barak Sep 24 '12 at 14:17

It is not just SO you have to consider. A large number of people access the information on SO via google. Google indexes SO with what it calls "real-time search". (Indeed new questions can be accessed within seconds).

Additionally the deleted (answerless) SO questions tend to stick around for a while in the google index. So in a way you might be doing a disservice to google-users...

So if the question has no answers, and almost no views in a period over a year and you regret ever having asked this question, I would say it is OK to delete it, otherwise keep working and improving it. For instance by including links to resources you found meanwhile.

Anyways, that's my take...

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