I asked the Stack Overflow question How to sort a List<Enum, Collection> by order of an enum?

The answers I received answered my specific question, and also covered issues which could be related to my initial question.

Is it appropriate to upvote answers you receive which are not relevant to your specific issue, but do answer related issues? Also, should I comment on the answers I got, to say that they are not relevant to my issue?

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    I have read this several times now, but I have no idea what exactly you're asking. Is there any way in which you could clarify your question here? – Bart Nov 19 '12 at 13:29
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    Do you mean something like: "what should be done with answers that don't address the question directly, but provide information for a related issue?" or are you talking about answers that both 1. address your issue and 2. provide additional information on related issues? – Mat Nov 19 '12 at 13:33
  • Yes Mat.. You are absolutely correct. – Shashi Nov 19 '12 at 13:35
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    @ShashiBhushan Mat did not ask a yes/no question, he had 2 choices. Which are you saying yes too? The first, the second, or both? – psubsee2003 Nov 19 '12 at 13:36

If your question is answered, absolutely upvote and mark it as the Accepted Answer. If it helps you answer extra questions, so much the better!

If your question isn't answered, but the answer shows effort, then a simple up-vote and comment seems just fine (especially if it also helps you with other issues). Sometimes this can also help you realise that your question needs to be clarified.

If your question isn't answered, and the answer doesn't help you in the slightest, you can simply leave a comment.

But in the long run, it is always up to you to judge! There is no way for anyone to tell if it was you who upvoted (or downvoted) the question, unless they're a developer (ie., solely for debugging purposes).

  • moderators can't see who voted for what; only developers could potentially see that. – Servy Nov 20 '12 at 16:29
  • Thanks @Servy, my mistake. – Hannele Nov 21 '12 at 15:12

If an answer doesn't even attempt to answer the question, and is entirely an off-topic tangent addressing entirely separate issues, then it is the definition of "not an answer" and should be flagged/deleted as such. But as long as the answer answers the question that is asked, then this doesn't apply, even if the answer contains additional separate information mixed in as well. It's common and appropriate to answer a question as asked, and then also discuss other problems found in a code example.

If you found the post to be helpful, it's appropriate to upvote it. You can upvote the post because the answer to your question was good and useful, or you could upvote a post whose answer to the question was marginal or even poor, but whose additional information and tangents were very helpful to you. At the end of the day you can vote however you want; if you feel that the post deserves positive feedback, upvote; if you feel it deserves negative feedback, downvote; and if you don't feel either is appropriate don't vote at all.

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