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What to do about deprecated questions & answers?

I feel most answers on Stackoverflow are now outdated. Technology is moving at a lightning pace and I feel that there should be a better way to Archive existing questions.

  • Example of an outdated answer? Nov 28, 2012 at 17:36
  • Your question does have some merit, if for no other reason than existing questions with obsolete answers will cause new questions asking for up-to-date answers to be closed as duplicates, and at present there isn't any good way to get attention for old questions with obsolete answers to solicit updates, except maybe for bounties.
    – user102937
    Nov 28, 2012 at 17:41
  • You might want to make your question a bit more specific, however. What do you think an archive system would look like? How would it solve the problem of outdated questions?
    – user102937
    Nov 28, 2012 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


SO is getting long in the tooth, with over four years of Q&A. Four years is prehistoric on the internet. Yes, some of those early questions are going to be outdated. There are three big ways that this can be mitigated:

  1. Add a new answer, with a more modern way to handle the problem.
  2. Add a comment to the out of date answer noting that it could be improved, and possibly linking to other questions/answers or outside resources to assist.
  3. If the thing that's out of date is small and easy to fix, it might not be inappropriate to simply edit an existing answer into correctness. This should be a last resort, as radical changes to existing answers tend to be frowned upon.

If you aren't in a position to offer alternate solutions, there are other ways to get updated answers to old questions:

  1. If you have enough reputation, you can offer a bounty. When creating the bounty, you'll have an option to pick a reason for the bounty. One of those reasons is "we need an updated answer."
  2. Ask in a relevant chat room. The residents may be able to either update the question, or point you towards other questions with more modern answers.
  • This doesn't work if someone is coming to Stack Overflow from Google looking for a solution, and it's not there. Posting a comment doesn't bump the question to the front page.
    – user102937
    Nov 28, 2012 at 17:43
  • This is true. As you've noted, outside of bounties there are few ways to draw attention to older questions outside of bumps.
    – Charles
    Nov 28, 2012 at 17:52
  • I guess community wiki solves some of this but it requires a level of discipline. There are other questions that are not part of community wiki that need to be updated. Most general tendency of developers is to simply check the top answers. Nov 28, 2012 at 18:42

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