It seems to me that asking a question that had been previously asked isn't very welcome in forums like stackoverflow. The logic behind this is clear: DRY (don't repeat yourself). In general I agree to this rule, but I think sometimes there are exceptions to this rule.

For example, I have just read a question in stackoverflow with title "Well designed Django example code to learn from". Actually there are some good answers to this question.

But I think this kind of questions should be asked again periodically, because there is not a unique true answer to them. There might be new additions to good django codes. There might be some people who know very good answers to the question but who missed the question when it was asked first time.

So my question is: If someone asks a previously asked question that has no unique answer, after some period of time, will it be treated as offensive?

2 Answers 2


It's better to edit the question or some answer, or add a bounty to it, so it gets bumped on the front page again, rather than posting a new question.

See also these related questions:

  • 1
    those are two excellent resources Aug 24, 2009 at 8:47

It's really a mixture of both, as we are a hybrid system. It depends on the circumstances.

Sometimes, re-asking is OK. It's 2 years later! New versions have been released! We learned that GOTO is evil since then! The programming world moves fast, so a lot of the old answers may be incorrect or refer to out of date stuff, and the prospect of getting them all whipped into shape via editing is slim.

Sometimes, editing is better. Adding another question, assuming it's exactly the same, just splits readership.* So why not edit the old question into shape and make it more accurate, more up to date, or at least not egregiously wrong based on today's world?

Bottom line: There are a thousand questions to ask about asphalt (Q&A), but only one wikipedia page on the definition of asphalt (WIKI). Which one of these guidelines best fits your question? And why?

So to answer your question.. it depends.

** (The assumption of perfect duplicates can be tenuous. Also, sometimes we want duplicates, to capture synonyms and the wildly different ways people ask similar questions.)

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