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A certain question on Stack Overflow was closed before I could post my answer.

The problem with the question is that the person asking the question is a native Lithuanian speaker and thus had trouble stating his question clearly in English.

However, after a number of edits, his intent seems clear. I was able to answer his question, but by the time I finished my answer the question had been closed.

I do not have sufficient reputation to vote to reopen a closed question, but I'm not necessarily trying to get it reopened.

I just want to relay the answer to the person asking the question, since I feel he made a sincere effort to post his question despite limited English skills. Is there no mechanism by which I can send him the answer?

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    If you link to the question here, and it deserves to be reopened, chances are that enough folks here will vote to reopen it. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 14:49
  • stackoverflow.com/questions/16059636/… Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:05
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    @DerekHenderson That question most certainly shouldn't be reopened. It just dumped a bunch of code and said "plz fix". He doesn't even state what the code is supposed to do, or what aspect of that isn't currently working.
    – Servy
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:13
  • @Servy, as I said, I'm not trying to get the question reopened. I just want to help this guy, which I have done through a comment. FWIW, he does state what the code is supposed to do, toggle the form's visibility. He just has trouble expressing this. But I understand that the question/answer is of limited or no use to developers in general, so I have absolutely no issue with the question being closed. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:19
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    If you think the question is clear and understandable, despite the poor English skills, you might consider editing it so that it's clear to everybody else as well. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:34

2 Answers 2

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There is no expicit mechanism to send an answer to closed questions. That is the intention of closing a question. But you can leave comments on closed questions. Leave your notes there.

Besides that you can flag the question for reopening.

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  • Thank you. I did not realise I could still post comments. As you point out, that leaves me a mechanism whereby to convey an answer to him. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:08
  • You should not be posting an answer to a closed question in comments; comments aren't designed to post answers.
    – Servy
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:11
  • @Servy, perhaps not. That could be the subject of a new meta thread. However, juergen's answer directly addressed my question. Intended usage or not, it's a loophole that allowed me to convey the answer to the user. I would e-mail him directly, but that isn't an option. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:21
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    @DerekHenderson: I think what Servy means is that we do not want to encourage bad questions. That lowers the quality standards of the site. We like people only get answers for good questions.
    – juergen d
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:24
  • @juergend, I understand, and I agree that it's important to maintain the site's high quality by giving those questions and answers that are best the highest visibility. That said, I think there should be a mechanism for giving a question's author an answer, even to a poorly framed question. Maybe it should be a feature to send notifications via a user's inbox after a question is closed. That way, if an answer is possible, the user still gets it, the site isn't polluted with unwanted questions, and comments aren't exploited for unintended uses. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:30
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    @DerekHenderson: I think the problem with this would be that a user would not care about asking a bad question - he/she would get an answer anyway. But we want people to put effort in the questions.
    – juergen d
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:34
  • @juergend, that's a very good point indeed, and we don't want to encourage that. When one votes to close a question, is one compelled to leave a comment, so that the user might understand why his question is closed and how he might improve it? Clearly there are issues with this specific question beyond language, but I think the biggest obstacle was that language prevented him from expressing his thoughts clearly (or us from explaining why we had trouble answering). But I suppose one could argue that that's beyond the scope of the site. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:39
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The primary purpose of closing the question is to prevent people from posting answers. If you feel that the post should no longer be closed then you need to determine how best to ensure that it should be reopened, and then to post the answer only after that happens. If the community does not agree with you that the post should be reopened then you simply shouldn't be posting the answer here.

If you don't yet have enough reputation to vote to reopen then you could flag the post and request that it be reopened by explaining how it has been edited to address whatever caused it to be closed in the first place.

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  • Thank you for your answer. I understand the process better now. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:07

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