I asked the question Programmatically swap last two commits. The question got a good answer that gave me the idea I needed to implement my own solution, but that answer is both technically incorrect and not complete (in the sense that I wanted). Nevertheless, I upvoted it and accepted it.

Wanting a solid solution that would work correctly and be resilient to errors, I hacked on it a bit and came up with a suitable script, which I posted as this answer.

Now, my answer technically solves my question, because it works for me (and the poster's doesn't quite). Is it OK to accept my own answer, when the time comes? Or should I just leave it as-is?

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    Keep in mind that questions/answers on stack overflow aren't just for you, but for everyone who searches for and visits the question page in the future. The accepted answer should be the one that solves the problem the most correctly/effectively, to make visiting the page higher quality.
    – Patashu
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 3:16
  • I have to admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for the social aspect, and would leave the checkmark on a really good answer that someone else posted and I accepted vs a perfect answer that I posted myself later. It would just be a kind of dick move (not that I personally would really fault someone much for changing the checkmark -- I just wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it).
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 7:02

2 Answers 2


The real underlying question here (at least from my perspective) is:

Did the answer you accepted play a substantial enough part in solving your problem?

Enough to merit leaving it as the accepted answer? I see this as a completely subjective question, but, if I found myself in the same situation and my solution eclipsed the answer, I'd accept my own - Localised or not.

At the same time, I'd upvote, reference the answer and perhaps refer to it as an assist if it pointed me (and potentially other visitors) in the right direction.

Answers to problems often come from following a breadcrumb trail through several concepts and/or numerous questions and answers. The more pointers people have the better!

  • +1 assists and hat tips are a good idea.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 2:43
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    Upvoted this to change your rep from 666. And because I agree! Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 5:56
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    @AndrewBarber Such a small window of opportunity to add horns to ones profile picture ~ Missed!
    – nickhar
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 9:47

I can't comment on the specific question and answer, since I'm not familiar with the topic. However, I don't think you should un-accept the answer that gave you the means to solve your problem. A good answer doesn't have to completely solve your problem, and doesn't have to contain all the smallest details. I don't think it's fair to take the 15 rep from the user who solved your problem.

As a disclaimer, I must admit that a similar case happened to me recently with this answer. The OP accepted my answer (which explained what needed to be done, without writing the code for him), and then wrote an answer with code based on my answer and accepted his answer. I object to that practice.

  • I object to that practice too. But it falls into 2 categories. If the answer shouldnt have been accepted in the first place then its fine (and good) to accept your own, and remember not be overly hasty in the future. It's very annoying when the OP posts an identical answer with one different variable name and accepts that... Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 7:15
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    If an asker expands upon a previously accepted answer and provides something that they feel better solves the problem, I have no issues with them accepting that (preferably with acknowledgment of the contributions of the other answerer). I did that myself in my answer here: stackoverflow.com/a/6170939/19679, because I felt that I could elaborate on the other answers with a solution that drew on all of them, and could show what the results of that were like. I did toss the previously accepted answer a 500 point bounty as thanks, so that softened the blow. Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 18:08

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