I'm still in the process to understand what is helpful to Stack Overflow from what isn't. I know that self-answered question is a good thing when it's done the right way. Today, this question https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17710879/java-wont-print-on-lexmark-c544-printer shows up in my feeds.

This question has been answered by the asker recently, but I was wondering if this is a good self-answered question?

For posterity's sake, here is the full text of the answer (now deleted):

For anyone who is interested, I never found the problem. We ended up swapping the printer out with another one that does work. If anyone else has this or a similar issue, please message me if you found a cause/solution.

The answer, in its current format, looks to me like a simple update to the question, not like an answer. It's only stating that they haven't been able to solve the issue, and they have to use a workaround. He is also requesting any useful information if someone is having the same problem. Is this kind of answer useful?

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    it's not a stellar answer, but it does attempt to answer the question. – John Dvorak Jul 22 '13 at 17:18
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    @JanDvorak How so? It says he couldn't find the answer, not that no answer exists (proving that there is no possible answer would be an answef). That should either be a comment or an edit to the question, not an answer. – Servy Jul 22 '13 at 17:20
  • Well, I went ahead and closed the question, since it's not really a programming issue. I thanked the OP for following up, and added an upvote to the question to counter the automatic downvote that the system adds when closing. – Robert Harvey Jul 22 '13 at 17:20
  • @Servy it seems like an "it seems to be a hardware issue / my local problem: ..." kind of answer. But I agree "if anyone finds a real solution, ..." doesn't belong to an answer. – John Dvorak Jul 22 '13 at 17:23
  • @RobertHarvey, with all due respect sir moderator. Maybe the printer is not well programmed, so it might be a programming issue. Hmpf! – Old Checkmark Jul 22 '13 at 17:24
  • @JanDvorak But are answer like "it seems to be a hardware issue / my local problem: ..." really useful as an answer ? Since it's specific to the asker ? – Marc-Andre Jul 22 '13 at 17:58
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    @Marc-Andre if the answer is "it is my own problem", that would be akin to typo question close or flag for deletion with a custom reason if there's no viable close reason – John Dvorak Jul 22 '13 at 18:02

That should be an edit to the question, not an answer, since you are right, it doesn't answer the question.

You can flag it as "not an answer", and also edit the provided text into the question (make sure to clarify that it's the OP's words being moved by you in the revision comments, or the edit will be rejected).

  • Since the question is now on hold, is useful to take those actions? – Marc-Andre Jul 22 '13 at 17:45
  • @Marc-Andre Yes. – Servy Jul 22 '13 at 17:45

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