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This question was recently closed on Stack Overflow as a duplicate of another question. That original question did not have any answers.

However, the close reason clearly states:

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

First off, there are no answers, so the non-existant answer couldn't address the question.

Secondly, this makes it sound like if your question is closed as a duplicate, you should ask a new question. That's not at all what we want, right?

I don't remember the text being like that before, but I could be wrong.

marked as duplicate by slhck, Martijn Pieters, Hugo Dozois, Lucifer, hims056 Jul 26 '13 at 16:24

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • somewhat related to this discussion: meta.stackexchange.com/q/189732/225020 – Old Checkmark Jul 26 '13 at 13:50
  • ... or is it? I'm confused, might be missing something. – slhck Jul 26 '13 at 14:56
  • @slhck - it might be a duplicate? Except the duplicate glosses over the fact that there isn't an answer. And I'm confused as to whether the OP sees "This question has been asked before and already has an aswer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please edit this question to explain how it is different or ask a new question." or the disclaimer we see. In short, today, I'm just very confused. – LittleBobbyTables Jul 26 '13 at 15:00
  • No, the OP does not see the same text as we see. That's for certain. – slhck Jul 26 '13 at 15:04
  • Hm, I didn't see how this could be a duplicate, so I avoided a casting a close vote. On a second examination, I see that I was focused on the first question being asked, and ignoring the second. It is indeed a duplicate of the second question, but the first question remains unaddressed. Perhaps worth editing to ask specifically about that, and flagging this to get re-opened. – Cody Gray Jul 27 '13 at 4:09
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They changed the text when they made it a requirement that proposed duplicates actually have at least one answer. There is, however, an exception made to that requirement for questions asked by the same user, precisely for cases like this one.

I guess the close reason could be special-cased in these cases as well, but that seems like optimizing for sand rather than pearls. Why do we care about users who keep re-asking the same question over and over?

Of course, I just so happen to oppose that particular change to the closing system (why does it matter if the other question has an answer or not? that doesn't make it any less of a duplicate.), so we could kill two birds with one stone by alleviating this requirement and using a more generic message:

This question has been asked before and may already have an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Incidentally, this rule is also already relaxed on Meta, where it is apparently recognized as possible to have duplicate questions even though no answers have been received yet. And the close message is wrong there, too.

  • I remember proposed duplicates needing at least one answer, but that isn't the case anymore. So they just never changed the text back? (Also, good grief that post is long) – LittleBobbyTables Jul 26 '13 at 13:32
  • @LBT Oh, are you sure that's not the case anymore? I missed where it changed. – Cody Gray Jul 26 '13 at 13:32
  • to be honest, I'm not sure. This is the duplicate. It also has no answers. If duplicates have to have at least once answer, I'm not sure how I closed it :) – LittleBobbyTables Jul 26 '13 at 13:33
  • @LBT: See "exception" – Cody Gray Jul 26 '13 at 13:34
  • aha, there's always an exception – LittleBobbyTables Jul 26 '13 at 13:35
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I would suggest we change the text to (the bold is my change):

This question has been asked before and may already have an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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