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This question is inspired (in part) by this question: sub appsettings in the appsetting node c#

This question was asked several months ago by a different user. Currently I'm looking for an answer to the same question but the accepted answer to the question is unsatisfactory and serves only as a workaround instead of truly answering the question at hand. What do I do if I'm unsatisfied with the answer to a question that's already been asked? Should I ask the question again and risk getting flagged as a duplicate?

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  • 8
    Time for a bounty.
    – Antony
    Jul 26 '13 at 13:46
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    Is it okay to open a bounty even though an answer was accepted in the past by the person that originally asked the question? Jul 26 '13 at 13:47
  • 2
    I think that's fine. Just be clear on the bounty why you're posting it
    – StephenTG
    Jul 26 '13 at 13:50
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    Yes, that's perfectly acceptable. You just need to explain in the bounty message why that answer is unacceptable to you.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 13:50
  • It does seem like a weird sort of trap - where "someone a few months ago asked this question and accepted a bad answer" directly leads to "Getting Stack Overflow to produce a real answer now requires setting a bounty." (...specifically both being able to set one, and paying for one)
    – Ben Barden
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:03
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    Should I just flag the answer as off-topic or low quality while I'm at it? The answer really has little to do with the question. I've encountered this problem before where someone's accepted a terrible answer or poor workarounds I can't properly implement (or don't have the desire to implement as they're poor quality or useless) are submitted as answers. I don't have the rep on Stackoverflow to constantly open up bounties when I see bad answers. Jul 26 '13 at 14:07
  • @Zach No, that's not what the "low quality" flag is for. It basically means "this should be deleted because it will never help anyone". Obviously the person who asked the question found that answer useful, and it doesn't seem completely worthless to me either. Of course, if you don't find it helpful, that's a good reason to downvote it. :-)
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:08
  • @CodyGray But it will never help anyone that's actually seeking an answer to the question being asked. If it provides the answer he needs he should edit the question to be in line with the answer provided that way later someone can properly ask the question without being flagged as a duplicate because of his mistake. Jul 26 '13 at 14:11
  • @CodyGray And if the question being asked can't truly be answered the answer should at least define "X is impossible. Do Y instead." There's no closure to a simple workaround. Jul 26 '13 at 14:12
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    I haven't looked carefully at this particular question, so I can't say whether or not I agree with you here. But unfortunately it doesn't really matter: that's all the choice of the person who originally asked the question. Obviously they thought the answer was useful and responsive to their question. You basically have two options: bounty with an explanation of why you think the existing answers are not answering the question, or ask a new question, linking to the original question and explaining your concerns with the answers there and why your question is seeking something different.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:15
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    You might get a few jerks who want to close that as a duplicate, but by and large, I think that would be an abuse of the closure system as long as you were clear to acknowledge there's another similar question, but you're not wanting a rehash of the same material. This burden falls on the asker, but I have confidence you could pull it off. :-)
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:16
  • @CodyGray I think I'll open another question then. My confusion stems mostly from my belief, and from what I've seen and heard, that Stackpverflow (and by extension all of StackExchange) isn't so much a help site as it is a Q & A site meant to collect data and provide satisfactory answers that are helpful to all users that might later seek to ask the same question. Such a workaround only helps the original user while leaving later users without a true answer to the question. This is severely problematic as the answer may help occasional users but most might still be lost after such an answer. Jul 26 '13 at 14:27
  • Yes, you're right in your beliefs about the site's purpose. I don't know what to tell you. You're making good arguments to which I am quite sympathetic, but I don't have a solution.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:30
  • That's not a "workaround," that's how app settings work. If you are looking for more complex configuration options than a simple key/value pair, you create your own app settings section. That answer is not just correct, it's also pretty good.
    – user1228
    Jul 26 '13 at 15:06
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You can place a bounty asking for a better answer:

Bounty

You can also add a custom message explaining that the current answers aren't satisfactory and you would like to see better answers.

message

This would draw people's attention to the question and you can then award the answer you consider the best. There is a reason why the bounty can be awarded to an answer other than the accepted one.

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