When you

  • don't click the Answer Your Own Question checkbox
  • then find the correct answer to your question
  • and you answer your own question before 2 days go by
  • you can't select your own answer

You've figured out the the correct answer to solve your own problem. Why should the delay exist?

I can understand a 10 minute delay to hinder new users, but a 2 day delay makes no sense.

There is nothing that prevents the author from selecting a different answer at a later time, should one prove to be better, but if there is a somewhat specific question and the author figures out the answer earlier than the 2 day time frame, there shouldn't be anything preventing him from selecting his answer.

  • I think its to give time for other potentially better answers before the question is marked, not closed but less open – Richard Tingle Aug 12 '13 at 20:08
  • 2
    2 days gives others the chance to answer your question, and gives it more visibility/appeal as it has no accepted answer during that period. – user159834 Aug 12 '13 at 20:08
  • 6
    The problem with accepting instantly is that people feel the question is done -- thus no participation from the community. – Dave Chen Aug 12 '13 at 20:08
  • @WesleyMurch - but if it's answered and the author answered it and has the answer he needed, he needs no other visibility. – JoshDM Aug 12 '13 at 20:09
  • @JoshDM Why answer it at all then? Well, it's supposed to help others - which is why having more people contribute is a good thing. – user159834 Aug 12 '13 at 20:09
  • 3
    I changed the context of the question to DISCUSSION and Why rather than THIS MUST BE DONE FEATURE REQUEST HARGLE BARGLE ARGLE – JoshDM Aug 12 '13 at 20:10
  • @JoshDM if a Q&A only helps the author then its not a good question. A question should help many people – Richard Tingle Aug 12 '13 at 20:11
  • As an aside: this is the same when using Answer Your Own Question. – Arjan Aug 12 '13 at 20:12
  • 1
    +1 for "HARGLE BARGLE ARGLE" – Richard Tingle Aug 12 '13 at 20:13
  • 1
    Definite duplicate. I didn't find it in a mild search. Close as dupe, please. My vote is in. – JoshDM Aug 12 '13 at 20:14

This really comes down to what the core of Stackoverflow is supposed to be about. Stackoverflow isn't supposed to be just a place where you come to get an answer for your question, but rather it is meant to become a repository of questions and answers. As such the aim is to have the high quality questions and answers that don't just benefit the current individual asking the question, but future visitors as well.

There are many different aspects of the site that are based around this point, for example any one can edit anything (or suggest an edit). Another aspect is the two day delay which is meant to encourage others to answer the question in addition to the original person asking the question.

  • In before the close, eh? You mean "encourage others to answer". – JoshDM Aug 12 '13 at 20:19
  • Good catch. As for getting in before the close, I didn't notice the suggestion when I was typing out my answer. – Jack Aug 12 '13 at 20:22

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