Paradox is the best word I could think of to describe this question. The problem is that the only way this question can be asked is to hint the answer from within the question. But that's not a good format for StackOverflow, it immediately points out that OP knows the answer, and thus shouldn't be asking the question.

OP found this outside of SO and wanted to post it for others to reference. Power to the OP. But based on the question format which should be asked, it's technically a bad fit. Thus the "paradox".

How should a question like this be handled? I know I jumped into conclusions way too fast.

It's honestly a good question, but really tough to ask it in a way that it fits on SO. Version 1 of the question was not fit at all, but it's since been edited and made better.

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3 Answers 3


Your question is built around the premise that SO exists to help someone answer a question that they are asking. You have a problem with this question because you know that the person asking it knows the answer, and thus doesn't need your help.

Your assumption is not correct. SO exists to create a repository of knowledge useful to the wider audience of the internet as a whole. The person asking the question need not be helped at all. (Although helping them is a positive side effect, and a secondary goal that you should strive for when possible and applicable.) In general you should be asking yourself, "How can I help everyone who reads this question. (Including the OP)" rather than, "How can I help the OP."

A question like this is perfectly capable of creating useful content that can be found by others later (via searches) and thus is a positive contribution to the site. There is nothing wrong with it.

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    Indeed immediate self answered questions are the purest form of the primary goal of SO Aug 29, 2013 at 21:16

I'm no Delphi man, but I like this question nonetheless:

  • It's a real question
  • About a real problem
  • With a repro in some code
  • Related to programming
  • A type of problem any Delphi programmer may well run into
  • Having no obvious duplicates around
  • Shows some research about the problem

The only slight problem I'd have:

  • Both Q and A are formulated and formatted in a slightly awkward way

But that we can fix through editing.

It's a real problem, with a real question and a real solution, and I salute the OP for sharing.

Bottom line: try to help make this a well-formatted stack overflow question, so others may benefit! We're here to help eachother.


I think the question is OK as is.

But if you want to make it even better: make it more general so it will be useful to others, and be more general. You might try recasting the question as something like:

"Code completion isn't working for me in Delphi's IDE with my project. Nothing I've tried has gotten it working again. Eyeballing my code, I can't see anything wrong. What should I try, to diagnose the cause and get it working again?"

Try to make the question match what someone who is experiencing the symptoms and who is puzzled would ask. Then, provide an answer that describes the debugging/diagnosis pattern that people should follow. The answer might be something like:

"First try creating a new project with a trivial one-line program. Does code completion with the new project, but fail for your original project? If yes, it's something project-specific. In that case, check the line endings: mixed line endings screws up Delphi's code completion. Try converting the line endings to Unix-style using dos2unix. That will force them to all use the same line ending style, and Delphi's code completion might start working again."

or something like that. You can probably make the question and answer better; I'm just trying to sketch the outline of something that will be discoverable by search and be useful to others who are in this position.

(Bonus points if you generalize the answer to identify other common problems or other things that people should check, if it's not the line-endings.)

There's nothing wrong with answering your own question, as long as the question is posed in a reasonable way.

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