I asked a question on Stack Overflow yesterday and I got 4 answers. Of this four:

  1. One got deleted after some time (don't know why)
  2. One of them involved a three-line piece of code
  3. The other two involved more code

I tried the second one and it worked. Then I marked it as a right answer. However, the other two people who answered me should be ignored? They spend some time (even if it was 2 minutes, it was time) to help me. Should I just leave them to dry?

I tried to test their solutions to provide feedback anyway and then I realized that I was asking a lot of questions about their solution, but I already solved my problem! Why should I bother them with something I don't need their assistance any more?

I don't know what would be the "right" thing to do here. I don't want to be the bad guy who leaves people willing to help me ignored, but I don't want to be the guy who asks a lot to something I already got a solution.

  • 10
    You can upvote the other ones if they were helpful.
    – Bart
    Nov 21, 2013 at 13:38
  • I would upvote their answer if they are also correct. As for asking questions, I don't see anything wrong with it, but if at all possible, you're probably better off asking another question about what you don't understand, to move discussion off the comments section.
    – 2Dee
    Nov 21, 2013 at 13:39
  • People will vote on what they think was helpful. You can too once you earn enough reputation. Nov 21, 2013 at 13:39
  • The deleted answer was not an answer but really a comment asking for clarifications. A moderator deleted it. Nov 21, 2013 at 13:40
  • @Bart I upvoted it, but only that is enough? I see that as like "oh wow great anwser but I didn't used it so take this vote".
    – athosbr99
    Nov 21, 2013 at 13:43
  • @athosbr99 yes that's just enough, just accept whatever you ended up actually using and upvote any other answers you found useful. Nov 21, 2013 at 13:44
  • 1
    If the other two were harder to understand then the one you accepted was probably the best one Nov 21, 2013 at 13:45
  • @MartijnPieters thanks for letting me know. the awnser was really weird but the guy was willing to help, so I was unsure of what happened
    – athosbr99
    Nov 21, 2013 at 13:53

2 Answers 2


It's really up to you if you want or not to ignore the other answers. If you find that the other answers actually would have helped you solve the problem, it would be a good idea to upvote those.

The proper way to handle this situation is to upvote the good answers, it is the best you can do. I wouldn't try all the answers to find the good ones but you can if you have the time. Don't feel bad if you can't upvote all the good ones, upvote those you are certain they are.

  • 2
    Upvoting all and accepting the one you ended up using is the proper way. Nov 21, 2013 at 13:41
  • 2
    Unless to upvote them you have to do a lot of work with time you don't have. It is better to upvote those you know are good, that's true. Nov 21, 2013 at 13:43

If you think about SO as a place where others look for answers to the same question you asked, or similar ones, then your rating (both acceptance and voting) of all the answers is useful. Voting by the rest of the community is useful as well.

As you said, to evaluate all the answers and give a faithful representation of usefulness, you need to take time. Whether the demands of the (altruistic?) objective justify taking the time... you should evaluate that under your particular conditions.

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