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Further to this question:

Should we really be suggesting that people put the answer in the question?

I originally proposed the following solution:

Rather than blocking new users from self answering in the first 8 hours of their question's life allow them to post an answer but it remains invisible to everyone else until the 8 hours has elapsed.

The user would still see their post and be able to edit it etc. if needed, but there'd be a visual cue to indicate that it was being held back. This would solve the problem of people editing the solution into the question as that would no longer be the only option available to them.

However, I think it would be simpler all round to just remove the restriction altogether.

Non-answers - where a user posts follow up information as an answer - can be dealt with as they are now for questions that are > 8 hours old - conversion to comments or edits or just deletion. This means that other users don't potentially waste their time answering a question that already has a solution. No one can accept an answer for the first 48 hours of the question's life so it still leaves the question open for other people to post better answers.

Why is this important?

As 3ventic points out in his comment - new users aren't likely to come back in 8 hours to post the answer, so anything we can do to get the answer in the right place has to be a good thing.

  • Why? What harm is done if answer is kept on user's hdd instead? What benefit is there to keep it on the server, but hidden? Why should moderators care about answer that's not, in the essence, even posted yet? I didn't downvote this feature request because I feel I don't quite understand reasoning behind it. – Mołot Nov 28 '13 at 13:56
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    @Mołot because new users rarely come back after 8 hours if they find their answer in 10 minutes and find out they can't post it, or they edit into their question and someone else who comes along copies it to an answer and gets the rep for nothing. – 3ventic Nov 28 '13 at 13:58
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    I don't understand why the block is there in the first place. Doesn't the First Posts review queue take care of bad answers? – Stijn Nov 28 '13 at 14:01
  • @Mołot - you're right to question why moderators would need to see these answers during the "on hold" period. – ChrisF Nov 28 '13 at 14:01
  • @Stijn - That's the other solution of course. – ChrisF Nov 28 '13 at 14:02
  • OK, with explanations in place I can agree with it. Don't know about it's "doability", but it sounds pretty OK. @Stijn Removing blockade is risky - it was put there for a purpose and if it's there after testing period, it means it served it's purpose. So to remove it, one should investigate what exactly that purpose was, and attempt to test if it's still valid. – Mołot Nov 28 '13 at 14:05
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    This seems problematic to me. If the question is already solved and has an answer satisfactory to the OP shouldn't potential answerers be able to see this to know whether to spend time on it? – Martin Smith Nov 28 '13 at 14:06
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    @MartinSmith - That is also a good point. Now that I've posted this I'm coming round to the idea that we should just remove the restriction altogether. Non-answers can be dealt with as they are now for questions that are > 8 hours old - conversion to comments or edits or just deletion. – ChrisF Nov 28 '13 at 14:07
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    The restriction does seem rather redundant and pointless today, I'm going to bring this up at our next feature discussion (Thursday, December 5) to talk about it. – Tim Post Nov 28 '13 at 14:19
  • Moreover, the first post and low quality queues are pretty much empty at this point. Frankly, I would fancy some more easy work (and badgesss) to do :-) – John Dvorak Nov 28 '13 at 14:33
  • @TimPost I thought the point of the restriction was that otherwise a lot of self-answers were in fact forum-styles replies to add information, which should have been an edit to the question. Which is just as much of a problem with this proposed feature — users will be using the answer box to add information requested in comments, and will not realize that what they wrote isn't public. – Gilles Nov 28 '13 at 17:16
  • @Gilles - we get those on > 8 hour old questions so I really don't see that removing (or perhaps reducing) the limit would change that. – ChrisF Nov 28 '13 at 17:19
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    I'm kinda ambivalent about this at the moment, but my initial thought is that if we're going to lift the restriction, we should just do that. Hiding the answer for some time seems to just add complexity in exchange for little benefit. If nothing else, if someone else also answers the question because they can't see the OP's answer, we can end up with duplicate answers and all the "but he stole it from me!" arguments we could ever not want. – Adam Lear Nov 28 '13 at 21:49
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    @AnnaLear - I've already dropped the hide it idea. – ChrisF Nov 28 '13 at 21:51
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This notice has been eliminated entirely as part of another (related) feature request.

Clarify the "8 hour delay" self-answer message to discourage self-answering with edits or comments

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