4

There are cases when a given question is asked several times (possibly with minor variations). As an example:

  1. How do I find the Excel column name that corresponds to a given integer? asked Aug 22 '08 at 15:49

  2. How to convert a column number (eg. 127) into an excel column (eg. AA) asked Oct 8 '08 at 6:55

  3. Function to convert column number to letter? asked Oct 9 '12 at 9:33

  4. Am I missing something or is this Microsoft algorithm for calculating the excel column characters incorrect? asked today

Some of these may be tagged as duplicates of one another. In this case, 1 is tagged as duplicate of 2. But if I hit question 2, I might never know about question 1, and its corresponding potentially useful answers.

I propose that a "group of duplicates" is implemented, so once 3 is identified as duplicate of 2, it is automatically added to the group, and then 3 also shows up linked when 1 is viewed.

PS: In the example, perhaps 2 should be tagged as duplicate of 1, given the dates of first asking. This indicates that the best (who decides?) question is to be retained as the main one.


EDIT Example, using a few of the questions in the list given in a comment (I do not know how to get to that list, but it appears to list linked questions, which I guess it may contain a lot of non-duplicates, but simply linked, questions):

Warning: mysql_num_rows() expects parameter 1 to be resource, (say, question 1) has a sign

Possible Duplicate:

mysqli_fetch_array()/mysqli_fetch_assoc()/mysqli_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource or mysqli_result, boolean given

(say, question 2).

how to prevent this error : Warning: mysql_fetch_assoc() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in ... on line 11 (say, question 3) has a sign

Possible Duplicate:

mysqli_fetch_array()/mysqli_fetch_assoc()/mysqli_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource or mysqli_result, boolean given

(same question 2; the title show in the last case is slightly different, but it is irrelevant).

So, I think it will be useful to have in Q1 a sign like

Possible Duplicate:

(Q2) mysqli_fetch_array()/mysqli_fetch_assoc()/mysqli_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource or mysqli_result, boolean given

(Q3) how to prevent this error : Warning: mysql_fetch_assoc() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in ... on line 11

in Q2

Possible Duplicate:

(Q1) Warning: mysql_num_rows() expects parameter 1 to be resource,

(Q3) how to prevent this error : Warning: mysql_fetch_assoc() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in ... on line 11

and so on ((Qx) is only to make the idea more clear, not necessarily to be shown in actual cases; it might be useful though). And, that this is updated automatically for all Q's in the group when, say, a new Q4 is identified as a duplicate of Q2.

As of now, there is no indication for the readers of Q3 that Q1 is a duplicate, and vice versa. Linked is not the same as duplicate.

This is the general idea, any variation would have to make it easier for the readers to go straight to any of the duplicates.


PS1: This assumes "duplicate" is a strict equivalence relation. Although this may not be so strict in SO/SE answers/questions, I think this will still be very useful.

PS2: Some of these questions may show up linked in "Related", but some may not.

PS3: I found the related questions below, none of which seem to me to suggest what I am proposing here. So, they would not be grouped with the present one, if the proposal ever gets implemented.

list questions: questions that group very similar questions

I've found a lot of duplicates of the same question. How can I merge them all?

Group previously-selected master questions in duplicate questions dialog

Batch duplicate handling

Yet another duplicate questions discussion

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/dr-strangedupe-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-duplication/

  • Duplicates are not an actual problem. Everybody gets showered in rep. Hence, no problem. – random Dec 13 '13 at 1:14
  • 2
    @random Nothing quite like a cold rep shower to get you going in the morning. – Adam Lear Dec 13 '13 at 1:17
  • Isn't this what having "canonical" versions of the question is for? (Sort of like "How do I compare strings in Java?" and "Scanner issue when using nextLine after nextXXX") – Dennis Meng Dec 13 '13 at 1:21
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    @random - I do not care at all about rep. I am thinking, as a reader, about being presented all (almost) duplicates more readily, due to the automatic grouping. This would be aligned with the main objective of SO - Get answers to your questions. – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '13 at 1:30
  • @DennisMeng - I do not know what is a canonical question. Do you have examples? If the links you provided are intended as examples, then I guess it is not the same. I do not see anywhere in the question pages a group of links specifically to duplicate questions (each of which, according to my proposal, should link to all of the other questions in the group, all in all, n*(n-1) links). – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '13 at 1:44
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    You mean like this? stackoverflow.com/questions/linked/2973202 – random Dec 13 '13 at 2:58
  • @random - Added an example, based on your list (which I think is not what I was looking for). PS: in addition to focusing on what I would find useful as a reader (so, I guess it may be useful for others as well), I did not understand why you commented on rep. This proposal would not affect the rep of anyone, it will only make identification of and straight navigation to duplicates more fluid. – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '13 at 11:14
  • @AnnaLear - I did not understand why you commented on rep. This proposal would not affect the rep of anyone (at least the way I thought about it), it will only make identification of and straight navigation to duplicates more fluid. – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '13 at 11:16
  • @sancho.s I was just making a joke, playing off of random's first comment. – Adam Lear Dec 13 '13 at 17:05
  • @AnnaLear - ;-) I wonder whether the proposal is a good idea. – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '13 at 18:21

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