I spent a lot of time writing what I thought was a good and helpful answer to an admittedly poor question, but by the time I had finished writing it the question was closed. It was a terrible user experience, leaving me annoyed that all my effort to help was wasted!

Is there any way for me to submit my answer on this closed question? Should I just go and post my answer, late, on some other relevant question instead so I don't feel so burned? Or should I just live and learn not to bother answering poor questions?

  • 3
    There is a grace period that allows you to still submit anyway AFAIK. Though maybe you need to mess around with the browser dev tools to use it – Martin Smith Dec 23 '13 at 10:51
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    Generally, if you know a question is likely to be closed, it's not a good idea to invest so much into answering it. You're wasting your own time by doing so. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 23 '13 at 10:51
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    Then what is the point of the reversal badge. I thought the badges were intended to encourage behaviour that the designers wanted to see? – wim Dec 23 '13 at 10:52
  • @wim - it is for those rare cases where a great answer saves a question. That is why it is gold. – Oded Dec 23 '13 at 10:53
  • The grace period did not work in this case. I didn't see a banner saying "you have 5 minutes remaining to finish answer this closed question" I saw a banner saying "This question is closed and no more answers will be accepted" or something similar – wim Dec 23 '13 at 10:54
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    @Oded: Wait - saves a question from what? – BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 23 '13 at 10:54
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    @wim you can still submit answer even hours after question is closed by manually enabling the submit button via the browser's dev tools. (usually F12 brings them up) – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Dec 23 '13 at 10:57
  • Interesting. Is that still possible now that I've closed the tab? I don't have the submit button anymore, it's not simply disabled. – wim Dec 23 '13 at 11:03
  • possible duplicate of What is a "closed" or “on hold” question? – gnat Dec 23 '13 at 11:06
  • @wim - Your browser doesn't have a reopen closed tabs function? Maybe you can just post it directly to that id. But unless you can improve the question it will likely be a waste of time anyway. Now you have brought it to the attention of meta it may be only a matter of time before it gets deleted. – Martin Smith Dec 23 '13 at 11:11
  • Tried that already but couldn't resurrect a tab with even a disabled submit button. It's probably futile anyway shrugs. I stand by my comment that it was a terrible user experience. I love stackoverflow and enjoy to contribute here, and it's like the site just gave me the finger :) – wim Dec 23 '13 at 11:14
  • It's a problem with the Stack Exchange sites and frustrating. Thanks for trying. – Lance Roberts Dec 23 '13 at 14:05
  • As an aside, why do people downvote the hell out of stuff here on meta? Is there something wrong with this question? – wim Dec 30 '13 at 18:03

Or should I just live and learn not to bother answering poor questions?


Lesson learned?

If the question is poor - either vote to close it, or better yet - improve it and then answer it.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    How to get the other four answerers to learn also? – Bill Woodger Dec 23 '13 at 11:35
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    This is one positive behaviour we punish. Helping fix a question first or asking for clarifications rarely outperforms the educated guess answer – Richard Tingle Dec 23 '13 at 11:40
  • NO, if a question can be answered (i.e. it's not so poor as to be ununderstandable) then it should be answered. What comes around goes around. – Lance Roberts Dec 23 '13 at 14:06

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