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I asked a question and got 2 relevant answers. I tried to perform something and it didn't work that way. The first answer suggested a new method. The example was not perfect, but I could see how it can help me.

Then, a second answer came, with the same method (the same base code from the first answer), but it was polished and was exactly what I was looking for.

Now, which answer should I accept? Most of the work and the explanation was done in the first answer, but the second answer was what I was actually looking for.

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  • 3
    It is your choice. There are no rules.
    – juergen d
    Jan 18 '14 at 12:42
  • @juergend I know there are no rules, but I want to hear opinions. Maybe I'll see an argument that will convince me.
    – Itay Gal
    Jan 18 '14 at 12:45
  • 1
    the one(2nd answer) helped you most is the right choice!!
    – Bala
    Jan 18 '14 at 12:46
  • 2
    The accepted answer generally means 1 of 2 things... first "This answer helped me the most", the second is "This answer is the best correct answer". Since both answers seem to be equally helpful (as they both had roughly the same solution), the 2nd would seem to be the better choice to select as the accepted answer since you said it was a better answer. Jan 18 '14 at 12:53
  • However, if this is your question, I would hardly call the 2nd answer better. It is just a block of code with no explanation. Jan 18 '14 at 12:54
  • @psubsee2003 That's exactly my point. The first answer is better in terms of how to solve the problem and understand the components while the second one is just a code (based on the first answer), but it's actually what I wanted, unlike the first one.
    – Itay Gal
    Jan 18 '14 at 13:02
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There are a lot of different factors that you should consider, but in the end, it is your decision.

First, the logistical factors you need to consider.

  • The answer you select is going to be glued to the top of the answers regardless of the number of votes (except if you select your own answer)
  • The check mark is going to stand out for all people who view your question as "This answer is the correct solution". And often these users will have minimal understanding of the situation.

Second (and this is more of my opinion), the aspects of a good answer.

  • A correct solution without any explanation is often not helpful to anyone but you, and even then, it might not be helpful to you unless you know what the answer is doing.
  • A lot of explanation with no code or code that is not easily understandable, or with a poor quality example can be difficult to implement unless you fully comprehend the description

So in the end, you need to ask yourself:

  • If answer # X did not exist, would I have solved my problem and would I understand the solution as well as I do now.

Whichever answer solves for X is probably the correct answer.

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Whichever solves your problem.

Whichever answer you used to eventually resolve the specific problem you were having when you asked the question, is the one you should be accepting.

If more than one answer did that, just pick one. I tend to look at the completeness of an answer (because, remember, that answer is going to be at the top of the answer list!) when accepting.

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Upvoting isn't limited, +1 any answer that helped you (you want to give back something for the effort they made).

Accepting means that this is the most correct and verbose answer, that will most likely help anyone else looking for this problem. Under these circumstances, it's likely to be the first answer (which is already getting the Meta effect I see :)

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  • Not really the meta effect, it had +3 when I first found it and linked it. Jan 18 '14 at 13:52
  • @psubsee2003, well it's +6 now :)
    – Leeor
    Jan 18 '14 at 14:56

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