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This is partly in reference to Senior Members Stealing Answers and Out-voting

Sometimes when posting answer on Stackoveflow I find my self posting same answer as someone else at almost exactly same time. Previously when I would notice that '1 New Answer' appeared I would check the answer first and than discard my answer if i found it to be duplicate. If that answer was different from mine I would finish writing my answer.


My own solution: After reading responses to this question and answers on some of the links that were submitted I have decided to follow advice from @kate-gregory to finish writing my answer without paying attention to new answer that might pop up. Once I post my answer if I find it to be very similar I try to improve or reword it to be a better answer.

PS. Therefore I'm no longer asking for a reason to stop me from answering.

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  • What exactly do you mean by "lock by score" do you mean once a high rep user starts answering no one else can? Or just information as to who's writing an answer Jan 21 '14 at 20:56
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    Why would you want to stop people getting the best answer quickly..? People aren't omniscient and they do make mistakes; just provide a better answer and you'll win out. Jan 21 '14 at 20:57
  • So you're suggesting that the people most capable of helping the OP be restricted from answering the question until you have a chance to post your answer? That doesn't sound like a recipe for success to me. The accepted answer on the question you linked sounds like good advice.
    – user102937
    Jan 21 '14 at 20:58
  • I have two part solution. 1. is lock, 2. provide a way to see who is answering. And it seem that 1 part would be bad Jan 21 '14 at 21:00
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    Or, y'know, you could just provide the best answer, and get more votes than anyone else.
    – user102937
    Jan 21 '14 at 21:01
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    I stopped reading after "lock users ability to answer questions based on their score". Jan 21 '14 at 21:02
  • I have updated my question. Jan 21 '14 at 21:03
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    Even after removing the "lock" bit from this request, I still don't see a benefit. Why should knowing who else is answering matter? 1) We shouldn't be doing anything to prevent people from answering questions to the best of their ability. 2) Just because someone else is answering, you shouldn't just abandon it.
    – Geobits
    Jan 21 '14 at 21:04
  • So should I discard my answer if I see anyone give same answer before I finish or should I just finish it the best way I can and let community decide what answer is better? Jan 21 '14 at 21:07
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    If you see someone provide an identical answer to the one you were just about to post then meh. If you see someone give an identical answer to the one you're going to post in 10 minutes time then discard your answer, if you want. Personally, I'd do neither. I'd improve my answer, explain the concepts better, help the OP out more and get all the rep :-). (Or at least try to!) Jan 21 '14 at 21:10
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    For the record, you should just assume Jon Skeet is going to answer every question. It should not affect your decision whether to post your own answer or not. Jan 21 '14 at 21:12
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    Uh, type faster? Jan 22 '14 at 15:52
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    I've seen answers from 100k+ (or even 200k+) that need to be thrown in the bin. Why would someone else writing an answer should stop you? If your answer is good it will get upvoted. And all of them high rep users, were low rep users some years ago, like you and me. Jan 22 '14 at 15:53
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    What if the answer that's being made is wrong? Not to mention many times if you take your time and answer in detail you may end up getting more upvotes anyway.
    – Zane
    Jan 22 '14 at 15:56
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    your tears only make him stronger
    – swasheck
    Jan 22 '14 at 16:02
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It is not a good use of your time to enter races. If three identical answers are submitted within minutes of each other, the person who happened to be first doesn't deserve all the upvotes. The authors of the other questions don't need to delete their answers just because they were a tiny bit slower. They might want to edit those answers to make them even better.

If you do enter such a race, it is an even less good use of your time to be looking at what answers others are submitting while you are writing. I mean maybe if you've only just started, you've written half a sentence, and you're maybe combing through some old projects looking for samples, and someone else is finished, then you might give up. But if you're mostly done, just finish. Don't go looking at someone else's answer to guide you about finishing or not.

And if you do almost finish, and allow yourself to be distracted by there being another answer, and it's pretty much the same, don't throw yours away. There is nothing wrong with finishing it. Your wording or example might be better. You might still have something to give. Relax and take a chance. Finish your answer and post it. Then learn from feedback on your answer. Maybe you will get no votes or thanks. Hey, did you get any on that answer you never posted? You did not.

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The stack exchange model is one of competing answers in which the best answers are votes to the top. Within reason more answers is a good thing; community voting will allow the best to rise to the top.

Even high ranking users don't provide the best answer all the time (although they tend to get to the top by providing it most of the time) so just because a high rep user has answered doesn't mean you should abandon your answer unless you can see that your answer doesn't add anything. For you to know that you need to actually see the finished answer.

So, anything that discourages answers which may add something would be a bad thing in my opinion

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    I have to admit, I was really hoping to see the first answer on this question get posted by Jon Skeet or Aaron Bertrand. Jan 21 '14 at 21:16
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    @EsotericScreenName They stopped by but didn't bother to post since they thought that one of the meta regulars would just add a much better answer before they could post theirs.
    – Servy
    Jan 21 '14 at 21:23
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    @Servy I actually just got wind of this question now, else I would have. :-) Jan 22 '14 at 15:56

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