I've come across this a few times, the most recent being this chain:

If it was just closed, okay, that would make some sense. But deleted? It makes the marked-as-duplicate closing of no use to anyone.

Why is this allowed by SE/is this a bug?

  • Vote to reopen the duplicate with broken link
    – 3ventic
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:10
  • 7
    It should arguably not be possible to delete a question that dupes point to. We've been telling people to include their information on SO so it's stored reliably. This is making a joke out of that.
    – Pekka
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:12
  • I think this should be more of a feature-request.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:20
  • why was the master (last link) closed in first place?
    – Braiam
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:23
  • @Seth I wavered between the two; not on MSO very often so wasn't sure which was more appropriate (that is, it looks like a bug to me, for example)
    – Izkata
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:24
  • 1
    @Braiam It wasn't closed. There is no [closed] in the duplicate link. But because it was deleted (and I don't have the rep there to see deleted questions), I have no idea.
    – Izkata
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:25
  • @Izkata It isn't a big deal, but since you're asking for checks to be put in place it'd seem like that'd be a feature.. Don't mean to nitpick so don't worry about it.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:26
  • @MichaelT this is a bug, that was a discussion...
    – Braiam
    Mar 23 '14 at 16:55
  • @Braiam This is not a bug in that everything is working as specified. It might be a feature request as mentioned by Seth, but allowing people and processes to delete questions is working as intended. The duplicate process is working properly, and linked questions is working properly. There is certainly call for some new functionality to be added to it, and that is mentioned in the answers on the suggested dup. One could also look at this as features needing to be changed/implemented on the migrate reject lock process which is strongly tangental to the issue with the example question.
    – user213963
    Mar 23 '14 at 17:12
  • 1
    That said, if you want to link to the fix instead of the discussion, Don't allow the target of a duplicate question to be deleted is a recent feature request for that, which the OP duped to Auto-flag duplicates of deleted questions for reopening / deletion which then links to my suggested dup discussion.
    – user213963
    Mar 23 '14 at 17:26
  • @MichaelT If the VTC goes through, I think it should be that last one, as it's the only one that makes it explicit that this is a real problem. Aside, I found none of the links you've posted in the comments or your answer prior to posting this one, probably due to none of them including the key phrase "link rot"...
    – Izkata
    Mar 23 '14 at 17:38
  • @Izkata the 'while typing' dup detection is poor (I've voted to close my own after asking it in the past). Once you post the question the combination of title and tags and text can produce a great number of relevant links - which is where I found those.
    – user213963
    Mar 23 '14 at 17:41
  • @MichaelT Yeah, I don't really pay attention to the "while typing" detection unless a title really pops out at me. But in this case, I actually did a search in a second tab before submitting.
    – Izkata
    Mar 23 '14 at 18:14
  • FWIW, This broken dup chain has been repaired... and with animuson's query quite a few more where identified and were either undeleted (and locked) or the deletion process on the rest of the chain had been initiated.
    – user213963
    Mar 23 '14 at 20:07

I've flagged the 404 for undelete of the question, answers with rep > 20 and historical lock.

This particular 404 was likely caused when the migration (from '08) was rejected (in '13) as a bike shed question.

I am in sort of a dilemma (in a geekish way of course).

I love to declare variables at the beginning of my methods, and usually order them in some logical way.

The problem is, when the list gets long, it sort of gets out of hand.

Should I just declare them when I need them?

At this point the question had all of its original SO migrated answers (25 of them) deleted by Community, leaving only a single answer that was at -1 and arguably wrong. As the entire question and remaining answer was locked and a bit of an odd eyesore, the easiest janitorial practice was 'delete it'.

The 'linked answers' while helpful don't differentiate dup vs 'someone tossed this in a comment somewhere' (it would be nice if things that were duped to had some alerts when trying to delete it, but thats the case for another feature request).


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