I have an SO question here. Craig Ringer's answer was helpful and suggested what I suspect to be a good general solution to the problem I was having.

It turns out that his suggestion didn't help me and the real solution was more trivially a matter of the path not being found. I started writing this as an edit to my question and then thought it would be more appropriate as an answer to my question so I wrote an answer.

Now I'm having a bit of a dilemma about whether it is truly proper to select my answer over Craig's. Stated simply, my answer was the exact fix to my problem and I'm inclined to think it is right to accept my answer. I think that Craig's answer will be more useful, however, and so I wonder if it would be equally valid to accept his.

Writing this and looking at some similar questions, I'm more and more getting the feeling that I should accept my answer and upvote Craig's answer. Am I grokking SO's intent that an answer be the exact answer to the question asked? Surely an upvoted, unaccepted answer is still valuable.


I would look at one thing...Did his answer help you get to yours?

If it did and the particular fix for you isn't too long

I would suggest making an edit to his answer. If you do this, you will want to leave a good edit comment on why you are suggesting this edit so reviewers don't reject it thinking that it should be a separate answer. Note that you won't want to do this if it would change the context or meaning of his answer. I would then accept and upvote his answer

If it didn't help you get to your solution

then I would post your own answer and accept it. Then you can upvote if you think his was still a useful and good answer.


The true answer to these sorts of questions is always; it's your decision, whatever you do will be the right thing to do.

That however is super unhelpful so what I would do: the accepted answer is generally taken to mean "what you used". Given that in this case you didn't use Craig's answer (and therefore can't know for sure it would work anyway) it makes sense to post your own answers and accept that. The definition of an upvote is "useful" and it sounds like Craig's answer was useful if not ultimately what you used. Answers other than the accepted answer are absolutely still useful; most so when they give an alternative solution.

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