I recently posted a feature request here on MSE that was deliberately open-ended. I'm still not sure of what the best implementation would be, so I tagged it not only with , but also with . A few people have proposed great ideas in the answer field, as we are supposed to do with such posts, but then I got an idea to improve it.

What is the desired course of action here?

In this particular case, I posted my improvements as an answer, because I see them as an optional approach, which thus answer the "discussion" tag portion. But that said, had I thought of these improvements last night, I would have put them in my question itself, because I think they're a better way to handle the implementation of the "feature-request."

Given these circumstances, was I right to post an answer? Or should I have edited the question with an <hr/> and an **Edit:** header, to show that I had improved the idea?

I chose my approach because my answer still fit with what I had originally proposed (obviously) and I wasn't changing the meaning or adding details to the post. I also appreciate that on its own, my answer can be judged and voted on separately from the broader feature request, so someone can say "Yeah, that's a great idea! But I don't like that implementation."

But then, following that logic, should my original question not have had a proposal in it at all, and should I have posted that as an answer? Admittedly, the proposal was mostly presented as an example, to clarify what I was looking for.

2 Answers 2


Personally, I don't think there is a hard and fast rule to this. The Meta system is really a discussion site force fit into a Q&A engine, so the rules have to be more relaxed in order for the site to function at all.

As you obviously know, on a regular SE site, you absolutely should have added new/clarified information as an edit to the question (unless, of course, the edit changed the question too much and/or invalidated answers). If you tried to add an answer with clarifications, it would have been deleted.

But on Meta sites, I have seen both approaches. I think it is more common to edit additional information / modifications into the question, but when you have multiple other answers and you are providing a new "solution" to your original "problem", then answering the question is acceptable. It is not a solid black line but more of a big gray area, so I don't think anyone will stomp you down for doing it.

Here's roughly how I think the problem should be approached.

  1. If you are clarifying the question or the feature request (or adding new details to the core idea), then you absolutely should edit the question
  2. If you are proposing a different solution, a significant modification to your original proposed feature, or creating a new/combined solution based on the feedback of everyone, then I like the idea of adding it as an answer. One of the reason I like the answer idea is it lets people vote on the merits of the new solutions rather than voting the original premise and the modified solution in the same post.
  3. If it is neither or both or somewhere in between, then it is your call. Just don't radically change your feature request, especially if you have existing answers from other users.

If you decide to edit, then please for the love of God, do not pepper your post with "Edit" headers. It makes the post harder to read and if you are changing your feature request slightly, you are forcing users to read irrelevant (and out-dated) information before they get to your modification.

Instead just try to organically integrate the new information. There is an edit history so users will be able to go see what was added/changed along the way of they really need to see it.


I think that you had better edit your question

Please use the edit link on your question to add additional information. The Post Answer button should be used only for complete answers to the question.
one of the aviable reasons for deletion in low-quality posts review

but without inserting any kind of "EDIT:", because anything you add or remove reflects in the revisions.

Also I suggest you to comment on the answers that you updated your question, if they become obsolete.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .