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I asked why some error occurred in my code and why some programs behave in a different way than I expect from reading other questions/documentation. Then I found a workaround bypassing the problem in the one place where it occurred, but I didn't understand why the error happened and how to prevent it returning like a boomerang, and I still see some weird things that might become harmful later. So I consider this workaround as a very partial solution.

I can post my workaround as an answer or as an edit. I know of several questions asking for this in general (like this one); however, partial answers are somewhat harder to resolve and have been discussed several times (like here or here), so I don't see this question as their exact duplicate.

Not related to the case of the question and answer I wrote about, I have few questions on a general partial self-answering policy:

  1. is there any significant set of answers that could be valid as an answer for other's question but should be included as an edit is made by the OP?

    Clarifying the question should always be included in the question, and I feel my intended answer is close to clarification ("I need explaining what's going on, I already have some working code, I don't need more improvements on it" - focus of the question). If it should be posted as an answer, but has some "clarification" aspect as well - should I both answer and edit my question, or is a partial answer enough?

  2. are "does it help anyone else?" and perhaps clarification/partial answer border (point 1) the only criteria to tell whether something permissible as an answer otherwise should be posted as an answer? What other factors are there, if any?

I'm not absolutely sure whether that my answer will help anyone else, probably yes, so I'll wait for community's opinion here, think it over few more times and probably post it, without accepting it.

Tl;dr: what to take care of besides "will it be useful to anyone else" while giving partial answers on my own questions? When should I add partial answer as an answer, when as an edit and when both?

  • I the mentioned case, I posted it as an answer, and then someone posted another workaround as an answer. A strong point to separate "solution" (answer) and "clarification" (edit) part for partial self-answers including something of both. – Pavel Mar 7 '15 at 10:08
  • I don't really understand what you're saying. Perhaps you could condense it to a clearer and more concise point. – Lightness Races in Orbit Mar 11 '15 at 1:01
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Accepting is the least of your concerns. Whether you want to post it as an answer or an edit to your question depends primarily on you and the partial answer.

Is the answer enough to stand on its own? Is it really an answer to your question? If you ask why does X happen? answering with you can workaround it like this might not qualify as an answer to the actual question.

Do you consider it as an answer to your question? Does it solve the case for you or not? If it doesn't, you might want to edit instead of answer. The workaround might have serious caveats. Answering with such a post might be harmful to others, which is less a concern if you put it in your question, where users know it might be broken.

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It's ok to post your own partial answer; another matter is whether to accept it at answer.

Adding potential workarounds or partial to the question itself would only make it more messy, which doesn't help producing a complete answer.

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