What should I do when I see an unanswered question (or not well answered) which solution is the same of the answer to a different question?

  • Should I refer to the answer of the different question with a link:
    1. in the comment section?
    2. as an answer?
  • Should I copy the answer of the different question?
  • Should I down-vote it?
  • Should I flag it for moderator attention?

Notice I tried to use the same wording as the meta-question How should duplicate questions be handled? as it is easier to find it.

Note: To clarify a bit this issue, I will illustrate it with a real example. I wrote this answer to the question, that involved a pretty long process. I also found this other question, that seems completely different to the other one, but in reality, it is a question that emerges in the same process of the other question/answer. I decided to answer it with a link to my previous long answer. Should I do it that way or other way is preferred?

Edit: This question has been marked as a duplicate by 3 different questions... :-)

I did some searches before posting current question, and neither of the questions I found seemed clear to me. Now I realize, that the question Should I copy my answer to a duplicate question to the original question? may give part of the solution to this question, though my mind still gets confused, and does not find a definitive answer to the list of questions I ask here.

Moreover I think the wording of current question it is easier to find.

  • 1
    In a nutshell: if you can provide a better answer, then do so. Referencing the old answer is okay if it's in context. Ultimately there's no reason why you can't write an awesome answer and then vote to close the original as a dupe of the one you answered. But make sure the questions are duplicates - having the same answer doesn't mean the question was the same, they could be wildly different. – slugster Mar 11 '15 at 11:31