My question on SoftwareRecs Diff tool for XML files? has a comment 'possible duplicate' of the off-topic https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9713406/free-xml-compare-tool on StackOverflow.

I have seen this meta question What should I do with a question that has an exact duplicate closed as off-topic? where the approved answer says "Flag it as a duplicate" with the argument "Some day that other question might get re-opened".

In my case that is very unlikely to occur unless the rules for off topic change (asking for resources on SO). Even then I doubt that it will ever be reopened.

I have no idea what the policy/practice is about disappearing off-topic questions. If they disappear I would argue that my question should not be closed as duplicate (and I will add a comment saying so), and maybe even copy some answers, but that contradicts the above meta question.

What to do?


If the question is on-topic for the site it was asked on, it should never be closed as a duplicate of a question on another site, even if another site has a similar or duplicate question. The system actually doesn't even allow for this: when closing as a dupe, you have to choose a question on the current site.

I don't actually see a close vote on your Software Recs question; someone just manually posted a comment that uses the same text as the auto-generated comment when someone votes to close.

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    In fact, it looks like that user doesn't have the privilege to cast close votes, and the comment starts with a capital P, which the auto-generated comments do not. – Alexis King Mar 20 '15 at 20:35
  • @Alexis It wasn't a close vote (and I did not say so), because the close subscript didn't have a count. – Jan Doggen Mar 20 '15 at 22:05
  • @Laura Ah, I overlooked that (dupe needs to be same-site), so I don't have to be afraid of close votes ;-) Any insights on my subquestion about "policy/practice about disappearing off-topic questions" and my idea to copy the answers (with attribution of course)? – Jan Doggen Mar 20 '15 at 22:07

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