Here is what the "Yes, that solved my problem!" dialog looks like when there are multiple targets.

enter image description here

I clicked the button for experimental purposes, and you can see what happened. My only options are to either acknowledge, reject both targets, or ignore the dialog entirely. What if one of them solved the problem and the other one did not? That seems like a valid use case to me.

Give me a way to say, "Out of the many proposed duplicates, this one(s) solved my problem."

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    My vision if having radio button next to each possible duplicate in such case. This will require major change in the code behind the scenes, e.g. clearing the votes on the other dupes so not sure if it's really feasible. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 25 '15 at 20:10
  • @ShadowWizard That also fundamentally assumes that there can be only one duplicate, contrary to the way the system works now. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 20:15
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    @Servy it's kind of like accepted answer, that can be only one. It's based on the OP's decision and his alone. If we give OP such power, better give it all. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 25 '15 at 20:48
  • @ShadowWizard But duplicates closure isn't like that, and I see no compelling reason to make it be that way. In the vast majority of cases it'd be removing helpful information. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 20:50
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    @Servy but things are changing. Until this change, OP close vote was just a single vote without any power. Now it's binding. So another change seems possible. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 25 '15 at 20:57
  • @ShadowWizard Sure it's possible. I fail to see why it would possibly be beneficial. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 21:18
  • @Woodface The OP has a binding close vote. They don't have a binding reopen vote, or a binding vote to not close. If they say that their question is answered the question is indeed instantly closed, regardless of how many close votes it has. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 22:34
  • @Woodface They don't have a binding vote through the close vote dialog. They have a button that they can click to instantly close the question. It is effectively a binding (conditional) close vote. If you really want to call it something different you can, but I don't see any reason not to call it a biding close vote. – Servy Mar 26 '15 at 0:53

For what it's worth, you don't have the power to reject any of the duplicates. Editing the question only hides the notice for you until another duplicate close vote comes in. The close votes do not disappear, and all of those targets would still appear in the final duplicate notice if it got closed as a duplicate anyways.

You're effectively asking for a single user to have the power to invalidate an existing close vote based on their opinions of whether something answers their question or not. That's a dangerous power to give away, especially considering users without even a proper understanding of our system can utilize this feature.

  • If four people close as a duplicate of one target, and a fifth guy decides to close as a duplicate of another target, the fifth guy is ignored (although his name, ironically, is attached to the question he didn't even vote for). It seems consistent then that if a single user can power close his own question as a dupe, that he have the power to choose which one. – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 22:38
  • Also, I can apparently power close my own question before anyone else comes along and votes. All I have to do is vote to close my own question, refresh the page, and click on the button. Why should someone else's vote change my ability to do this? – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 22:38
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    The fifth guy does not get ignored. His duplicate target would also appear in the list. Any duplicate vote active on the question at the time of closure will be displayed, no matter how many votes were cast for that particular target. – animuson Mar 25 '15 at 22:43
  • Has that changed recently? Sorry, I might have been misremembering. Perhaps I was thinking about the case where one user votes to close for one reason while four others vote to close as a dupe. My mistake. – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 22:44
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    @Rainbolt For the close reasons themselves, only the one with the most votes gets displayed, and for the custom off-topic reasons, only those sub-reasons with at least two votes on them get displayed under the main off-topic reason. – animuson Mar 25 '15 at 23:12

For one thing, you are not forced to do anything. If neither of two options appeal to you, choose neither.

Also, it's not like this feature is taking something away from you that you had before. Previously, the most you could do was to vote (or not vote) as a duplicate of one of the posts; but all suggested duplicates would appear in the banner, even those with just 1 closevote of support. This is no different now.

  • I didn't mean to imply that this feature was "taking something away" from anyone. I was suggesting an improvement. I take it you don't think it's an improvement. – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 20:40
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    @Rainbolt Retag your question as [feature-request] then to make clear that's what you're doing – Air Mar 25 '15 at 20:45
  • This is a good point. We want to make it slightly annoying for users not to improve their questions if they might be a duplicate. What's the worst that will happen, they'll get confused and close their question, or they'll get confused and make the question better just to appease the dialogue box? – djechlin Mar 25 '15 at 21:52

As long as one of them solves your problem, then that's good enough. You've solved your problem, and don't need any more help, and future readers will be able to solve their problem (if they have the same problem) by following the duplicates provided.

There's just no real compelling reason to be any more granular than that.

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    It's confusing to the user. That's bad UX in itself. – djechlin Mar 25 '15 at 19:43
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    No compelling reason? You mean, other than the fact that we now have a dialog with no correct answer (in certain cases)? – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 19:43
  • @djechlin How is it confusing to the user? Either their problem was solved, or it wasn't. What's to be confused about? Adding in a whole bunch of additional options, and trying to select applicable quesitons would dramatically increase the complexity of the UX, making it more confusing, not less. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 19:45
  • @Rainbolt If your problem was solved by one of the proposed duplicates, then you can say that your problem was solved. If none of the proposed duplicates solved your problem, then you can say so. One of the two is always correct. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 19:46
  • @servy The dialog says "that solved my problem" not "my problem was solved". – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 19:54
  • @Rainbolt Okay, and did that collection of links solve your problem, or did it not solve your problem? It's a simple problem with a simple answer, and always has exactly one correct answer. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 19:55
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    @Servy I think you added some words in there. – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 19:57
  • @Rainbolt I replaced a pronoun with the specific noun it was referring to, yes. Did you think that "that" was referring to something other than the collection of links provided? If so, what did you assume "that" was referring to? – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 20:03
  • @Servy I didn't assume. I would like very much for it to be made explicit. (i.e., "That question solved my problem, and that question did not.") Judging by your earlier comment about how this would "dramatically" increase the complexity of the UI, you are probably imagining a series of checkboxes or some other complex mechanism. It doesn't have to be complex. It just needs to be slightly (not dramatically) more complex than it is now. The dialog could even randomly pick one of the two (or pick the one with more votes) and prompt the user with only one of the two. Be creative. – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 20:11
  • @Rainbolt And what if the question with the most votes wasn't the one that solved the problem? What if they both solved the problem? Your solution of "pick the question with the highest votes" is quite flawed. Picking randomly seems even less likely to result in the correct set of questions being chosen. And you still haven't provided any compelling reason to not act on the collection as a collection. You have not given any reason to choose just one question instead of acting on all of them. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 20:14
  • @Servy Alright. I agree that my "pick one" idea was flawed. It was offhand and in a comment. I'm saying that one, the other or both might be the one that solved my problem. So I should have the option to pick one, the other, or both. This is not complex logic. – Rainbolt Mar 25 '15 at 20:15
  • @Rainbolt And why should we do that? What is gained by spending the effort to make such a distinction? And I dispute your claim that doing this isn't at all complex. How would you design the UI to do this? And keep in mind, you're comparing whatever you come up with with a single button, in terms of complexity, that's about as simple as it gets. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 20:21
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    @Rainbolt If you're going to continue to refuse to explain why you think you're proposed feature should be implemented, I'm going to continue to ask you why you think your proposed feature should be implemented. Features aren't added, "just because". What you're proposing is a fairly radical change, it would be a lot of work for the developers and add quite a bit of complexity to the page. If there is no compelling reason to do this, then it shouldn't be done. If you can provide some benefits that would be greater than those costs, then it could be worth doing. – Servy Mar 25 '15 at 20:24
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    @Servy the whole point of adding this banner with friendly buttons is making it more user friendly. I agree it should be kept simple even in such edge case of more than one dupe. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 25 '15 at 20:47
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    Servy, you're lecturing us on why we should not have been confused and why it was clear all along. That's not how UX works. Period. – djechlin Mar 25 '15 at 21:51

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