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I asked this question, which turned out to be a duplicate. That's fine, but the dialogue I was presented with is suboptimal:

screenshot

Why is that a problem? Because the other question has no answers (at this writing). So it didn't solve my problem; it just connected me with somebody else who has the same problem.

Should we reserve "that solved my problem" for questions where a solution at least possibly might be present? In this case, something like "yup, that's the same question" would have been more appropriate.

(I think it used to be the case that you couldn't propose unanswered questions as dupe targets. Maybe that was true when this dialogue was designed. But it doesn't seem to be true now.)

  • +1 I totally agree with you. Not only this but sometimes the dupe has a wrong answer too. Just yesterday I encountered this problem of dupe. Here is my post. I'd make this wrong answer question a dupe of that other one where it more clearly explains the problem. We definitely need a change here. Thanks for brining up this issue on the front-line. – HackerKarma Aug 10 '15 at 0:00
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One cannot propose unanswered questions as duplicate targets, unless either

  • both questions are by the same user
  • you are on a meta site (child meta, or this one)

Both cases are somewhat outside of "normal" Q&A interactions, for which the dialogue is meant. Meta users are expected to understand that meta works differently: questions are not always questions, etc. As for double-posting users... I don't know what prompt would be appropriate for them, but don't think this is something worth special-casing.

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    "Meta users are expected to understand that meta works differently" I disagree with that to some extent, TBH. There's no reason to make things difficult, or even inaccurate for seasoned users. – James Aug 9 '15 at 22:26
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    Thanks for the information. Double-posting users isn't worth special-casing. MSE is really more like a main site than a per-site meta in terms of question volume and mix, so I don't think it makes sense to allow dupes of unanswered questions here. If this problem were only on per-site metas it wouldn't be worth doing anything about, but I don't think MSE is that far outside of "normal" Q&A interactions. – Monica Cellio Aug 9 '15 at 22:33
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    @MonicaCellio The reason that duping 'unanswered' posts makes sense on metas (including MSE) is because for all posts except support they do not require an answer for it to be sensible to dupe them. If somebody reposts the same bug report or suggests the exact same feature request it still makes sense to dupe it. (Not to say that some more diverging on the metas might make a lot of sense, but I would far prefer if they spend the time on different stuff) – David Mulder Aug 9 '15 at 23:40
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Should we reserve "that solved my problem" for questions where a solution at least possibly might be present?

This is still not ideal, because when there are answers and the button is "This answered my question", none of the answers might answer their question.

As this is a confirmation of asking "Is this a dupe" why not just provide the clear options to that with something along the lines of:

[I agree this is a duplicate] <----- imagine a blue button

This caters for all scenarios:

  • Whether there are answers or not
  • If there are answers, whether they answer the question or not

(Meta only of course.)


I think it used to be the case that you couldn't propose unanswered questions as dupe targets. Maybe that was true when this dialogue was designed. But it doesn't seem to be true now

It was the other way around. You could close as dupe without answers, but they changed that on main sites but not on meta sites.

Changes to "close as duplicate"

Additionally, close targets are restricted to answered questions even when specifying the ID or URL directly (with the exception of questions from the same author, and meta posts)

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