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I recently answered a question where some relevant but not essential information was missing. I felt confident I could correctly answer the question without it.

Another user had already posted a comment asking for this information.

Is it OK to answer before the OP has replied to the comment ?

2 Answers 2

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If you think you can answer the question without needing the clarification that was asked and you believe your answer will be valid regardless of how the OP responds to the request, then by all means you should post your answer.

Additionally, you might want to revisit the question later to see if you need to update your answer based on the clarifications provided by the OP.

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Bart is correct here. Sometimes, a great answer from someone that managed to understand the question is all that's needed for someone else to go back and make the edit if the question author doesn't for some reason.

You should also not hesitate to make such an edit yourself, just leave a comment something along the lines of:

Hello! Your question was a bit vague, but I think I understand what you're trying to ask. I left an answer to what I think you need, and did my best to make your question a bit more clear. Please double check my edits to ensure my understanding is accurate.

So someone shows up to the site, has a hard time asking a question and then:

  • Someone understands it anyway, and gives a great answer and
  • Someone takes ownership in their question and edits it so they can get even more answers

That's a pretty darn good experience :) Just watch out for cases where you manage to understand something and think "hmm, I'm pretty sure I've seen this asked before" - pointing someone to a canonical answer that eluded them is just as helpful as writing an answer in those cases.

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