I made this question in StackOverflow (it's now deleted) and just after I posted it, I found a typo that solved my problem and decided delete the question.

In the meantime, someone commented my question trying to help me, then I posted a comment like:

Thank You for your help. It was just a typo. I'll delete the question

I waited 10 minutes before delete the question, hoping that the commenter see my thanks, but then I start to thinking: I was trying be polite, but it's a question without any purpose.

Leave a bad question online is a right thing to do for, since I was trying to be polite, or I just was making noise in the site?

  • Great intentions, but it would be noise. As known, a way of thanking him/her would be to upvote any good question of his/hers. – Daniel Springer Dec 1 '15 at 7:09

Questions should help not just the person who asks them, but also people who think up the same question in the future. That's why we close questions as duplicates - the person who asks a duplicate question is asking the same thing as someone in the past, and the original question and its answers will help them.

If you think that others may make the same mistake you made, and that any answers your question receives will help them, then you can keep the question. If not, then you can delete the question (if you want) without fear of being impolite.

As a side note, Stack Exchange encourages self-answering questions. So you can also post your solution - again, if you think that you made a mistake that others are definitely likely to make in the future. See Can I answer my own questions, even if I knew the answer before asking? and links therein.

  • 3
    Yes but having a typo in the code won't help anyone else, since each programmer is using different coding style, different variable names etc. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Nov 28 '15 at 16:27
  • @ShadowWizard Good point; I hadn't thought of that. I'm assuming that there are some situations where this could happen, but I don't know how common they are (I also don't know what kind of typo was in the question referenced in the question body). – HDE 226868 Nov 28 '15 at 16:32
  • I suspect it's very common. Sometimes people just needs a fresh set of eyes, or even second look on their code, to find typos. A dev can run a query to search for "typo" in comments on deleted questions to see how common it really is. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Nov 28 '15 at 16:35
  • In my specific case, it's a typo that would not help anyone, so I decided to delete the question. My problem in that case was if is it a good approach leave the question online for some time before delete it, even for etiquette reasons. – James Dec 1 '15 at 11:41
  • @James Ah, I see your logic. Yeah, that makes sense. – HDE 226868 Dec 1 '15 at 16:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .