This relates to this android question and the very useful answer.

The dilemma for me is that the question here was effectively 'what's the point of being able to set a receiver to enabled:false' and the answer was given as an example of where it might be set dynamically based on android version.

However, the question I came looking for was 'How do I dynamically enable a receiver based on android version?' So the answer is a perfect answer to the question that I came to ask (and pretty good answer to the original question), but my question feels distinct and useful enough to stand by itself.

Should I create my question and point to the other answer, or quote it word for word with a pointer to the original (that feels rude).

  • I've now come across another question that is actually close enough to my question that I don't feel it would be right to add my own one. I think my question is still valid but in this case there is another way. – Mark Adamson Jul 27 '18 at 17:07

I think you could write your question, and then use it to vote or flag (depending on your reputation) to have it closed as a duplicate of, and later merged with, the earlier question.

I would be surprised if no one had ever done this previously, and it leaves two signposts to a valuable answer rather than just one.

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    Thanks, I hadn't come across the idea of merging before. That sounds like a good eventual outcome – Mark Adamson Jul 27 '18 at 9:55
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    Thanks for the merge link, one minor downside appears to be: As the question is closed as a duplicate without answers, it automatically redirects to the target question for anonymous (logged-out) users. That could still lead some to see the existing question and then rule out looking at the answers. (I look over the shoulder of colleagues looking at SO and realise they give up a lot quicker than some others of us do..) – Mark Adamson Jul 27 '18 at 17:00

Technically, questions are duplicates if and only if the questions are, not if the same answer applies to both. So you could ask a new question, but ask yourself if it will help others to do so. If you came with a highly-related question and found your way to the other question with the answer that met your needs, then that means the links, search, SEO, etc already in place worked for you. Doesn't that mean they'll work for the next person with your question too? On the other hand, if you had to do a lot of searching and link-following to find your way to that answer, then having another "breadcrumb" for future people with your problem would help.

If there is something additional that you need, something not covered by the first question, then you can ask a new question, link to the other one, and explain what you still need that isn't already covered.

  • It took me a while to find my way to it, and it was only because I was diligent enough to read the answer even though the question wasn't what I wanted an answer to, I mostly read the answer because I was curious. My desire is for others to be able to find the answer to my question more easily. And I think my question is probably a more common and useful one. – Mark Adamson Jul 27 '18 at 16:53
  • Could you help me understand what you mean by: Technically the questions are duplicates because we evaluate based on questions, not answers? As far as I can see the questions that quite different, just the answers that are the same. 2 questions, 1 answer. – Mark Adamson Jul 27 '18 at 17:02
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    @MarkAdamson sorry, I meant in the abstract -- we evaluate whether questions are duplicates based on the questions, not on what the answers say. I've edited to clarify. – Monica Cellio Jul 27 '18 at 18:55
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    Thanks for the useful update to your answer. I've found another question that was close enough to mine so I've just tried sign-posting it a bit more to hopefully help in future – Mark Adamson Jul 27 '18 at 20:32

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