Meta Stack Exchange is seeing a fair few of these "Grab bag" questions that announce a biggish change to the sites and then encourage bug-reports and feature-requests to be posted as answers to that question.

For example: Custom question lists is available for testing

Recently, a bug report was posted as a question.   BUT, it turns out that the same issue had previously been raised as an answer to one of those "Grab bag" questions.

So my question:

Should the new bug report be closed as a duplicate of the "Grab bag" question?

Or should the original answer be edited to point to the new bug report?

Something else?


Strictly speaking, it should be clear that the questions cannot be duplicates. For example, one of them announces a high-level feature; the other reports a bug in the implementation. But Meta can and does relax strict duplicate rules when the distinction is not helpful, but the duplicate closure is. (Most obviously, when the dupe target is a carefully-maintained and well-organized FAQ that has a searchable headline entry for that very subject.)

Here, I don't think that's the case. There's nothing in the grab-bag question that allows dupe-closers to pick which answer to dupe to, so there's no real speed-up for the asker or for later searchers, including staff: it's just "go read this collection of miscellaneous posts and check which one matches".

What's more, it seems to miss the intended purpose of the grab-bag question in the first place, which is (as far as I know) to collect high-value, easy-to-spot problems immediately in context where they can be rapidly triaged and handled. Once the first few days are past, there's not much point in adding to the collection, and any sufficiently-complicated bug should just be broken out into its own full question for further work. In other words, the fact that a new question has been asked pretty much puts it beyond the quick-and-dirty realm of the grab-bag.

There might be a few corner cases where someone fails to do any searching during the first few days of a new feature, but, broadly speaking, if it makes a difference to anyone, it's not worth closing.

Instead, make sure to add cross-links between answer-report and question-report so the discussion can be properly unified.

  • Yeah, this is probably the best way forward. Unless, maybe a CM/dev can split off the non-status-completed "answers" into their own posts. Jan 15 '19 at 9:17

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