I was taking another look at this question and Ólafur's comment. It's a very good point: If the best answer to a question is close but needs some example code or other clarification, editing it makes sense. Most users don't have enough rep.

Here's my proposal: why not give the asker edit privileges to answers on his own question, or at least to the accepted answer, at a much lower rep (250? 500?). You could also let the asker append to, but not edit, the accepted answer, like this:

Is it plugged in? Loose power cords are the cause of many no-start problems.

Asker's note:

It was, in fact, plugged in, but the power strip it was connected to had gotten turned off. Maybe the cat's fault?

…This would let the asker respond with code blocks, blockquotes, and other useful formatting that can't be used in comments.

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    "why not give the asker edit privileges to answers on his own question, or at least to the accepted answer" You might as well remove the last sentence. Since one can select a new answer at any time, then both suggestions would result in the OP being able to edit any answer on their question (except for bounty questions where the answer is locked). – Adam Davis Mar 31 '10 at 23:18

Nowadays, anyone can suggest an edit, so the asker can always suggest an edit to the accepted question. I encourage all askers faced with an almost-correct answer to accept that answer and edit their correction into the answer. Use a meaningful edit message, e.g. “fixed syntax errors so the code would compile” or “x has to be initialized to 1, and then the result is correct”.

  • This often sends the revision into the suggested edit queue. I've seen many fail to get two Accept votes because that interface doesn't make it clear that the questioner is the one making the edit suggestion. – sarnold Nov 20 '11 at 0:56
  • @sarnold I know, but that's not specific to cases where the asker is making the edit. I don't see why the asker should have special privileges here; I've also seen askers make a mess of the accepted answer sometimes. – Gilles Nov 20 '11 at 1:21
  • Yeah, I've seen that too. At least rollback is easy. :) – sarnold Nov 20 '11 at 1:22

I kinda like this suggestion. Sometimes, an answer is close but not quite right; if the OP wants to add in additional information, he must either edit the question (my personal preference) or add an answer of his own (less than ideal in terms of having the complete solution near the top of the question).

If the asker could edit the answer he accepted, this would be a decent third choice...

Note that anyone - including the asker - can now suggest an edit to just about any post... Including accepted answers. So if both the asker and answerer so desire, this provides an excellent avenue for correcting issues found during implementation.

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    There's also the 'add a comment' option, but I like this feature request. – Lance Roberts Dec 15 '09 at 22:17
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    Eh... I'm uncomfortable with leaving anything useful for comments. It's one thing to point out an error in an answer and let the author fix it himself, but if he doesn't... or if you really do have significant additional information to add... then editing works much better. – Shog9 Dec 15 '09 at 22:19
  • Revisions often go into the edit suggestions queue -- I've seen many of these fail to get the two accept votes -- presumably because that interface doesn't make it clear that the questioner is the one trying to improve the answer. – sarnold Nov 20 '11 at 0:57
  • Excellent point, @sarnold. Would be nice to see post-owner get first crack at approval; for now, possibly worth commenting and editing to avoid problems. – Shog9 Nov 20 '11 at 1:01

I totally agree with this suggestion. It's exactly what I was about to ask.

In the question When using WebBrowser control how do you have the text appear without margins? the first answer given asked a question and gave a pointer to the problem. I've responded via comment with correct code but it's ugly.

How to drop controls onto a panel in a user control? is another example where the answer I accepted was a link to blog post. I then answered the question myself using the blog post as reference.

I feel the original answerer should get the reputation for answering the question first up, but I'd like to edit his/her answer so the best answer appears at the top.

  • Sorry for the spaces in the second link but I need 10 reputation points to post an answer with 2 links. – Tim Murphy Mar 31 '10 at 23:14

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