11

I asked a technical question on dba.stackexchange.com. I got a very good answer, but because I made many technical changes to my environment before I read the answer, I'm no longer in a position where I can actually test the answer. Is it still appropriate to mark this answer as accepted?

  • One lesson could be that it's better to keep a copy of the state your system was in when asking a question in order to be able to check any incoming answers, which is a valuable part of the Q&A process. Without checking you don't really know. – Trilarion Feb 1 at 12:29
  • 1
    Related: How does accepting an answer work? – V2Blast Feb 2 at 10:23
11

Formally, you can use any criteria you like to accept an answer. So your question is really about the most sensible way to decide.

If there's no prospect of you ever testing any other answer either, you might as well accept the one that seems most likely to answer your question.

Even if you can only test it later, it's reasonable to accept an answer for now and possibly change that later if you discover it doesn't really work.

4

When you can't test it, there's no point in accepting it. Accepting an answer simply means that the OP received an answer that worked for them personally; therefore, since you can't test it, it hasn't really helped you.

  • 1
    I agree with this answer. Not being able to check an answer means it literally is not possible to know if it answers the question for the asker. Marking as accepted would be equal to lying. Up-voting and commenting with an apology why an acceptance is not possible would be the right thing to do. – Trilarion Feb 1 at 12:26
  • @Trilarion - The author of a question can accept an answer for any reason. Likewise, the community is welcome to downvote an accepted answer, if it's wrong. – Ramhound Feb 2 at 16:41
  • 1
    @Ramhound This question asks about the ethics.of the proposed action. It doesn't take away the freedom to choose, but it adds a judgement to it. At least that's how I see it. – Trilarion Feb 2 at 19:30
4

That is really subjective. When you have the feeling that some answer solves your problem, then sure, accept it. You see, even when you later find: "err, it doesn't work, you can always un-accept". Or when a different, "better" answer comes in, you simply move the accept.

Your decision is not cast in stone!

Of course it might be useful to add a comment "this looks great, but I can't verify it right now, but just to be polite, accepting ... for now".

Also note: by accepting an answer, you basically "invite" others to maybe do that testing. And those people can also leave comments if they find "nope, doesn't work".

You must log in to answer this question.

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