For questions which the answer is currently known, but likely to change in the future, should I ask in a way that the immediate answer closes the question? Or write in a way that the question remains open, so people know that there's a consensus but the permanent answer might change later to a more permanent one?

e.g. "How to crack GPG encrypted file?" "How to crack wifi WEP?" "How to crack wifi6 WPA2?"

For the first question, the answer is "impossible" and it is unlike to change soon, but it is possible that it change. For this example, the "answer today closes the question" option sounds good.

For the second and third ones, the answer was "impossible" at some point, but possible and common knowledge today. Today someone might still answer wrong, and quote the previously answered question.


Our focused Q&A format is about asking a clear question to try and attract one or more clear answers.

In this sense every Q&A should potentially remain current and a concept of “long running” seems incongruous.

If existing answers to a question become less useful than newer answers then the latter should be upvoted and consideration given to downvoting the former to expedite the answer ordering so that the most useful answer appears first.

  • But until knowledgeable enough do add a new answer, everyone reading the site will see the "accepted answer" and go with it. I think the philosophical question I have is more on the lines "should i accept a negative if I don't plan to ever update the accepted answer"? – gcb Jan 9 at 16:56
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    @gcb as the asker it’s your choice whether you accept an answer at any time and you are free to remove your acceptance or move it to another answer at any time. If I think an answer is sufficiently helpful and it’s the one that currently helps me the most then I accept it. – PolyGeo Jan 9 at 20:16

Mechanics like the roomba are meant to help clean up questions which have no answer. Ideally there should be an answer now as opposed to asking a question to be answered in the future or so.

That said - there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking a properly scoped question now, having an answer that its not possible with solid back up, and finding its answerable later.

As long as there's a practical, reasonably scoped question that could be answered, it should be fine.

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