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This bug report, which reports that clicking the "Share" button before the page fully loads, causes the page to refresh because the button is a link is to a redirect to the same page, which later on has a script handler attached. It was closed as a duplicate of this report, which reports the same thing but for a different button (the site switcher in the top bar).

I'm aware that there's a category of bug reports which have the same root cause, where fixing the same thing will resolve all bug reports at the same time (e.g. bug reports about different error messages caused by the same server-side issue). In such cases, it makes sense to close them as duplicates, since the same fix in just one spot resolved all those reports. However, this doesn't fall into this category, as while both have the same cause, each instance has to be individually fixed.

The above was brought up in a comment on the first report. The close review was evenly split, ending in a Leave Open outcome but eliciting three reviews in favor of closure; afterwards, it got its final close vote outside of review. Due to the contentious nature of the review, I'm inclined to raise this as a meta discussion rather than start a reopen review.

As far as I can tell, the opinion of the close voters was that because the two reports have the same cause, it's not useful to report each instance of where it occurs. However, as I said earlier, this isn't the type of bug where fixing it in one spot will fix all the reports; each instance has to be fixed individually. I think it's useful to allow reports about another instance of this same bug to remain open because:

  • There may be multiple ways to fix the bug. The team may opt for one solution in one instance and different solutions in others. (For this particular case, this answer to the duplicate target lists out those different solutions.)
  • Similarly, the team may opt to fix one instance but decline to fix another (e.g. if the first's commonly hit but the second is extremely rarely hit).
  • It may also be possible that what may outwardly manifest as having the same cause may actually have a different cause.

There's also this report about a third instance of the same issue; that got a comment identifying the target of the first report as related, but there was no talk about closing it as a duplicate. That one wasn't closed, so why should this one be handled differently?

Should the first report be reopened, as it's a different instance from its target? Does the community agree with my reasoning for reopening? Or should it remain closed (and the third report be closed as well)?

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  • 5
    Different fix, different bug report, root cause isn't relevant. I'll reopen. Sep 11 at 7:03
  • 2
    This is meta-meta discussion I suppose... haha :) Sep 11 at 15:28

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You're absolutely right. That report should've been left open. Had Shadow not used his gold badge to reopen it, I'd have voted to reopen as well.

It's quite clear to me that the root causes of these two different behaviors are inherently different, and likely require different solutions to repair them. Duplicate closure doesn't seem correct in this instance. Where possible, we should try to ensure we stay consistent about our bug report dupe closures, since they do have some effect on how the SE team discovers them — so thank you for bringing this up.

There's also this report about a third instance of the same issue; that got a comment identifying the target of the first report as related, but there was no talk about closing it as a duplicate. That one wasn't closed, so why should this one be handled differently?

While that report certainly feels like a similar issue that would ideally have been fixed by what was described as being changed here, it's not specifically labeled as being fixed with that change. What I mean by that is, from the way balpha's answer is worded, it suggests that the change was specific to the MultiCollider dropdown and nothing else. To me, this suggests that a more explicit fix is required for each instance of this issue (the issue being clicking a top-bar UI element before the page is fully loaded). I suppose I can't be certain, though.

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