Possible Duplicates:
Etiquette for answering your own question
Should I answer my own question, or not?

I want to post a question on which I've done already quite a lot of research. I want to know the opinion of some experts on SO to see what solution (or possibly another one I didn't mention) they prefer and why.

which of the following is better:

1 I post the question and possible answers all in the main question body?

2 I post the question and a few separate answers?

3 I post the question and don't mention any answers at all?

some comments:

If I use method 1, I'm not using the system as it should be used, since no one can vote on the answers. If they want to vote they have to copy the answer (maybe reword it) in a separate answer

With method 2 I guess it could work. But I'm not giving anyone the moment in the bright light to own the answer and perhaps even defending it.

With method 3 people start giving answers but I have to comment that I already know them and perhaps give my negative (or positive) points about them. I can remember that Jeff once said that it is better to show that you did your homework IN the question, so that people see that you actually did some work before turning to the community and just asking questions. So point 3 seems like to exact opposite of this idea.

Any ideas?

(If I go with method 2, how do I make sure people have not already answered before I markup my answers?)

EDIT: To make the question mare tangible. I want to ask what people see as the best way to do asynchronous programming in .Net. One can use the task parallel library, use delegates and the begin/send pattern, use the CCR (robotics) and iterators style programming, etc etc.

loads of possibilities. I just want to see what others are going with and what they perceive as (dis)advantages

  • 1
    Do you mean real answers which solve your question or details clarifying the question? Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:22
  • @voyager: I don't know, if he really means "answers". I think he speaks about detailed extra info describing the problem better. Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:24
  • 1
    If it's details about what you've tried and doesn't work go with option 1. If it's a real answer but you're after a better one go with option 3.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:24
  • @john smithers: I mean possible solutions to the question I ask. Most of them are well known, but I want to know the pros/cons others see if what they actually use.
    – Toad
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:26
  • @reinier: Then it's a dupe. See voyager's answer. Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 14:19
  • @voyager Seems like a dupe indeed. (why are these dupes hard to find if you look for them before you post?). Anyhow...closing!
    – Toad
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 14:35
  • @voyager: Can't seem to close. Should I delete this?
    – Toad
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 14:35
  • @rei: Do not delete! If you didn't find the dupe, other could fail, too, but they could find this one. Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


Keep the answers in the answers, as long as they are relevant, workable answers. If they are things that you have tried before, or constraints, add it to the question.


Since you're still asking the question, these "answers" must not have worked. That means they're not really answers at all, just supporting information for the question.

Or perhaps you're asking a multiple choice style question along the lines of "what's the best way to X?" In that case, those questions are actively discouraged on StackOverflow, because the answer will depend on so many little things you're doing in your particular situation. If you must ask the question, you should present what it is you're trying to accomplish in a larger sense, list out your constraints, things you've tried, and why they don't work, and ask for the best way for you to accomplish your goal.

  • @joel: Yes all answers work actually. It's just that everyone has it's (dis)advantages. It could also be that there are other answer I don't know about
    – Toad
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:28
  • that sounds like a 'best way' kind of question, which by it's nature is subjective. Subjective questions are discouraged, so if you ask it at make sure you get very specific with your requirements. Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:30
  • @joel coehoorn: if it's discouraged I'll just don't do it.
    – Toad
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:39
  • 1
    @reinier: The difference is whether you have a specific problem you are trying to solve now, or not. If you don't, then see if you can get one, because otherwise you have an open-ended question, and those are more about discussion that doesn't work well.
    – Gnome
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:44
  • @gnome: I understand. It is probably an open ended thing. Then again, aren't a lot of questions inherently grey instead of black and white?
    – Toad
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 13:54
  • @reinier: Yes. But that question you just asked wasn't. :) The problem with subjective questions is everyone brings their own yardstick, and you can't ever compare answers. It's a open-ended spiral. That's why both Joel and I mentioned requirements, because you can compare each answer against those. For most questions, we assume some common requirements, and everyone does this implicitly, because they are widespread and it speeds up communication (but when two people's ideas on those clash, sparks still fly).
    – Gnome
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 14:30
  • @reiner: Compare some of the high-voted questions in the [subjective] tag (those are just the ones that didn't get closed and deleted) to other questions you find, you should pick up on the difference quickly.
    – Gnome
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 14:31

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