Via an answer yesterday I learned about a guy who shamelesly promote his commercial mail component on SO. After throwing a few flags after his canned answers, it occured to me that lots of people seem to have questions about using .NET to read incoming mail. Obviously, a lot of these people also do not know that SO allows searching. Result: a lot of duplicate questions!

Since I have only a limited number of close votes per day (please, I want more!), and the age of many of the duplicates taken into consideration, I fear that I am unable to clean up this mess myself. Hence this call to arms: Join the spring mail question cleanup today!

The duplicates

For the list below I have chosen four "preferred" questions. For each of these, a list of duplicates is provided.

What if I am wrong!?

It is more than possible that I might be wrong in branding some of the above as duplicates. If you disagree with any of my suggestions above, let me (and the rest of the army) know in a comment/answer.

Similarily, I might have overlooked questions in my search. If you find additional duplicates in the .NET mail reading corning of SO, please do let us know.

  • Hey, thanks for referring to my post! I'm working on a Gmail checker in C#, and I can agree - the .Net mail area of SO (especially IMAP) is a pretty dirty place, with lots of duplicate questions and answers. Apr 12, 2010 at 17:07

4 Answers 4


Your list looks great! I would agree that most or all of these posts could be merged together and deleted. Thanks for keeping the moderators busy; I recall Jonathan was asking a while back what he should be doing with his moderator abilities. :)


Pawel is not only spamming for his email component, he is doing so also for his barcode software:

Free Barcode API for .NET

How to generate Code39 barcodes in vb.net

The downvoting mechanism is not enough here, all such posts should be deleted. SO is not a place for product promotion and if someone finds his ad under every .NET email question and every barcode question, then where did SO come? Imagine every product being advertised this way. If he has the right to promote by posting his ads everywhere (and getting downvoted, this does not matter, the posts are still there), then why doesn't everyone else?

How would it look like if every library developer (na matter how useful their library is) would post an ad to his library to every more or less relevant answer?

  • -1 What would happen if every library developer posted well-written answers with links to good, relevant libraries? IMHO that would be great, and the meta community appears to agree. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/47994/… But copy&paste answers, or links to irrelevant libraries are not OK. IMHO Pawel could do more to disclose that it's his library: although he has linked to the library website from his profile.
    – MarkJ
    May 24, 2010 at 15:19

Here is a new task for those of you with spare close votes (or a diamond mod with nothing else to do):

What does “DateTime?” mean in C#?

I have seen countless other duplicates of this question (it is kind of hard to search for a question mark), but these are the only open ones I can find at this moment.

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