Recently someone asked, "How can I use my laptop's monitor as my PC's monitor?" (I'll refer to this as question 1)
This question was closed as a duplicate of "Can I use my laptop as a second monitor for my desk computer?" (let's call this question 2)
At first glance, the two questions do seem very similar. However, they are actually so different that solutions which are valid for one question would be unacceptable for the other.
- Specifically requires a Linux solution
- Requires the laptop as the only monitor for the PC
- The question did not specify OS, but two answers are specifically for Windows, and the others do not actually address the problem. The accepted answer is one of the Windows-specific answers.
- Uses the laptop as the second monitor for the PC (this is a fine distinction, but a very important one)
As I've outlined above, the answers for question 2 do not address question 1. Question 2 did not originally specify an OS, so the argument goes that it is an OS-agnostic question, and would cover all similar questions regardless of OS. But none of the existing answers provide solutions for non-Windows operating systems. What are we supposed to do if an existing question is broad enough that it has the potential to contain answers for our more specific questions, but none of the existing answers are even remotely adequate? In this particular case, I think it would make the most sense to reclassify it as a Windows question, since the only applicable solutions (including the accepted answer) are for Windows, and none of the provided answers to question 2 would work for question 1. Would it be inappropriate for me to retag question 2 with windows?
Second, there is a very important distinction between using a laptop screen as the only monitor for your PC, versus using it as the second monitor for your PC. For example, the answer I posted to question 1 involves X-forwarding the entire display of the PC to the laptop. I think a solution that uses X-forwarding would be ideal for question 1, but it would be completely unacceptable for question 2 (or it would require a lot of additional configuration and some very contrived workarounds to even get it to work).
What would I do if I hadn't already posted my answer to question 1 before it was closed as a duplicate? It seems to me that my only course of action would be to supply the same answer for question 2--but then I would run the risk of getting downvoted, since it is an incorrect answer for question 2.