I had a problem earlier this day and started a question.

To get stuff done, I eventually decided to circumvent the problem by doing it completely different.
This means that I won't be able to try out and accept new answers, as my code has changed so much. There are already answers but they don't solve the problem.

Should I

  • delete the question?
  • add a comment or edit it stating that the question is abandoned?
  • just do nothing and waste other people's time thinking about it?
  • whatever you decide, it seems that after 30 months, you didn't even consider to vote on this question on Meta - so yea, just abandon it :-) – Saariko Dec 17 '12 at 9:31

If you want to divorce the question from yourself, you can readapt the question to something useful in a general sense, rather than for your specific project-based need. It may not be something that you actively need a solution for on your project, but are you not curious to know what was causing the original error? You might be satisfied by a workaround, but are you really happy with that?

And if you have a workaround, post that as an answer and accept it. At the very least, there is an answer now.

If you aren't curious to know the answer without the workaround, only discard the question if it's actually worthless to everyone (you might consider requesting that the question be closed as "Too Localized" if this is because of temporal issues). Even if you might not be following it to accept a correct answer, keeping it around is worth it as long as it might help someone else.

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    I am indeed curious! I'm also quite happy with the workaround. I think I'll go with posting the workaround as an answer. Thanks! – foraidt Jun 23 '10 at 16:27

You should absolutely keep the question open.

The fact that you had a problem means that other people may have the same problem, and we want them to be able to come to StackOverflow to find answers.

Now that you've got a little more information, and decided to go a different way, you should edit your question to include both of those facts.

  1. Any extra information related to the original problem that you gained which creating your work around.
  2. The fact that you are no longer actively working on the issue, and you have a work-around which you have posted as an answer.

Then you should post your work-around as an answer to problem. One important thing to keep in mind is that other users who have the same problem may not be able to user your work-around (I don't know the specifics, which is fine because this should stay generic). Your work-around may require a different framework, or modifying a different dll, or changing file on the system. The details of the work around don't matter, all that matters is that your work-around is fundamentally different from your original (problematic) solution, and therefore it will not be right for everyone who is confronted with that issue.

This is why the question should remain open, and if you are still curious about it, you could branch or save a copy of your code in the failing condition so that you can test any solutions that any brilliant users may come up with, and mark one of them as correct if something perfect comes along later.

If nothing does, just mark your work-around as correct.

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  • Post your new Solution as an answer.
  • Close it when your solution does not apply to the question or anything close to it, and explain the reason your doing it.

You choose.

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You shouldn't go around asking questions you don't need the answer for.

That being said, you don't nessesarily waste other peoples time, by letting them answer your question. You can learn a lot answering other peoples questions. Also some one else might get the same problem and see the solution in your question.

So I don't see any reason to stop the question.

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  • As stated above, he did need the answer at the time of asking. It was only after he changed course to circumvent the problem did the question become moot. – Dhaust Jun 24 '10 at 0:24

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