9

Or at least have maybe the ability to set some other answers as assisted answer. I find myself finding an acceptable answer unusable while other answers underneath it might be more suitable. Would it be safe to say that the accepted answer should only make sense to the asker whether or not the question is important to others?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 18 '09 at 18:45

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

9

It really doesn't, because SE sites are meant, ideally, for questions that have a single best answer. Making more than one answer acceptable would subvert that.

  • 3
    then would would somebody bother reading the other answers when looking for an answer to a question already asked? we might as well hide them. – ak3nat0n Jul 18 '09 at 19:12
  • Plenty of people do, but it can't really be forced. – chaos Jul 18 '09 at 19:18
  • 4
    @Zaladane: One good reason not to hide the other answers is that they're sometimes better than the accepted one. One person chooses what answer to accept. Sometimes that person makes a bad choice. Not so surprising really: they didn't know the answer to begin with, after all. :) – Telemachus Jul 18 '09 at 22:06
  • @chaos: do you know this - that "plenty" of people read "other answers" - to be a fact? I doubt it. – Sridhar Ratnakumar Sep 9 '09 at 16:56
  • 3
    Actually, I do, by the fact that I get upvotes on good answers that I write even when a different answer is accepted. – chaos Sep 9 '09 at 17:19
  • 3
    Sorry, I disagree. I read other answers. Also, there is more than one way to instantiate an array. -1 – Moshe Nov 8 '10 at 20:01
  • That's untrue I think. If you get 3 perfect answers, you get 3 perfect answers, regardless of the voting system. How would the voting system change that? – summerrain Dec 5 '18 at 23:58
6

I agree with the OP here, especially in areas like cooking, philosophy and religion. There are multiple answers for certain questions.

5

Accept the best answer and upvote any good answers. I don't see any reason for this to change, other than trying to spread reputation around. If you have three accepted answers, it sort of defeats the purpose. The green checkmark should be used by the OP to reward the answerer who helped him/her the most, not to decree correctness, since often the OP is about the worst person to determine who is correct and who is not. That's what votes and comments are for.

3

If you have such a dilemma, that's a good thing.

If you find it hard to choose one over the other, why not award the accepted answer to the player with the lower rep score?

You win by having selected a good answer and the answerer wins by repping up some.

  • 1
    I agree, I often favor the lower-rep users when voting for similar quality answers. I think I mentioned this on the podcast, but I still get a little thrill giving someone their first upvote. You see, the first hit is always "free".. – Jeff Atwood Aug 25 '09 at 12:10
  • 1
    I often upvote answers (and questions) by new users because they are new (and correct). I would want to be careful to only accept the best answer, though. Marking an answer as accepted signals to everyone else who reads the question/answer that it is the best solution. Choosing an inferior answer simply because the user has fewer points would be detrimental to these later readers. – tvanfosson Aug 25 '09 at 12:34
3

If you have an answer that completely answers your question and it's the "best" of many such, then I believe that you should mark it as accepted to signal to the rest of the world that this answer is the one that solved your problem in the best way. If you have several answers of similar quality, but none of them completely answers your questions, you can either choose the best of them -- and comment on what additions are needed, update your question hoping to get a better answer, or, if you can put several answers together to get a single, best, complete answer, write your own answer combining all of the best parts of the incomplete answers into one and accept it after the waiting period.

The goal is, I think, to get a complete, accepted answer to every possible question, not to push points around on the table. You'd certainly want to upvote all the helpful answers whether you accept them or not. And I wouldn't create my own answer unless none of the other answers is acceptable.

  • One of the good things about comments and splitting the vote is that it allows the asker to prod what edits or additions they would like to see on an answer that's on the edge be made if they want that big tick. – random Aug 25 '09 at 12:36
2

In this case I would upvote all answers you would like to accept and compose a combined answer yourself and accept it. Give credit to the answers you used for your answer. Of course that way nobody gets the 15 points, but this site is about great and helpful answers in the first place ;).

This holds true if all answers contributed to the solution of the problem somewhat equally. As this is a community driven site with no ownership, you could also accept the most helpful answer and - provided you have neough reputation to have edit power - edit the others in. Clearly mark and attribute them, and again upvote the other helpful answers.

Look at this duplicate as well.

0

It really doesn't make any sense, but if you want to make it really fair, one guy only gets accept, the other guy only gets up-vote, little more fair.

Accepts, are usually just the best answer in all.

-2

To offer a case in point:
Here is a question with multiple equally satisfying - shall I say perfect? - answers: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/a/57758

I think in such (rare) cases, it should be allowed to mark >1 answer as correct.

What about once per week ?
Or twice a month ?

This would both assure that:

  • in normal cases (i.e. the vast majority of questions) the best answer is marked as correct
  • in rare cases where 2 perfect but different answers exist, both can be awarded
  • Why is this "community wiki" ? I didn't mark it as such. – summerrain Dec 21 '18 at 23:53

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