I asked a technical question in Stackoverflow ( How can I get inline-block to render consistently when applied to table cells? ) and gave what I thought was a good example to illustrate my question. Someone answered it to my satisfaction (at first), and then I accepted their answer.

Upon further inspection, I find that my original example was in fact an insufficient illustration of my question, and there are cases where the accepted answer breaks down. I'm responsible for not providing a robust enough example and then also selecting an answer as correct with out thoroughly vetting it, but now, what do I do about it?

Should I edit my question original question to provide extra clarification, a more robust example, and take back the accepted answer? Or should I pose a new question?

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    I think you should totally post a new question. Then again, I'm a little biased here :) Let's see what the consensus is. – thirtydot Jun 27 '11 at 10:41

If the accepted answer answers the question as originally asked, then I'd ask a separate question (and link to the original one).

The idea is that there is a well-defined question with a well-defined answer (which has been voted and accepted based on the original question).

There are a lot of separate decisions that have gone into that result: posting answers, comments, votes, edits. They are all based on the context made up from the question.

If you significantly modifying the question after-the-fact, then all of those small decisions would have to be re-evaluated and would potentially look very different. So a vote that says "this is a good answer" might no longer be appropriate, because the question changed. You can't really expect everyone who interacted with the question/answers in any way expect to re-visit it.

Therefore the cleaner solution is to post a second question and link to the original one.

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  • I am having a a similar situation with a question I asked. However, there are no answers or comments yet. Should I follow your advice here, or is it more appropriate to heavily edit the question? – user658182 Jun 4 '13 at 0:50

On top of what Joachim says, bear in mind that the idea for SO is to be a repository of questions and answers. By editing the question instead of opening a new one, you effectively erase all the effort that went in from all parties in getting a clear question asked and a clear and correct answer posted.

Anyone who googles your original issue will no longer see it, or it will be so obfuscated that they will have enormous difficulty determining what was being asked through all the edits.

If the answer originally was good enough to accept, then make a new one to followup with a link to the original.

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