I posted a question...

How can I dereference a constructor?

It got half answered, so I used it to create my own answer. It got down-voted for this, but I don't know how else to do it. Should I edit the other users answer?


I have no idea why you got downvoted and received the comment: "no need to make an answer out of another answer". The other (only) answer is substantially different, and you did make a note to the poster that it only got you on the right track, not all the way.

It's great that you posted your solution, but maybe out of politeness you should accept the other answer.

By the way, I have seen the user who downvoted you be confrontational quite a bit, so I think this is an exception rather than the rule.

  • Thanks, I haven't tried 'accepting' answers yet. – thomas-peter Jul 15 '11 at 14:28
  • Here's the manual :) How does accepting an answer work? – user159834 Jul 15 '11 at 14:28
  • "I have seen the user who downvoted you be confrontational quite a bit" I feel like this is what people say about me behind my back... :-) – Cody Gray Jul 15 '11 at 15:01

Nope, absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Here are my guidelines:

  • If you're only making minor additions, I'd edit and accept the other person's answer.
  • If you're making substantial changes, you should add your own and credit the original answerer (preferably with a perma-link back to their answer), much as you've done here.

Obviously it's up to you to decide on a case-by-case basis what qualifies as a minor and what qualifies as a substantial edit to the original answer, but it's really not that big of a deal. Posting your own answer to your own question is very much encouraged around here.

Don't worry too much about people voting you down. They could be in a bad mood, they could be using an iPhone where it's almost inevitable that you cast an erroneous downvote, they could dislike your proposed solution, or tons of other possibilities.

You are under no obligation to accept any of the answers to your question. You're just asked to pick the one that was most helpful to you in solving your problem. If you've done some of your own work and expanded on an answer given by another user, it's extremely helpful to post your own complete solution. This is far more likely to help others who arrive later in search of an answer to the same question.

Also see the somewhat-related question (although not exactly, because in this case I think you're actually adding value): May I summarize all answers


If the answer got you on the right track, that should be your answer!

If the answer did not fulfill your requirements for the question, comment as such and maybe the user would expand their answer to fit what you might need.

  • +1, but he should keep his answer for posterity. It added some context which is certainly useful. – user7116 Jul 15 '11 at 14:09
  • @sixlettervariables, i always believe it is better add the context to the question. or post a comment on the answer that helped you out. – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jul 15 '11 at 14:10
  • thanks, but considering I wanted to add code and flesh out the answer a bit more, would leaving a comment suffice? – thomas-peter Jul 15 '11 at 14:16
  • @tomwrong -- it all depends on what you want.basically what you did was copy the right answer and expand it to show how you used it. there is no reason for that. – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jul 15 '11 at 14:17
  • @tomwrong You could edit the other answer to include more information, too. – Adam Lear Jul 15 '11 at 14:20
  • 3
    @AnnaLear -- i would not suggest that. an OP once did that to me and made my answer completely unreadable. it is better to let the poster make such big changes – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jul 15 '11 at 14:21
  • @Anna Lear: I've seen a few edits like that in the suggested edit approval queue that also seemed to be making a complete hash of the answer in an attempt to expand it. Neal is probably right about not suggesting that. – McCannot Jul 15 '11 at 14:26
  • @camcann @Neal Fair enough. If done right, though, this could be a reasonable approach. Of course, doing something badly is not a good thing. :) – Adam Lear Jul 15 '11 at 14:50
  • 2
    Changing the answer given from somebody else to add more content is not what I would suggest to do, and it's not what suggested in the block that explains how to edit an existing post. I would understand when somebody adds something the OP said in a comment (and that is relevant to the given answer) to the OP's answer, but even in that case I would let the OP do that; I would leave a comment suggesting to write what reported in the comment in the answer, to avoid somebody else doesn't notice that important information because it's hidden from twenty comments. – kiamlaluno Jul 15 '11 at 14:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .