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Questions tagged [answers]

This tag is for questions about answers: how to answer, whether specific answers are appropriate, and so forth.

966
votes
1answer
393k views

How does accepting an answer work?

How does accepting an answer work? When should I do it? Why can't I accept my own answers right away? Which answer should I accept? For more information, see "What should I do when someone answers ...
1302
votes
50answers
38k views

Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I feel like there's a problem with Stack Overflow, as the number of people prowling it increases. Each question's answers are sorted by descending score and then by descending time of posting. This ...
146
votes
12answers
6k views

Is “Don't do it” a valid answer?

If someone asks how to do XYZ, and you think doing XYZ at all is a Bad Idea™, is it valid to post an answer saying so? You aren't answering the question, but instead, arguing the question's validity. ...
131
votes
13answers
12k views

Limits for self-promotion in answers

It's been covered before that posting links to your own website is ok, but should there be a line drawn? There were several spam flags today for Ira Baxter's recent posts, presumably because they all ...
70
votes
8answers
2k views

How to deal with obsolete answers?

I was thinking about this issue from time to time but I didn't know whether it really exists or just an speculation on my side until today when I woke up [!], I saw a very old answer of mine which was ...
73
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I properly use the “Not an Answer” flag?

What is the "Not an Answer" flag and what is its purpose? When should I use this flag? When should I not use this flag? But I'm still not sure if I'm using the flag correctly... An answer is "Not an ...
98
votes
2answers
3k views

How was this answer posted after this question was closed?

Question: lot of .exe folders are created on my windows7 Answer: try that... The question was closed at 11:57:57 (according to the hover-over-"x-mins-ago" bar) and the answer was posted at 12:16:35. ...
161
votes
5answers
26k views

Etiquette for answering your own question

Often you have a question, you can't find the answer on Stack Overflow so you search for it (or think a bit more). Having found the answer you'd like to keep a record so you can find it again later. ...
77
votes
1answer
5k views

What is an acceptable answer?

I answered a question and my answer was: (pick one) Deleted Converted to a comment Added to my question as an edit Why was this? Why was my answer not acceptable? What is the definition of an ...
104
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the official etiquette on answering a question twice?

When is it okay to post two answers to one question?
126
votes
10answers
6k views

Why do some people answer in comments?

Why do some people post comments that are actually answers to the question? Wouldn't posting an answer be better?
-3
votes
10answers
1k views

Moderators accepting answers on user's behalf after a certain time period

I think it would be cool if a question would eventually open up to moderators to accept answers on the user's behalf, once a time period has passed. The asking user would get the rep score for the ...
87
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there any way to favorite/bookmark an answer?

Lots of questions are very generic, "share an experience" kinds of questions. In these cases, I am quite often interested in specific answers that may not have gotten that many upvotes. These ...
64
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I flag answers which contain only a link as “not an answer”? [duplicate]

More than often I get a lot of itch when I see an answer which contains only a link. For example this one. Check this link, it will solve your query.. http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/...
55
votes
7answers
2k views

Accept Multiple Answers or Split Bounty among Several Users

Often more than one person contributes to the community coming up with the final accepted answer to a question. However, it is only possible to accept a single answer. Restricting to one final answer ...
153
votes
3answers
2k views

Subscribing to questions and comments that don't belong to you

There has been some discussion about getting notified on comments to questions or answers that don't belong to you, and the long-standing wish to be able to keep track of new answers or developments ...
96
votes
15answers
3k views

Closing Etiquette: Why Do Some Answer *and* Close?

I've noticed quite a few cases (here's a recent one) where people not only vote to close a question, but then also answer said question. At best this is just silly, and at worst it is totally ...
65
votes
4answers
997 views

Should moderators be able to convert answers into comments?

Example of where it would be useful Another example Clearly, that was the result of an inexperienced user. If a question gets a bunch of replies, then the "comment" could easily get lost in the ...
99
votes
7answers
691 views

Notify us when the question has been edited after posting an answer

Consider this situation. I post a legitimate and correct answer to a question and receive a few upvotes. Then the OP realizes that's not what they wanted to ask, and significantly rewrites the ...
238
votes
9answers
4k views

Mark answer as favorite/star [duplicate]

Often times I am not interested in the question so much as I am the answer. Unfortunately, the only site option for bookmarking an optimal answer is to bookmark the question. This leaves you having to ...
149
votes
19answers
5k views

Accepting answer without upvoting?

Is there ever a case where you would want to accept an answer, but not upvote it? I can't think of a single situation where this would be the case.. So would it not make sense to have the "Accept" ...
73
votes
5answers
28k views

How do I write a good answer to a question?

Are there guidelines for what constitutes a good answer? Let's discuss. Perhaps, we can come up with some ideas for the FAQ. Building off Should the official FAQ include information on how to ...
100
votes
14answers
3k views

Is it okay to copy-paste answers from other questions?

This one leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, but I defer to others as to whether it is appropriate or not. In this question, I wrote an answer to a question based on my experiences; it was upvoted ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

How should helpful answers that are just links be handled? [duplicate]

There has been a "movement" of sorts on Stack Overflow. Users are flagging questions that are just a link or little more than a link, like: https://stackoverflow.com/a/4737028/396458 https://...
20
votes
3answers
677 views

Vote ordering of accepted answers has changed: Accepted below top voted

On this question, sorted by votes, the accepted answer is #3 in order of votes. It appears as number 3 in the list as well. Is this new behavior intended? Did I miss something?
74
votes
7answers
2k views

Should one downvote answers to off-topic questions?

It annoys me when people post answers to obviously off-topic questions like this one, especially after those questions have already received several close votes. Migrations seem to happen rather ...
51
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I mention my own products in answers? [duplicate]

Twice now I've seen questions on Stack Overflow where one of my company's products might provide an answer to the question. One was a slightly vague connection about object-relational mapping, but ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Wouldn't it make sense to have more than one answer acceptable?

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 ...
8
votes
8answers
795 views

When answering, could we be informed that “the following people are already answering this question”?

When a question is open, it would be nice to see that there are X people (or preferrably a list of the X people) who are in the process of writing an answer. For simple questions, usually once I'm ...
75
votes
8answers
3k views

Life isn't fair [duplicate]

Recently I answered two questions on SO: The first is a completely trivial answer to a really basic question (kind of "read the manual and follow the one liner example there"). On the other hand, my ...
98
votes
6answers
1k views

Allow author of accepted answer to delete it in certain circumstances

I made a mistake today. I answered a question incorrectly. (A C# question, no less. My head is truly hanging in shame.) Unfortunately, by the time this was pointed out, the answer had already been ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Preventing users from downvoting good answers to bad questions

I posted an answer to a question that was voted closed as too localized, which it very much could have been. However, I did get 2 upvotes for that answer. As I browsed SO, I noticed that my rep went ...
73
votes
2answers
794 views

Notify question OP (and those who marked it a favourite) if an answer has been modified

Seriously, I had not noticed e.g. Jeff's edit here had he not also retagged my question.
54
votes
4answers
679 views

Notification when my answer is unaccepted?

I just lost some reputation, presumably because someone changed their selected answer from mine to someone else's. Can these losses of reputation be noted on my reputation page similar to the other ...
33
votes
5answers
3k views

Should there be a policy about 'One-Link-Only-Answers'? [duplicate]

See also: Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"? | Is it okay to answer a Stack Overflow question with a link? | Why is linking bad? Related: How do I ...
89
votes
6answers
556 views

Display the original question beneath the answer edit form

Often when I edit one of my answers, it's because I want to better address the original question. The only problem is that I can't see the original question while I'm editing my answer! I'd love to ...
34
votes
8answers
827 views

Promoting comments to answers

This has been mentioned before, but a long time ago, and got closed for a rather confusing reason (converting comments to answers is not an "exact duplicate" of converting answers to comments), so I'm ...
49
votes
15answers
1k views

How to give some boost to some really good answers that arrive late?

It happens sometimes to receive or see a very good answer that arrives very late and that would deserve more upvotes. What can be done to give a boost to them? I would happily spend some of my ...
51
votes
6answers
806 views

Please take care when flagging answers as “low quality.”

When flagging an answer as "low quality" you see some explanatory text that reads: This answer has serious formatting or content issues and might not be salvageable. An effort should be made to ...
20
votes
5answers
643 views

Shouldn't the answer with more votes be above the accepted answer?

After reviewing this question... I'd like to make an argument for answers that have attained more votes than an accepted answer always be ranked above when answers are being sorted by votes (the ...
35
votes
4answers
498 views

Cannot retract downvote if post has been edited within first 5 minutes of posting

Please do not close this as a duplicate unless you can remove the “status-completed” tag from the original report (because it’s obviously not been completed). Steps to reproduce: Have someone post ...
19
votes
24answers
2k views

How to refer to your blog when answering? [duplicate]

I know that putting a link to your blog in a signature is frowned upon and rightly so. Is it okay to link to your blog in an answer if that blog post answers the question? Are there other situations ...
283
votes
37answers
8k views

How do we encourage edits to obsolete/out of date answers?

As the network ages and we have answers that are 7+ years old, we run into situations where changes in technology, etc. result in a once great answer becoming out-of-date, obsolete, or somewhat ...
50
votes
3answers
404 views

Add an alert when answering a question that has at least a close vote as duplicate

I have one feature-request with the objective of having duplicate questions with no answers: To (try to) avoid people answering duplicate questions, add an alert that says the question has a probable ...
79
votes
12answers
4k views

Do you delete your own answer when it's a duplicate?

When I post an answer to a brand new question I usually find that someone else has submitted that same answer just moments before. (Matt Hamilton, usually ;-) ) What I've started to do lately is (I ...
19
votes
2answers
320 views

Deciding what answer to accept: the correct one-liner or the later elaborate one with code?

Lately I've been getting some good answers to some specific questions. However, I've been hesitating on what answer I should accept. Do I go with the short quick answer or do I accept a later answer ...
59
votes
8answers
1k views

Bring back the 'oldest' sort order for answers

Please bring back the oldest sort order for answers, I think we can deal with four different types of sort order. It's helpful if you don't want to have to tool-tip every post to see which got posted ...
16
votes
2answers
736 views

Why Isn't There a Way to Consolidate Answers?

There should be a way to consolidate answers into one or at least choose a set of answers as the accepted answer, as a question can sometimes have multiple answers. For instance, if a question is ...
15
votes
2answers
285 views

What to do when OP answers his/her own question in an edit?

Reference question: Can't set video mode for SDL screen on embedded device Sometimes users solve their own questions, which is great. Sometimes they say they've solved it and move on, which is ...
32
votes
9answers
1k views

Is the “down-voting most/all answers that aren't yours” pattern considered harmful?

Emphasis: This is not a why downvote, or when is it ok to downvote, or what to do when voted down. This question is about a particular pattern of downvoting. Recently, one of my answers was ...