Case study: How can I typeset the date/time at compile time?
A perfectly good answer was left, but without a MWE (minimum working example). It looked easy enough to do, so I figured I'd try to augment the answer with such. It was a bit long for a comment, so I left it as an additional answer (making it clear, I hope, that it was based on the original answer). In working out the MWE, I did add one minor bit of information (a recommendation to use the latest version of one of the packages). As I see it, I had the following options here:
- Leave a comment asking the original answerer to add a MWE
- Edit that answer including the MWE
- Do as I did (leaving a separate answer), but make my answer CW
- Do as I did (leaving a separate answer)
Obviously, the best situation is where the original answerer includes a MWE in the first place, so this is in the situation where that hasn't happened. Here's my thoughts on my options:
This puts the onus on the original answerer to make it clearer. I'd rather have the convention that any information is potentially useful and that people should not feel that they have to put in a MWE - I think that making this a de facto requirement will put people off answering. Of course, it's desirable, but we want the "barrier to entry" to be as low as possible. In this case, working out a MWE was fairly simple.
I think that this is actually the ideal situation and is what I would like the convention to be. However, given that people tend to be a bit possessive of their answers, I'm hesitant to promote this as a first line. Perhaps a combination of this and the above: leave a comment saying, "Do you mind if I add a MWE to your answer?". The problem with this (and answer 1) is that it puts a delay in the system.
3 and 4 are pretty similar. The issue here is in deciding when a fresh answer adds sufficient information to warrant it not being CW. Perhaps doing a MWE is enough to warrant the extra credit since it can take a few minutes to iron out the wrinkles, or figure out the dependencies. I'm not sure.
Certainly, I'd like the environment here to be such that we do take a look at people's answers and look for ways to tweak them to be better; but I would like it to be the case that that is interpreted as meaning:
Good answer! Let me tweak it a little to make it a great answer.
Hmm, along the right lines. If you do X, Y, and Z it might just be okay.
Just remembered another example where I wanted to edit a question: passing options to the newenvironment, in that case, I left a comment.