When is it appropriate to open a new question that develops from an old one?

I recently asked a question and received a very helpful answer. I asked about a modification in the comments and the answerer (generously) updated his answer to incorporate the modification.

When I tried to implement his modification I ran into an error. Is this a circumstance where I continue to seek help via comments or open a new question regarding the problem?

I am concerned about two things:

  1. I accepted his original answer, so I am worried that the new problem might not receive enough attention.
  2. I am worried that this places too much of a burden on the answerer and abuses his generosity.

What is the best practice here?

The question I am referring to is here: Is there a way to align the footnote mark with the top of the footnote text?

  • If the "new question" is just a small modification of the old one, you can edit it. It will move up in the "active questions" list so people might notice it. I recommend to put the edit at the beginning of the question so that it's really noticable. You are as well welcome to the chat, where you get attention of most of the active users :)
    – yo'
    Aug 23, 2012 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


This is a common phenomenon. The answer provided may, sometimes, will not fit into your actual code. This is nobody's fault as the answerer doesn't have any picture of your code (packages etc). In such cases:

  1. You can ask for help in the comment, if the issue is minor. It may be replied not only by the answerer but others also, if they have information and time.

  2. Enter the general chat room and pour out your difficulties. We have most kind and generous people over there.

  3. After several tries, if your problem is still not resolved, again start reducing your actual file by deleting un-necessary information one by one, until you are able to reproduce the problem. (We call this a MWE). In the process, most of the times, you will, by yourselves, be able to identify/correct the offending code. If you can't correct it by yourself, then ram the main site with it as a new question.

  4. It is not true that the question may not get enough attention (at-least, here in TeX.SX.) Only those questions, which lack clarity,incomplete and vague go unanswered here, in most of the cases. Moral: Make your question in a correct, complete and understandable. Above all these, if you feel that it went un-noticed , you may try to draw attention by announcing bounty. For this, you have to have some reputation in this site. (Even if you don't have, we have very generous people here (@Andrewstacey, are you listening, it is you I am referring to) who will go to the event horizon to help you.

As a side note, you need not feel that you are burdening the answerers, provided 1). you give them enough time, 2). don't ping them frequently, if the response is delayed (They have other work also to be done, right!). Moreover, the answerers will respond only if they get time. Hence don't feel guilty of over burdening the answerers.

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