When marking duplicates, shouldn't newer post be the duplicate of an older post and not the other way around?

How can a post from 2012 be a duplicate to something from 2013?

2012: Putting in MATLAB codes in a box as figures?

2013: What can I use to typeset MATLAB code in my document?

I only ask since the duplicate message is:

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. 
If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

So how can a 2013 have already been asked before a 2012?


Ideally, all questions would be good or be edited to be good, all answers would be well written and general, and all duplicate questions would be spotted as soon as they are posted. However, none of those three things is always true! As a result, it is not unknown to find that a newer question covers the same idea as an older one but is in some way 'better'. When those cases are found, the 'best' direction to mark as a duplicate is sometimes 'reversed', so that the older question gets closed meaning that the 'canonical' version is the newer one.

  • 1
    Would changing the duplicate message be an alternative to address that? It would make more sense then.
    – dustin
    Apr 27 '14 at 16:11
  • @dustin We don't control that text: it's network-wide and I guess assumes the 'expected' case of questions being marked as dupes when they are posted.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Apr 27 '14 at 16:12
  • @dustin Stack Exchange should just replace "before" by "elsewhere on this site".
    – jub0bs
    Apr 27 '14 at 18:11
  • 1
    @Jubobs A quick scan on meta-SE suggest that the feeling is the small number of 'reverse dupes' does not justify making allowance for this case.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Apr 27 '14 at 18:12
  • 1
    @JosephWright Sure, but "elsewhere on this site" would be applicable even in cases where "before" isn't.
    – jub0bs
    Apr 27 '14 at 18:13
  • @Jubobs Fair point: one for meta-SE?
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Apr 27 '14 at 18:13
  • @JosephWright The onus is on dustin :p
    – jub0bs
    Apr 27 '14 at 18:13
  • @JosephWright and Jubobs isn't this meta?
    – dustin
    Apr 27 '14 at 21:22
  • 2
    @dustin This is meta-TeX-SX which deals with site-specific issues. The suggestion was to take it to the meta of all metas, meta-SE. Apr 28 '14 at 7:52
  • @Jubobs However, the most important audience for the message is the person whose question was marked as a duplicate. For him, "was asked before" is the message: I asked something that is here already and I only failed in finding it. The OP then easily understands the problem and therefore there's usually no problem at all. The wording "elsewhere on the site" is a bit strange at the first sight and not so clear, at least that's my impression. Despite saying "before" is a bit strange in the reversed situation, I wouldn't vote for the proposed change.
    – yo'
    Apr 29 '14 at 7:25
  • @tohecz I don't find "elsewhere on the site" strange, but I'm don't mean to be finicky; "before" will do the job.
    – jub0bs
    May 5 '14 at 12:17

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