One of the greatest things about the users providing answers on this site is that their experience frequently leads them to answer questions with insights about what the original poster "intended to" or "should have" asked. I can't even count the number of times this has proved helpful to me in improving my understanding of how a specific package or TeX in general works.
Of course every rule has an exception and occasionally I would love to be able to prompt the community to answer the question that was asked (even if it already solved the original posters question (who also may no longer be active on the site)) so that I don't have to create a duplicate question that is tap dancing around the wording to create a new distinct question. How should I go about doing this?
Here are some of the thoughts I have had:
I don't think that leaving a comment to the authors of the answer are necessarily going to be productive because:
- The expertise behind the answer may not have lent itself to answer the broader question, hence the version that was provided.
- The author may no longer be active
- Comments don't re-add old questions to the to the front page to receive some attention from contributors.
- Far (less likely (particularly on this branch of stack overflow) and I don't want to offend anyone) but some folks are reputation oriented and if they can't get an accepted answer are less likely to add their own spin on a question with an accepted answer and an OP who has left the site and can't change their mind about the best answer that has been provided.
I would leave a bounty with a comment on the original question, but
- The lead time and upvotes that the accepted solution may already have may discourage anyone who is motivated by the bounty
- I am currently trying to build my rep because I want to be able to contribute to the moderation of this site
- For the same reason I want to help moderate the site (and may be evident with some of my other meta questions) I may be a little compulsive about organization and closing duplicates, or porting between sites so that they are organized in the right place for users to be able to find and make use of them... So I am pretty strongly opposed to knowingly creating a duplicate even for my own benefit because that doesn't help keep the site usable (long term). It's getting hard enough to find answers from google because of all these duplicates with only subtle difference in the wordings. And I wish I could be part of a moderation effort to help alleviate this problem.
Edits could be made to the question to reflect the answer that was accepted, allowing for the creation for a duplicate of the "original" but current version of that question
- This just strikes me as inappropriate, Just because it worked, doesn't mean the OP doesn't deserve the credit for trying to answer a broad question.
- It will cost an obsessive compulsive like myself extra time
- the real solution is seems to be the need of a way to reopen a question to "The question as is wasn't answered, and still has interest even if it's not the OP's interest"
I hope the above is sufficiently detailed to be clear and not a duplicate of either (the answers I didn't find entirely useful to each of these questions is in my lists above):
- How to go about resurrecting an old question that already has an accepted answer?
- Resurrecting old questions without being flagged as duplicate
And I apologize for the obvious inconsistency here in asking this question which is clearly not a new issue!