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I asked a question, and a discussion started in the comments, "Why would you wanna do that", etc. After a while, I figured out the answer to the question, which I posted as an answer. However, that didn't quite solve the whole problem, since there was an aspect of it remaining unsolved. Neither the question nor the answer had any votes.

To avoid confusing people reading the discussion by radically modifying the question, I decided instead to ask a new question, and reference the old one. Did I do the right thing?

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In my point of view updating questions leads often to frustation of answerers if they have given a working solution yet and their solution gets invalidated by the question update.

In this case a follow-up question is better, in my point of view. (Yes, opinion - based answer, but the question here is opinion-based ;-)

If no answers have been given and the update would clearify the question or the question has not gained attraction, extend the question.

Although this is not the case for the relevant question the O.P. referred too, updates frequently tend to spread the confusion and request enters a completely different direction afterwards.

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    You are aware that, at the time I decided to change the question, no answers were given other than mine, right? – Alex Dec 31 '16 at 21:24
  • @Alex: Yes, I am aware of that. I've updated my answer. It was too short ;-) – user31729 Dec 31 '16 at 21:25
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There's no hard-and-fast rule here: it's a value judgement. If you feel that an update clarifies or enhances the question and doesn't make existing answers confusing (or plain wrong), then an edit is appropriate. If what you want to know is a clear stand-alone question which you can see is distinct from the original, ask a new one. If you are somewhere in the middle, probably asking a new question is the 'safer' option.

  • I think the problem was that, even though no answers had been made-- there was already plenty of attention devoted to the question in the comments. That was the main reason I didn't want to amend the question, which would make all the comments irrelevant and confuse future readers. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't "intentionally" inflating my rep by doing so. – Alex Jan 2 '17 at 15:45

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