It's a pretty standard rule on SE sites (and on this site, in particular) that you shouldn't delete a question and then repost essentially the same question as a new post; instead, you should just edit the original post. (cf. MSE questions 1, 2, 3, 4)
But events of today got me thinking. Suppose you ask a question, then decide the question wasn't ready to be posted, but you think you might be able to get it ready for posting with a few days or weeks of additional time. (Like if you're busy and can't get to it right away.) The course of action I would think to suggest to you in that case (if you didn't already know what to do) would be to delete the question, come back in a week or whenever, and edit it into shape. But non-moderators can only see recent deleted questions, if they even know where to look, and it seems kind of silly to expect a poster to always go hunting through their history of deleted questions to find one they've already asked on the topic. In a case like this, it doesn't seem so bad to just post a new question.
So, what I'm asking here is twofold:
- In this situation is deleting and reposting okay? (i.e. you post a question, delete it, then come back after a significant amount of time and want to ask the question again in better form)
- Assuming it is, what makes the boundary between an acceptable and unacceptable delete-and-repost? I suppose it depends on just why this sort of thing is not allowed in most cases in the first place. (I think I know why, but I won't say it yet so as to avoid influencing the responses.)
Of course one should always make an effort not to post a question unless you really do think it's ready, but everyone makes mistakes on this from time to time. I'm also assuming the first posting of the question got no answers and no upvotes so that there is little to no apparent harm in deleting it.