Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
27

Stack Exchange sites are not forums, and many of the rules which are conventional among forums don't apply here. The rule against answering old questions is one of them. So yes, you can and should answer old questions when you feel you have something to contribute, just as you would do with new questions. (Even if a question already has an accepted answer, ...


23

Absolutely My take on the Code of Conduct (AKA the Be Nice policy) is that it is not just a matter of what the two people directly involved in the conversation think about the language used. It also has the purpose of making our site look welcoming and consistent to readers. If someone isn't familiar with this site, and they read a question and see people ...


17

There is nothing unethical about a minor edit, if it improves the post. The practice of bumping posts by edits is only problematic if the edits don't actually improve the post (e.g. only add superfluous whitespace, replace words by synonyms or phrases by equivalent phrases...). Users are invited to flag posts (with a custom moderator flag) when they think a ...


12

There are multiple reasons why it's better to link to abstract pages rather than directly to the PDF versions: Mobile users and users with slow internet connection prefer an abstract page over a PDF file. (Also, downloading PDFs can redirect to other applications instead of staying in-browser; this should be an explicit choice on the part of the reader.) ...


11

I believe one reason for using these marked revisions is when the question itself is edited by the OP in a significant way, which necessitates an important change in the answer. The answer may have been a good answer to the original question, and the answerer is reluctant to suppress it altogether : he'll rather add an appendix answering the new question. ...


10

I saw that comment. Even if it didn't bother you, we don't want stuff like that hanging around. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory


9

Yes, you should avoid flooding the front page. I recommend doing them in small batches of say 2 or 3 posts at a time.


8

I would personally suggest using the most upvoted answer, when compared to a negatively scored accepted answer. That is because the "Accepted Answer" only reflects what the person asking the question thought was the best answer. On the other hand, votes provide you with information about how good the community thinks any given answer is. That's not to say ...


8

We already do this: an answer which is referenced is, in general, more likely to receive more upvotes than one which is not. Voting is the incentive to reference sources as needed. Not to mention, an answer which has relevant links just feels like a better answer, even from the perspective of the one writing it. However, we're not going to require ...


8

SE, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any mechanism (that I know of) for getting up on a soapbox and alerting people that a certain question is broken and needs fixing. Sure it does! You're using it right now. :) Options are: provide an alternative correct(er) answer gently point out the problems with the incorrect answer in comments, perhaps also ...


8

You're asking for a list of theories, which is a question without the potential of having a "correct" answer and is usually seen as too broad around here. See e.g. Good list, bad list and its linked questions for prior meta discussion of questions asking for lists


7

I think I should point out that one of the canned reasons for declining a flag is flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer You should vote wrong answers down. If this kind of nonsense is buried with net scores far into the negative range it simply doesn't matter if this guy is at all serious because no ...


7

If someone is advertising a non-mainstream theory with their posts, flag it with a custom message. While it is not the job of moderators to sift correct from wrong, we do indeed delete material that advertises pet theories as per our faq. About the "line of thought" answer: It doesn't look like trolling to me, but it seems deletable (or converted to a ...


7

The main advantage of downvoting that closing does not have is that it quickly removes questions from the front page, once the post has a score of -3. If you think a question is probably unsalvageable, by all means downvote it. If you are voting to close an otherwise good question as a duplicate, or if you think that with some care the question could be ...


6

I also assume that member decided to go on an edit spree of old high scoring posts to earn a few points. When I noticed the front page getting flooded, I sent them this comment, which I also posted in The h Bar. @xray0 Your edits are helpful, but please do them in small batches so you don't flood the front page with old questions. See Should I not edit my ...


6

Note that one of the bounty reasons is Authoritative reference needed Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources. I've always interpreted such bounties as evidence that the bounty-setter believes the existing answers, even if upvoted, are fatally flawed. Offering such a bounty has the dual effect of (a) implying that the ...


6

David's answer is mostly OK, but his proposal includes several parts which are not OK. Specifically: When editing someone else's post: If they use plain d and there is no indication the choice to make it italic was intentional, you can change differential d to \mathrm{d}. No, no, no. If the post uses plain d and there is no indication ...


6

If the new question you would ask is similar enough to the old question that the same answer (verbatim) would apply to it, it would probably be a duplicate. So I would say no, don't make a new question for the express purpose of reposting your answer. The information in your answer already exists on the site, there's no reason to invent an excuse to put up ...


6

I'm a chronic self-editor. Sometimes I'll make three or four edits to a post in a space of a week or two. The sole reason is to improve the post. I don't always get it as good as it could be first time; what I write might set me thinking, and improvements dawn on me over time. A year or two ago I'd made five or six small amendments to an answer and someone ...


5

This is not to argue in favour of the practice, but I think one reason people do it is to make clear what the new part is. For example, you post a long answer, but the OP raises a point they didn't understand that needs to be addressed. You could just edit it seamlessly into the answer, but then it would be hard for the OP to find the part that refers to ...


5

It is my vote, and I will vote as I please. If I want to downvote your question/answer, I will. If I want to upvote your question/answer, I will. If I want to do nothing to your question/answer, I will. Same thing for everyone else. Copying from my answer to this question, No matter how much you disagree with it, you cannot change our ways about how ...


5

Raise a custom moderator flag on one of the relevant questions, explain in as much detail as you can the behaviour you've observed, and then go away and leave those threads alone. If you want more of a back-and-forth conversation with a moderator to explain the situation and ask for guidance, then ping a moderador on chat after you've raised your flag, and ...


5

The “single person” who closed your question is a moderator who is intentionally empowered to close questions unilaterally. The Edit link is still there after the question is closed, but the edit history shows that you have not made use of it. May I ask why not? If you will excuse my saying so, it seems that you prefer to complain that the moderator is ...


5

Should we flag all comments that are no longer needed? Yes. Comments are intended to ask for clarification and provide feedback to questions and answers; they are not intended to help anyone keep track of anything. Once those clarifications and feedback have been incorporated into the post, the comments should be deleted. SE is a Q&A site, not a ...


4

Every post on our site requires a certain level expertise to evaluate. Sometimes that expertise is having completed primary school, sometimes it is having a dim recollection of high school physics, sometimes it is having studied a particular subfield of physics in depth. But you cannot understand any post about science if you do not share a basic framework ...


4

You can roll-back edits that you don't approve of (click on the date/time of the edit where it is displayed at the bottom of the post to view the edit history where these control are displayed). There is no user-accessible means of preventing edits (and locks are only used by the moderators for special or extreme cases).


4

If you really want to go on edit spree, you could reduce disruption by editing recent posts alongside with your own. If you commit yourself to improve 2-3 recent posts before you touch another post of your own, the disruption will be much less harmful. It would be even better if you take longer breaks from editing, either by doing something outside the site,...


4

I haven’t seen the comment, but...I don’t view this as a free speech issue, while generally being fairly close to a free-speech absolutist myself. The reason is that comments are ephemeral by design. And one that is rude is going to be addressed to a particular person, which makes it obsolete and useless as soon as it has been read. If I call you a great ...


4

If the duplication is good enough that the new answer is also an answer to the prior question you can flag the answer for moderator attention noting that it could be moved. That doesn't work every time, however, because even though the questions touch exactly the same physics the answers may not be responsive to both ways of wording the same question.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible