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, ...


21

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 ...


19

Even if it is by a small amount, corrections like these still improve the clarity of the post. However, I would encourage you to follow the advice of the help page, and look to see if there are any other problems you can correct while you are editing.


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 ...


17

One problem with answer-comments you seem to not have considered is that they can be wrong. Answers can be downvoted, but comments can only be upvoted, so there is no proper mechanism to show that an answer-comment is considered wrong and the one-sided upvote mechanism may make it look more authoritative than it is. We do leave comments like "Please ...


14

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. ...


11

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


11

Yes, please do. Such changes make the site easier to use for all readers.


11

Is making a large number of edits to old questions in a short time frame encouraged, NO. Editing old questions is indeed encouraged, in the understanding that if the thread was inactive and editing bumps it to the front page, the edit is expected to be comprehensive and fix all the stuff there is to fix, in both the question and the answers; and mass edits ...


11

It's really just personal preference in how one chooses to construct the answer. Sometimes people will put a "TL;DR" at the top, or the bottom, to summarize things which is kind of what you're looking for. Not everybody does though. The "issue" you describe, where you get a lot of extra information and details before the punchline, is a ...


10

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


9

Stack Exchange isn't a social network, and tools to contact specific users have been intentionally left limited. Write interesting questions and answers, and active users who share your interests will find their way to you. Note that the algorithm which restricts users with "negative contribution records" from asking or answering questions considers a ...


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

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


7

I don't think there is much you can do beyond what you have discussed and what is already in place. You just have to trust the users looking at the question to be responsible to look for duplicates first (this one is hard to trust at times), give good answers, vote appropriately, and go through the close vote queues to agree on duplicate votes already cast. ...


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

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

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 ...


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

Yes please. Many of these posts are very difficult to read for no good reason.


5

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 ...


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