If you start out with a question that is related to a problem you're having, would it be better to work with that question and refine it as new information is being gained or should a new question be asked?

In particular I noticed this with the questions from a particular user over the last few days.

In my personal opinion all of the following questions are duplicates and instead of starting a new question (which is almost) the same every few days it would've been better to work by refining one and adding new information to the question. On the other hand there is also a bit of a progression visible that changes something ever so slightly but wouldn't it be a good idea in that case to actually mark them as answered?

So I guess my real question is twofold. Would you consider the above questions duplicates and do you think that it's preferable to actively work with a question instead of asking a new question if yo u gain new information?

Going with Edit the question or ask a new one? it would seem that asking a new question would be a good idea - assuming it's not a duplicate.

  • 1
    Some of those might be candidates for duplicates. There are at least several different basic questions, though, so I don't think all of them are essentially a single question.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 9:48
  • 1
    Once an answer is submitted to a question, it should only be improved, if those improvements are adding additional questions then those changes should be reverted. If you are asking evolutionary questions on a single topic that indicates you have not performed enough research in my opinion.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 17:27
  • Duplicate! (And yes, the mods have deleted the original.)
    – 7vujy0f0hy
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 22:28
  • 2
    Obligatory related links: Exit strategies for ‘‘chameleon questions’’ and OP edited question substantially after answer(s) were posted.  Do not change a question in such a way that it invalidates existing answers. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 2:31
  • Thanks @Scott those were quite interesting to read. It's a good point to not change a question in a way that would invalidate answers. I feel like the above example would actually be two questions in that case. On the other hand I probably should take a step back from them and just handle it differently if I encounter something similar.
    – Seth
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


Sometimes it is necessary to mention a similar problem, with a different solution, to clearly illustrate the need for a different answer. Specially if the previous or quoted question has a valid answer; since a refinement (really a change) would remove basis for current valid answers.

However a request for clearer question should be issued by a moderator. I've had clarification requests been made to my questions and (being English a second language) it helped me obtain better answers.

The cited questions show a conversation inside the mind of the user while attempting to solve am issue (which is really interesting), but a concise question is required to correctly define an answer and provide historical benefit for future users. Then the cited questions require both refinement and a few perhaps be marked as duplicates.

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