While I try to be impartial here, one of the answers to the "duplicate" is mine. So keep this in mind.
This issue is not straightforward.
The older topic
- requires matching based on name and file size
- of all files in a given set (i.e. pairwise comparison)
The newer topic
- requires matching of file contents only
- requires the ability to set a reference file (at least as filter)
- does not require pairwise comparisons of all files, and only needs comparisons to a reference file
So, clearly, it was not wrong of @ldigas to ask the question. We cannot reasonably require our users to evaluate answers to totally different questions.
Regarding on how to act on it, it just isn't easy.
There are a few simple possibilities:
- Leave both questions as they are. They are different, after all.
- Close as duplicate. Anyone finding this newer question will be lead to the other question and hopefully find that the answer works.
The problem with both approaches is, that as a general policy, they just don't work. And the reason for this is that both of you are somewhat right. Yes, it's a different question, and yes the answers still apply on the newer question as well.
The only obvious requirement to any solution is that these questions be linked, something that already happened with voting to close as duplicate. All questions on the site show a side bar with similar and linked questions. If one question is linked to from another's thread, even if just in a comment, it will show up on both question pages.
If you feel strongly about almost duplicate topics in general, you can do as Gareth did and get the community to participate in reviewing questions and acting on them (closing, in this case). Of course, merging questions in any sort of useful manner is a lot more work!
In any case, you can bring a perceived problem to attention on Meta (I guess you know that by now). For issues such as this one, you could do the following:
- Make absolutely sure you understand both questions and understand their answers — not just the ones already posted, but also the ones likely to be posted!
- Wait a while (2+ days, as we're not in a hurry). People can surprise you with their answers, or their willingness to close.
- Think about that a useful merger would look like. The exact wording, if at all possible. What should the question be stating? Would both questions be treated fairly? Would answers to both questions still apply?
- Ask for opinion. While not nearly as frequented as the parent site, we have a few users participating on Meta, enough for you to see what others think of your suggestion.
- Act as would make sense based on the feedback you get on Meta.
Now, this is the general case. Back to the question.
The major issue here is that perfectly acceptable answers to one question don't work for the other. Only rather configurable (read: download and run a program) approaches will be good answers. But users might prefer the shell one-liner (or Excel solution, or VBS script, or obscure virtual file system entries, or whatever else is simple and already on their system) to the all powerful 50$ shareware, or even to the just as capable freeware, and for good reason (IT department policies come to mind).
In this case, I don't think it's duplicate enough to warrant a simple close. You might be able to create a merged topics, but it will quite a bit of work, as outlined above.