If I have an answer to a question that would help some people with the same question, but not the OP, should I post it?

Case in point: https://superuser.com/a/748752/231678

This doesn't help the OP, but it would potentially help many people who find the question via search engines.

What would be the correct thing to do? Post another identical question and remove the requirement for a shell script, then self-answer?

  • Just posting an answer that doesn't fit at all is likely to be viewed negatively. Related discussion on broadening question scope.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 12:32
  • 5
    You could ask a fresh question and self answer, yes, referencing back to the original question (and making it clear its not a dupe that way)
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 14:28
  • In this specific case, @JourneymanGeek's is the best option. Since the tags are specific to the case of Linux, which Excel will not work. Commented May 7, 2014 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


To me, no. I would guess a huge amount of questions could potentially have many answers, hence why so many questions are on the same topic/issue.

IMO if it doesn't answer the question (however useful it may be), then don't answer it.

If the questions which you can fix is actually an issue, then I'm sure some one (in time) will eventually ask it, at that point, answer it. Otherwise, your fixing something which doesn't need fixing and will only clutter the page.

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