As a follow-up to Is it all right to cleanup "comment-answered questions"?

How should we approach these types of questions (both as they happen, and with prior ones)?

Self-answered (in the question)

Abandoned (See related meta stackoverflow post)

Just Kinda Dusty (OP is still around, but hasn't clarified)

Purposefully Unanswered(?) - Generally uninteresting, low-quality homework problems with little effort shown. It doesn't fit into any of the close categories, but they are answerable.

  • $\begingroup$ I see you are digging up some closable stuff (I assume it's you?). Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 8:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Raphael, yep! Despite your comment on percentage of answered questions, it seems like we could have a 92% answered rate if we (a) voted existing answers up (but I understand why some aren't voted up; I don't understand enough about those fields to make a judgement on their correctness) and (b) closed those that deserved it. $\endgroup$
    – Merbs
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 10:04
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    $\begingroup$ as well as (c) clean up comment-answered questions, (d) ask if the OP came across an answer yet(?) and (e) answer questions! $\endgroup$
    – Merbs
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ All true enough. What we are missing, I guess, is people with both fervor and time to do it! $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


The best case is always to have an answered question. Other considerations such as who “owns” the post or the idea are secondary. Do provide attribution if you're writing up someone else's idea, but posting an answer as an answer is a worthwhile contribution in itself.

Occasionally a self-answered question is really uninteresting (e.g. oops, I'd misread the problem statement), then the question should be closed (not a real question or too localized).

If a question is unclear, it should we closed as such. We might wait a bit for the asker to clarify, but it's always ok to close a question that's incomprehensible: if the asker comes back to clarify, we'll reopen.

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    $\begingroup$ Let me add that in case of doubt, take action. Whether you edit, answer, close-vote or flag, everything is better than letting the question rot. Every action normal users can perform is undoable, so if one out of twenty edits steps on someone's toes, no harm done. In case of close-voting and flagging, other active users (either via review or flag queue) will take a look, too (which counts both as a security measure and a call for opinion). $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 0:58

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