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My most recent question hasn't received any answers in the 24 hours it's been up, and I've made a couple (IMO small but not negligible) changes since asking it that I would like feedback on.

Can I just change the code in the question?

Even though it doesn't have any answers yet, I'm considering that someone may have started working on an answer during this time, and changing the code could invalidate the effort they've spent so far.

What are the general guidelines and etiquette about this?

I'm also wondering how these things might change what's considered okay: time since asking, amount/complexity of the code, extent of the change, attention received.

I wouldn't be surprised if this has been asked before on Meta, apologies if it has. I could only find a well-referenced question about editing after answers have been posted: For an iterative review, is it okay to edit my own question to include revised code?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, but not identical to: Changed question code - what to do? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general, you don't know what you don't know. It's possible someone is writing an answer, it's possible they've looked at it and haven't started writing yet but are planning too. It's also completely possible nobody has your question on their radar yet. If you know your question is going to be edited, leaving a comment on your own question would be the proper thing to do. That would give people at least some kind of notice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another possibility is writing a review yourself, with the new code (note: self answers still have to be proper reviews). Then wait a bit and post a new question, leaving the old one intact. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another note: we have 193 hangman questions. 91 in Python. If you eventually go for the new-question route, it might be worth looking at at least the 5 topscoring, answered Python hangman ones. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mast that's interesting, I'd definitely not thought of self-answering before asking for a review of the self-answer (essentially). Unfortunately in this case it's just alternative implementation, not really a review-type of "improvement". I think what I might do in this case is actually just ask a new question about the new version of a couple functions to get my new idea reviewed — they'd be standalone — leaving the original question untouched. I'd still find it interesting to see what more people think about the situation this meta question describes. \$\endgroup\$
    – minseong
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you still be interested in a review of the old code after posting the new one if it's an alternative implementation? If not, leaving the old one up has very limited value. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ How is your question different to; Is it allowed to edit code if there is no answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Nov 17, 2022 at 10:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ As well as adding a comment to say you intend to edit (and removing it afterwards!), you might be able to temporarily close the question (depending on your privilege level and how many votes it has). Re-open when you've completed the changes. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 24, 2022 at 12:54

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