As we were once again told that CR is heading into the right direction and we should work on retaining more of the incoming new users I wanted to start some more directed discussion on.

200_success's initial question Hi! What brings you here today? already goes into this direction but it is only one aspect.

Let us gather some more ideas!


It might be a good idea to encourage askers to contribute their edited code as an answer to their question after a review.

This offers several opportunities:

  • they return to the site to post the outcome (User Retention ftw)
  • they add another answer (better ratio + more votes (+ twice the rep for an answer upvote compared to a question upvote!))
  • the reworked code is seen in full length (and beauty)
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd potentially hate to see these answers marked as the accepted answer. That aside though, it may be neat if this is encouraged, if the code posted like this still has issues someone notices, encourage them to post another question with the updated code as an answer--or would this be considered duplicate? \$\endgroup\$ – nhgrif Apr 11 '14 at 21:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nhgrif that was discussed before; it's actually better to post the improved version as a "follow-up" question (linking to the original code) - more answers, more votes, more rep, more happiness; to be considered a duplicate, the improvements over the original code would have to be very minor, enough to generate some very similar answers addressing the very same issues. \$\endgroup\$ – Mathieu Guindon Apr 12 '14 at 1:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ e.g. see this: meta.codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/1065/… \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Apr 12 '14 at 2:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ As far as self-answers go, I prefer reviewed material as the focus. For instance, if the OP eventually notices something that no one else has, then that can be an answer. It's still considered a review, and it shows that the OP has been looking through the code while waiting for other reviews. See this self-answer of mine as an example. \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Apr 12 '14 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jamal: I find selfanswers that give improvements rather borderline because then the OP could have applied them in the first place before posting the code (although it might be, that other answers stimulated the ideas). \$\endgroup\$ – Nobody moving away from SE Apr 12 '14 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nobody I don't have a problem with self-answers--even if the OP knew the answer before posting the code. Consider: codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/41761/… This is a problem I regularly see with iOS code. Now instead of typing out this explanation in every other review I do, I can provide a link to this question/answer, and focus on other issues the OP might have. \$\endgroup\$ – nhgrif Apr 12 '14 at 11:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nhgrif: Yes but there is a difference in intention (as far as I can tell): You wanted to generate such a poster answer for later reuse, while a "genuine" asker wants his/her code reviewed by others because he/she has already done his/her part on improving it to the point where they ran out of ideas. I don't say it should be forbidden to answer your own review question but you should at least have brought it to a state where you yourself could not improve it further. \$\endgroup\$ – Nobody moving away from SE Apr 12 '14 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nobody: What if the OP learns something new off-site after posting the code? My aforementioned self-answer is an example of this. No one had mentioned such an improvement, but after learning about it from someone else off-site, I posted that improvement. I'm not just going to sit around for someone else to mention it. \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Apr 13 '14 at 3:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jamal: I repeat: I never said it should be forbidden to answer yourself. I just meant that it is a waste of time if we do reviewing that the OP was capable of his/her own. Anyway, this discussion has not much to do with the answer it is written under so I think we should discuss is in another question/in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Nobody moving away from SE Apr 13 '14 at 13:47

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