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This is kind of a corner case but I love to know what people think when it comes to corner cases:

Once upon a time, I posted a question that I still like and it included some elements of an answer since I was interested in other elements than the ones I already had (a small optimization) but I didn't think these elements were by themselves worthy of a self-answer. Moreover, having had a self-answer right from the start may have discouraged other people from answering.

However, time went by and the only answer didn't satisfy me. Meanwhile, I had found some other elements of answer and they ended in a self-answer anyway.

Now, when I read that Q&A again, I find that having elements of an answer in the question and others in the self-answer makes the overall thing hard to follow, and it may impel people to base themselves on the old elements of answer from the question to post a review. As things are now, I think that everything would be clearer if I moved the old elements of answer from the question to the self-answer since I already have one anyway. It would help to organize things in a more readable manner, which would be great since the Q&A already appears in the top results in search engines when looking for "gray code addition" and might gather some more interest in the future.

I guess that my question is a bit confusing and covers an obscure corner case, but what do you think about all of this?

EDIT: in the end, I decided to make a move and restructured the question and self-answer so that the separation is cleaner while not invalidating the other answer.

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I guess as long as the moving of the old elements of answer from the question to the self-answer won't invalidate the already given answer(s) it is ok.

If the old elements are code and already reviewed by an answer it is against the site policy.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I kind of forgot that "does it invalidate the answers?" was the best rule to follow when editing an old question. Thanks :) \$\endgroup\$ – Morwenn Feb 26 '15 at 12:47
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I think you should at the very least provide a complete set of code. Scrolling between various snippets is hard and can lead to answers pointing at new AND old code unintentionally.

Aside from that, be aware that if you move the new code, then it can't be reviewed anymore. And if you move the old code, then it becomes pretty unreferencable for the other reviewers...

So you shouldn't move either of them, if you can.

You can delete the old code, though, if nobody is referring to it extensively. I don't think leaving old code in there will help because you've already made the change. If you're not sure about the change, you have a instead.

It's nice that you show the work you have already done, but I don't think it will help all that much in reviewing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The code I want to moved from the question to the answer is a piece of code which was there from the start, but wasn't reviewed by anybody. My self-answer relies on it but I would move it to the top of my self-answer anyway, so it would remain consistent. I wouldn't change the heart of the question nor would it invalidate any answer. The fact that it cannot be reviewed anymore is not a problem in my case. \$\endgroup\$ – Morwenn Feb 26 '15 at 12:43

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