I posted some code the other week, and got a very good answer. Some of the answer was totally new to me, some of it I found difficult at first sight.

So, I went googling to try and understand. In the process, I made a few simple examples to help visualize what was going on. I learned a lot and I don't consider myself a total Python n00b.

Is it OK to share what I found, in an answer to my own question? It's not really an answer, but a lengthy comment.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a help page that explains What should I do when someone answers my question? \$\endgroup\$ – t3chb0t Feb 6 '17 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd say: It depends on what your answer/comment contains. Is it more of a reply to the previous answer? When looking at it as an answer, would it be a good answer on its own? \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Feb 6 '17 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonForsberg No, it wouldn't be a good answer on its own. It would help other people understand the answer better. \$\endgroup\$ – RolfBly Feb 6 '17 at 15:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RolfBly Then it could possibly be an edit to the existing answer, or several comments to the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Feb 6 '17 at 15:41

I think I know the answer you are on about, and so I'll state first I'd love to see what you've done, after receiving the review, so that I can improve my answers.

If you can write the comment as an answer

Adding an explanation to an existing post is fine, I've done this before and got more upvotes than the original answer! And another user based the opening of their answer on that answer too. this is the post in question.

It's also ok to post two answers that are very alike. It allows users to have a second perspective on the content. And I know I've never been downvoted when this has happened. (I don't have the time to find an example)

Finally, all an answer needs to contain is one piece of advice that a can help a future person. And adding additional information is more than likely going to do this.

If you cannot write the comment as an answer

If you cannot make an answer from what you learnt on your own, then posting a lot of comments on the answer is the best way to go. After a few comments SE gives users the option to talk in a chatroom and talk about the answer. This can give you an opportunity to write down what you want. And I can't think of a user that would dislike this, we're already helping you for fake internet points, real gratitude is way better.

If you fall into neither of the above

If you don't want to comment or answer than you should follow our help center as best you can.

  • \$\begingroup\$ tadaa \$\endgroup\$ – RolfBly Feb 9 '17 at 20:23

The main consideration for whether you should post a self-answer is: do you have any new insight to add? If you do have new ideas, comparative benchmark results, or a better explanation, then by all means, please post an answer. (We still hope that you select the most helpful answer as the accepted answer, even if your self-answer contains the code that you ultimately deploy.)

If you don't have any new insight to add, you would be better off not posting an answer, and taking one of the other options instead.


I'm new to CR, so this is better called an idea or thoughts, than Answer. Consider the following:

  1. The goal of all SE sites is to create a set of quality Q&A for reference
  2. The good answer you received had you searching to understand parts of it better
  3. You made examples to help you visualize it better
  4. All questions and answers on SE is CreativeCommons, and editable by anyone
  5. Editing the answers of others to "polish" them into gems is encouraged.

I'd recommend editing that 'good' answer, adding in your insights, and visualizing examples, to make it a 'great' answer. This will benefit others who find that answer in the future, improves the quality of CR in general, and still gives the credit, and up vote rep, to the original answerer. A win for you, for CR, for SE, and for future users.

Although this is likely to be too late for the original situation, it might provide thoughts to others later.


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