Someone (who will not be named to protect the guilty) I had been in contact with on github sent me a slightly concerning message (outside of SE I may have a code stalker); they were using some of my code that I had put up for code review rather than using the hardened and improved version provided by the answerer.

It would be mostly defeating the point of CR for me to hide/modify the code that was reviewed. I am however considering adding a one line preface (or comment) saying something like:

Please use the improved code by xxxxx below (cc-by-sa 3.0 license) or the maintained latest link (MIT license) rather than the original here.

Other meta questions seem to strongly suggest it is fine to link to an external codebase but that was in the context about providing more information about a question. I have been told that editing your own question on SE after more than a couple hours have passed can attract downvotes to discourage people from doing that, but I'm not sure what to make of that information.

Is my suggested preface suitable and appropriate or would it be best if I do nothing?

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ editing your own question on SE after more than a couple hours have passed can attract downvotes - not really; it's editing your code to incorporate feedback from answers that's frowned upon. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2017 at 14:22
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly every edit that improve the state of a question is welcomed, this bring up the quality of Q&A. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marc-Andre
    Mar 9, 2017 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps CR is different from SO and SU which is where the downvoting behaviour was observed (on a colleagues reputation tab when we ere discussing it) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 12, 2017 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RidiculousRichard: Editing that improves the quality of the question, not the meaning, should be welcomed on all SE sites. Editing is an important part of SE; there are review queues for just editing (where the "reviewers" are the editors). The problem is when the edits degrade the quality or change the meaning of the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – zondo
    Mar 19, 2017 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


The usual solution to this is to include a link to the repository you're working in (example), with a small text that the code behind that link is the up-to-date version.

A small preface like that is no problem at all.

This is a different situation than people linking to their GitHub for the full code if they've only provided an extract for review (which also happens, and is acceptable as long as the important parts of the code are embedded in the question itself). In that case, linking to a snapshot of the repository is better (example).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks; I'll do that in the future \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2017 at 1:37

That's fine. However, I'd prefer that you put the link as a comment to your question, since it's not really part of the question itself. Ideally, the question should contain a snapshot of your codebase at the time that you submitted it for review.

Also, writing it as a comment would avoid unnecessarily bumping your question back to the front page.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point; I'll do that this time \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2017 at 1:37

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