I recently posted a question which I think is decent enough, but I have since decided that the code in question is flawed/ has some issues. It is not that the code is buggy or incorrect which would be close reasons, nor that it doesn't do what I say it should. It is more that I can think of better ways to tackle the problem. So what should I do?

  1. Close the question until I can post a better option, perhaps with a comment outlining my above concerns.
  2. Self-answer with my criticisms of the approach
    • I'm not sure whether answers like that are allowed on CR, and it wouldn't be supplying the kind of feedback I specified in the question
    • However it would leave scope for the comment/voting system/other answers to say whether they agree with my review
  3. Edit the question to say something along the lines of "I don't think the approach is perfect, but I'd still like feedback on these other (more generic) aspects of the code"
  4. A variant or something else entirely
  • 1
    Just delete it before it has answers – Raystafarian Sep 7 at 3:04
up vote 12 down vote accepted
  1. Just because you can't think of a better option doesn't mean someone else can't. It doesn't make sense to me why you'd close a question because you can't answer it.
  1. If you don't think the approach is good you can always say so in the question, and hope you get a design/approach review. You may be surprised and find what you're doing is a good thing to do anyway. Or someone will come along and show you something better.

The point of Code Review is to improve code. Just because you can't doesn't mean someone else can't. And if you think the code is bad, it has more of a reason to be here!

I'd suggest leaving your question, worst case you'll have added a zombie to our site, best case you'd get a Code Review and you can improve the code you have. I don't really see a down-side.


If you know your approach has problems, and can write a code review to your question outlying what is wrong and potentially how to improve it, then that is on-topic. We even have a badge for it!

  • Why does the index go from 1. to 3.? – hjpotter92 Sep 13 at 11:32
  • 3
    @hjpotter92 Because I didn't respond to the OPs second point in their question. – Peilonrayz Sep 13 at 11:35

When there's no answers to your question it is easy to delete the question, improve it, and then undelete it again (you can edit deleted questions). Just so long as the code is pretty much the same concept, there's no issue with carrying the upvotes from your question through the delete/undelete cycle. (it's better than deleting the current question and starting a new one....)

As mentioned, you could also a self-answer.... but if you can answer it yourself, you may as well edit your question. I personally think self-answers are only really meaningful when you pick items that other reviews have missed... i.e. your answer extends other answers... it does not make sense on its own.

In essense, there's no right answer, but, it would be wrong to post a new question that is an improvement on the code in the current question, while there are no answers on the current question.

  • 5
    I think it totally makes sense to self-answer a question at any time. – Simon Forsberg Sep 5 at 18:54

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