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I wonder what is your opinion about on/off-topicness of conclusions added to the original question like it has be done here at the bottom?

Should such edits be rejected and a self-answer posted instead?


Personally, I find that this particular question should be rolled back. Especially that the conclusion virtually says I was wrong, you are right and basically rephrases the accepted answer. It's nothing more than a comment.

Generally, in future, a self-answer would be more appropriate if it should stay here longer. A question should remain a question and not be extended with comments based on answers.... which is how this usually works.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Another question could arise from the linked post : Is the OP really looking for a review or is posing a challenge to the community?? \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 13 at 12:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IEatBagels I don't see how "Can you break thread safety?" is different from "Is this code thread safe?" \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Aug 20 at 10:50
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We have an existing FAQ that discourages adding updated code.

You also should not append your revised code to the question. Posting improved code is an answering activity, not a questioning activity. An example of such a problematic edit is Revision 2 of Optimize vector rotation. While the addendum to the question does not necessarily invalidate existing answers, it muddles the question. What are late-coming reviewers supposed to do? Reviewing the original code would be silly, but reviewing the revised code could lead to version skew among the answers.

Whilst the literal words say "code", I think the same sentiment can be used to questions being hijacked in other forms.


For the specific question:

  1. Posting a self answer would violate our answering guidelines as it doesn't critique the code in the question.
  2. The edit reads as a comment, and should probably be located under the answer that it's addressing.
  3. If the questions raised in the edit are anything more than rhetorical then it would make sense to post a new question to include the added nuance.

    • Hijacking a post makes it confusing what answer addresses what question in the question. And so would make more sense to ask those questions as stand alone posts, or as discussions on sites better equipped for discussion.
    • Edits like that are self-defeating, as the question has already been classed as answered by Stack Exchange mechanisms, as the site is designed for static questions - not questions that change on a poster's whims.

      And so the new questions are easily overlooked by the site and by its users. (Do we really need a 5th answer?)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding 2: That's not what comments are for. Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. You should not expect them to be around forever. It looks like one of those cases where it's an ill fit for the question, answer and comment sections. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Aug 13 at 7:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast I don't see how it violates comment rules. "use comments to ask for more information" which is what it would be doing. If the additional information is added then the comment served it's purpose and should be deleted - making it temporary. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Aug 13 at 7:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ The edit in question here is not a request for more information. It reads more like a summary of the already provided answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Aug 13 at 8:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast Is there a policy or meta post about how to post a summary of already provided answers? Should it be included in the question, a self answer or a follow-up question with a section summarizing the previous question and answers? \$\endgroup\$ – dfhwze Aug 13 at 12:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dfhwze My gut tells me a community answer would be an appropriate solution, but I don't think we have anything on meta about it, no. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Aug 13 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dfhwze Note that any one of those may be correct, depending on the circumstances. Does the poster want feedback? New question. Does the poster want to critique the original code? Self-answer. Does the poster want to critique an answer or request more information? Comment. A "summary of already provided answers" may do any one of those activities, so it may have any of the solutions. There isn't a single answer. In this particular case, I don't think that edit reached any of these. The poster probably wanted to do a new question or self-answer but didn't do the work. \$\endgroup\$ – mdfst13 Aug 13 at 20:24
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I think that Matt said it best here when he said "readers seeing your post for the first time, don't need to see which part was in the original post, and which parts were added." Granted he was talking about edits to the question that were done for other reasons, But the point is made clear that Stack Exchange sites are not forums and I would take it a step further and say that you shouldn't respond to answers by editing your question, we have comments for a reason.

If you have other, on-topic, questions that you would like answered additionally, create a new post with updated code so that they can be singled out and reviewed appropriately.

But that isn't the point of this conclusion statement, it appears after reading it several times that it is an attempt at steering future reviewers away from reviewing these specific aspects of the code which will only hinder the reviews that the OP will receive.

Again, don't respond to answers by editing your question, that isn't how the site is supposed to work

Finally, does it take the question to the limit of making it off-topic, not really. I would just call it bad practice.

In Conclusion: After Finally reading the Bold print of the entire post, I realize that this may be the way that the poster asks for a review of certain aspects of their code, the tone or style of their writing. The finality of the conclusion now feels like an accolade to the answer poster while also trying to engage them in further discussion about the specific aspects that have been called into question, which should be taken to Chat

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "further discussion about the specific aspects that have been called into question, which should be taken to Chat" or a follow-up question now I think of it, should OP have made significant changes in the mean time. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Aug 14 at 5:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ discussion about the aspects that have already been reviewed should be taken to chat, but reviews on new/updated code should be a follow up question, up to the OP if they make the changes already suggested, but most users will call it out if the OP doesn't update the code per the reviews already received. \$\endgroup\$ – Malachi Aug 14 at 14:40

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