A question asks about case A. All the answers explain the rule with respect to cases A and B which have the same rule (or at least no one has yet to find a distinction). Is it appropriate to generalize the question post facto to ask about A and B, or leave the question alone because it is technically perfectly fine as is?

This question could be improved by a specific example. –  Ze'ev Felsen Jul 22 '12 at 23:19
@Ze'evFelsen Actually I disagree. I think we should agree on a theory and debate its application in each circumstance. Any example I give will bias answers in a certain way. Besides, maybe no example exists yet? –  Double AA Jul 22 '12 at 23:22
Downvoter, what are you disagreeing with? That we should discuss this? I didn't take a stand in the question. –  Double AA Jul 22 '12 at 23:22
The official SE answer to this is yes. I'll see if I can find the blog post. –  HodofHod Jul 22 '12 at 23:24
@HodofHod That would be quite helpful of you. (And see my above comment about 'yes' being ambiguous here.) –  Double AA Jul 22 '12 at 23:25
@HodofHod Do you know where the blog is? Lo.Yodeya has disappeared –  b a Jul 22 '12 at 23:52
@ba I referred to the SE blog, see my answer below. As to the blog formerly at lo.yodeya, I don't know. –  HodofHod Jul 22 '12 at 23:53
an example: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/17977/… –  Menachem Jul 23 '12 at 21:56
@Menachem I was just thinking that. Go ahead! –  Double AA Jul 23 '12 at 23:18
@DoubleAA: I just voted the older one as a dupe of the newer one. –  Menachem Jul 23 '12 at 23:25
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

From the StackExchange Blog:

The editing feature is there so that old question/answer pairs can get better and better. For every person who asks a question and gets an answer on Stack Overflow, hundreds or thousands of people will come read that conversation later. Even if the original asker got a decent answer and moved on, the question lives on and may continue to be useful for decades.


It is OK to edit a question to make it more general. With the power of editing comes the power to take someone’s selfish, very specific question, and edit it a little bit until they’re asking the more general question that hundreds of people encounter. For example, if someone asks, “I set up a web server at home but I can’t access it from work,” it’s OK to rewrite the question as, “What things should I check when a web server running at home is not visible on the Internet?” In fact, sometimes selfish, stupid questions of the “do my homework” variety can be easily edited into a form where the answer will provide an extremely valuable resource for the internet at large.

This doesn't seem to address when the answers were already given to the question (which would make the answers less applicable) –  b a Jul 22 '12 at 23:54
@ba Made it clearer. Please read the whole blog post. –  HodofHod Jul 22 '12 at 23:58
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