8

So, I started checking unanswered questions for my tags and found this one. It might look like a normal question until you check the revision history.

The title was originally:

Where exactly is the Volvo truck dealer in Farmington NM?

Then it was changed to:

Where exactly is the Volvo truck dealer in San Francisco?

And then to finally become:

I discovered merely 1 branch of Kenworth, Peterbilt, Volvo. Ought I discover other branches?

Because the different revisions changed the meaning of the question completely, I feel that the user might make another edit on the future that can make my answer useless (probably flagged and downvoted).

  • What should be done with this existing question?
  • What should be done with future questions that I find with the same problem?
13

In general, completely changing the meaning of a question is frowned upon throughout the Stack Exchange network. This is especially true if the edit invalidates one or more existing answers.

For your situation in particular:

  • The question has not been edited since May.
  • All of the edits were on the same day it was asked (May 18).
  • Your answer came over a month later.

Given these facts, I strongly hope that the asker does not change the question into a different question again. If they do, those changes should be rolled back and the asker instructed to ask a new question. If you get into an edit war over this, please flag for moderator attention and explain the situation in as much detail as possible in your flag. The site moderators will (I imagine) roll it back to the state it was in when you wrote your answer, and if necessary, apply an editing lock.

Ideally, people would not do this sort of thing at all, but given that the question is now over a month old, nobody tried to answer one of the older versions of it, and the older versions were not "live" for very long, I am inclined to let this one go. We may want to advise the asker not to do this sort of thing again, though.

  • Perhaps the user had a question time limit. In which case, they should treat Stack Exchange like a hint button with a timeout. (Maybe there should be a message for users who've hit the question restriction, when they click on the edit form.) – wizzwizz4 Jul 18 at 20:47
  • @wizzwizz4: Well, you can treat SE "like a hint button with a timeout," but a better strategy is to ask better questions in the first place. – Kevin Jul 18 at 21:12

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