7

For example, I was about to ask a question about Guacamelee along the lines of, "What does the secret item mean when it says 'You feel lighter'" Which is practically a duplicate of: Where'd my chicken find the space jump? However, I wouldn't be able to know that unless I already knew that the secret item gave me infinite jumps.

Conversely, you wouldn't know that that question could be answered by the potential question posed at the beginning of this meta question. So if I had created that question, would it actually have been a duplicate? It's like jeopardy.

12

Sometimes, it's a judgement call, but I'll try and give some guidelines:

If it's a problem solving style question (which yours doesn't seem to be), the problem statement should be the same. That is, when the problem is distilled down to a single sentence for the two questions, and those sentences are identical or nearly identical, then one question is probably a dupe of the other. Something to realize with this is that we're concerned with the symptoms, not the cause, so the same problem can have two (or more) different solutions if there are two (or more) root causes, but it's still the same problem, and therefore a dupe.

It's a similar thing for fact finding questions. Two questions have to be seeking the same piece of information. Sometimes, this is non-obvious to the second person asking. They don't realize they're asking the same question.

But two questions can have the same answer and not be dupes. Two problems can have the same solution but still be vastly different problems.

So in your case, you're looking for two different facts that just happen to be related. Having said that, I wouldn't ask the question now unless you intend to self answer immediately.

  • Probably cause for another meta question, but should I add that as a self answer question? – zero298 Feb 25 '14 at 23:15
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    I don't see the harm in that. Our mission is to make the internet a better place, and you can help do that by answering a question someone else might have down the line. The reason I say you should self answer is that you already know the answer, everyone that has read this meta knows you know the answer, and if you didn't provide the answer immediately, it would almost look like you were just trying to bait upvotes. – MBraedley Feb 25 '14 at 23:21
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You seem to be thinking of duplicates as being a bad thing. They are not. This is a great example of how people might search for this information in either manner.

Never be afraid to ask questions just because it might be closed. If you run into a problem and could not find an answer yourself, then by all means ask. If it gets marked as duplicate, great. The next person that gets that issue and thinks like you will find your question helpful.

  • 1
    +1. Closure is not a punishment. It's janitorial work. Don't be afraid of it, just ask they'd damned question. We'll sort out if it belongs, is a dupe, needs further cleanup, or whatever. – LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 6 '14 at 1:23

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