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Anyone who frequents has probably seen several questions of people asking where to find minecraft.jar, META-INF, or the bin folder. For example:

They all get closed as duplicates after a while, but the original itself is often closed as duplicate itself. Going deeper, I ended up with

Which has a very good answer by telmer6 and SevenSidedDie, that actually pertains to all three of the common questions mentioned above, but doesn't show up to people asking about bin, and the OP might not be aware that this is indeed the same problem, and just not read the answer at all ("This isn't about bin, can't be my problem...").

The question I am asking is:

How do we proceed with questions that have a good answer already, but the answer was given in a scope that does not encompass all possible questions it answers?

I'm not sure if this is a problem outside of , but let's assume it is.


Now, I know that the problem here is not actually with Arqade but with the new posters, that apparently don't follow duplicate question links, or mistrust our judgement on whether it is in fact a duplicate. However, since we have no control over the latter, we might want to do something about the former.

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  • So because users refuse to read, we need to cater to them? I don't think so. – Frank Jul 15 '14 at 12:23
  • @Frank Rather than downvoting the question (which in no way is unclear, not useful, etc.) and commenting, you should post "Don't do anything" as an answer. – MrLemon Jul 15 '14 at 12:30
  • I disagree with your premise of a problem. That's exactly what downvotes on Meta are for. – Frank Jul 15 '14 at 12:32
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    @MrLemon downvotes on meta are an "I disagree" and not an "Your post is badly made" (in most cases) – Arperum Jul 15 '14 at 12:33
8

This is exactly why duplicates are generally not deleted. They stay there to point people to the open question in cases where they can find the duplicate, which matches their search, but not the original, which used a different choice of words.

Also note that anonymous users are automatically redirected from unanswered duplicates to the open question.

If someone disagrees with a duplicate, explain it to them! If none of the 5 close voters can explain it, there's a good chance it's not actually a duplicate.

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  • Good catch with the redirects, I didn't know about that. – MrLemon Jul 15 '14 at 12:34
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Community-Wiki edit the good answer's question

and potentially the answer as well.

Changing both the title and text of the original question makes it show up in the list of questions that potentially answer the question you are about to ask, which should prevent at least some duplicates from being posted in the first place.

Futhermore, this allows us to tailor both question and answer into an all-encompassing go-to reference that clearly solves the problem for everyone that ever has this particular problem, regardless of the different "names" the problem can have.

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