8

New software comes out on a somewhat regular basis, often solving existing problems in better ways, so I think that this would be a good thing to do, however I see a couple of drawbacks:

  1. Existing answers with high votes will likely make the potentially better software not looked at.

  2. The original poster may not ever come back to comment or compare/test the new suggestion, since once they have a working solution there is a certain aversion to change.

  3. It may be complicated if a newer version of a suggested (in an answer) software comes out, as it would have all of it's (potentially fixed) flaws there, and the votes have been cast (possibly relating to #1).

So I would like to know what is the community opinion on this, and if there is a "limit", what is it? age? once a question has an accepted answer? some combination of the two?

13

Absolutely. If its a distinct, great answer post it anyway.

If its a new feature on an existing product in an answer consider commenting or editing it to update the answer.

Don't forget that answers are meant to help more people than just the OP. You're building a knowledge base. Even if they OP dosen't see the new solution, the next guy with the same problem might, and learn something new ;).

As for votes, given time, things should sort themselves out with folks coming across answers, trying them out and voting appropriately. I wouldn't worry too much about fair distribution of imaginary internet points.

Post a quality answer and they will come.

  • Minor problem if the OP has accepted an answer: The outdated answer will stay above. This is a general SE problem. Example: stackoverflow.com/q/1911109 – Nicolas Raoul Aug 25 '14 at 4:19
  • True, but there is fundamentally nothing we can do about that. Noteing the accepted answer is out dated will have to do – Journeyman Geek Aug 25 '14 at 4:22
  • 1
    Plus with some luck, OP might return, find the new answer fitting better, and switch the checkmark over. Saw that happening a few times on Android.SE. I know, chances are not much higher than ~10% for that to happen – but it might ;) – Izzy Aug 25 '14 at 9:53
  • Its happened to me, personally on superuser, come to think of it – Journeyman Geek Aug 25 '14 at 10:01
7

To my mind there is no limit as to when a new and better answer may come out. Yes likely the new answer won't help the original poster but that question will be found on outside search engines by people having similar requirements and the new option may in fact be better for them. Yes it will have the drawback of not having as much time to gather votes but many people (at least me anyways) do look at most/all answers to an old SE question to decide which one will help them the best. so I think:

  1. probably true for some percentage of viewers but not all
  2. there is no innate problem with that given SE's design.
  3. A new recommendation for a new version is fine.
3

There are no old questions on SE. That's the difference between a forum and SE - a forum is made for people who ask, SE is made for google (it has it's drawbacks too).

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