As regular way I used to, I got interested in a question then I looked for duplicates. 2 other similar questions without answers. I've an answer so to post it, I had checked reputations, last login, acceptance ratio.. for all OP's. So I have chosen last asked one. All these is in aim to ensure getting a feedback for my answer.

After it was accepted, I flagged other questions as duplicate. Later, I just went back to one of the questions, here is:

Can boost 1.54 install with libboost_thread-mt.so like library files using apt-get install libboost-all-dev command [duplicate]

The duplicate note at the bottom in the flagged question says:

marked as duplicate by Sneetsher, Mitch♦ Jun 21 '14 at 8:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

OP commented on the question:

>this wasn't duplicate at the time I asked the question. Anyway I found the answer.

:) frustration feeling...no? As it seems to me that most OP's feel bad to ask a duplicated question.

  1. The message suggests on OP to ask a new question. I think instead, it should suggests to edit same question as that what we want from OP to do in most cases.

    OP will edit question to highlight differences with the pointed duplicate or mention that the answers there didn't work. Then his question will be reopened. So why it tells OP to ask a new question?

  2. This question has been asked before. Well this is minor issue, the mentioned duplicate question may be asked after and it has got an answer.

    Well, If the duplicate flag can be used on an old question which didn't get same attention (no answer) as the newer one. So the message would be better if it express both senses before/after.

    May be difficult for me to express, Could duplicate note have the meaning of both of:

    This question has been asked before and already has an answer.

    This question has been asked after and already got an answer.

    Or Do I have to answer the oldest question anyway?

  • 1
    I'm sorry, but I don't really understand what your punt is. Could you clarify?
    – Seth
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 12:42
  • Some more clarification would be at place in the second bullet point (before/after senses?).
    – don.joey
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 17:34
  • @don.joey, updated, plz let me know if It needs more clarifications.
    – user.dz
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:16
  • The duplicate notice now says This question already has an answer here:
    – Dan
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 12:48
  • @Dan, Actually there two notes one at the top (that one you mentioned) ans second one at bottom (which is in my question topic). The latter is only for OP. It gives a suggestion.
    – user.dz
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 12:51
  • 2
    @Sneetsher Never mind me, I'm an idiot. Been using Ask Ubuntu for so many years, and I've never read or even noticed that text!
    – Dan
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 13:38
  • @Dan, myself too, till I read that OP's comment replying to the duplicate notice :) . Well the 2nd point is minor issue (before/after) I don't care. But 1st point, that suggest asking new question is wrong. The OP should edit it then ask for re-opening.
    – user.dz
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


I completely understand what you mean.

Like anything, it seems quite impossible to catch all possible situations in rules. On one hand it feels unfair to send someone, who posted as first, a message that "it was aked before". At the same time, suggesting that time is not an issue in determining which one is the duplicate, also gives the wrong impression. That would be the case if you'd replace the "before" by "after" or "elsewhere".

Time does play a role, but not the only one. Valid rule or not, it feels silly to answer a neglected, unanswered and forgotten question, while there is a fresh and well written (duplicate) one on the table. I probably wouldn't.

The time line on one hand and the actuality of a question and tho possible feedback on the other hand are both completely valid points of view that occasionally will clash.

If you can catch it in a rule without creating new downsides, you should. I don't see one however.

  • 1
    I agree about 2nd point, it will give same impression whatever words we use. How about 1st point, is there really cases where user needs to ask a new question instead of editing the question like the unclear ones with [hold].
    – user.dz
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 16:49
  • 2
    @Sneetsher There you have a good point! I guess there is no reason to ask a new question if the current one is a real duplicate. The duplicate mark is either incorrect or the question is answered. Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 18:35

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