More often than not I run into a question that had already been answered here. But the asker could not know it, because he lacks info on what to look for. Recent example: User asks if it is possible to create functional keys on a keyboard without ones. I know the answer. In short, it is "Yes, use Xmodmap" and I know there is a big and definitive answer on how to use Xmodmap. You see, the questions are in no way duplicate, they are just solved the same way.
But what should I do in this situation?
- Write my own answer from scratch -- feels stupid.
- Ctrl+C Ctrl+V the big answer or it's relevant part -- feels both wrong and stupid.
- Provide a link to long answer in a comment -- I know that it is supposed to be the proper way, but... Stack Exchange boasts its gamification. I recieve some points for proper answer and feel rewarded. But I get nothing for providing a link. Psychologist will tell you that simply not getting a reward when one is usually expected feels like being actually penalized. I am providing not just a link, but add my knowledge that "this thing is that thing", and that sometimes requires expertise or research (manuals browsing). Please, don't get me wrong - I am not so greedy. It is OK to help without being recognized once, twice, twenty times. But on a hundredth iteration I just subconsciously revert to another variant in this list, the worst of them is...
- Ignore this question and go to a more trivial question -- where I can actually type my answer in and get my green bird sign. Because answer is either really small or I can't easily find it on SE.
- Write an answer containing a link and several lines of useless text for it to not be autoconverted to comment. -- isn't it enough boilerplate text on the Internet already?
It is only a very-very little discouraging that your would-be answer should better be reduced to a comment with a link. Very-very little multiplied by hundred times - well, you know. When somebody else provides a stub answer and gets points where you had earlier provided a proper link only - that is just sad. It is fun to share knowledge on site without reputation system. It is extra fun to share knowledge on a site with reputation system. But again and again doing activities for no reward on site with reputation system and achievements is just not fun. I am not offended or something. I am just a user experience enthusiast. I have witnessed many times how a little, unseen to most people nuisance like this can drive away lots of would-be devote users totally subconsciously. The site system suggest that #5 is a proper way to do, while community and stuff points at #3. This discord should be somehow solved.
May be I am missing something? What should I do in this case? And sorry for bad English.