This question is wired to the topic: When to add another answer instead of updating my current one? - but is slightly different. Here is the story:

A few days ago I created an answer that provides a complete working solution to the question: How to Change the display scaling on the fly? Another answer was posted and accepted. I liked the idea. The suggested approach looks really light and I've already tested it. It works nicely, but the answer is low quality.

So, I want to write a comprehensive answer, but I can't make a decision about the inner question: Should I edit the low quality answer and allow the lazy author of the accepted answer to get the benefits of my effort, or should I create a separate answer? What should be the principal decision model in cases such as this one?

  • 1
    I took a look at the OP, and although your answer contains more detailed information than the author of the accepted answer, the problem is that its got TOO much detailed information. That's why the simpler answer got accepted. Users want quick simple fixes. ie: I've got a headache. answer... take an aspirin.
    – heynnema
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 1:31
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    As an asker I much prefer comprehensive answers. "Try using xrandr" wouldn't get an accept from me
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


This question reminds me of this answer by terdon to a somewhat related question.

I read that answer when I was new to the site, and it influenced my approach to participating in Ask Ubuntu. At the time that answer was posted, I was transitioning from enjoying the site casually to feeling a sort of loving responsibility for its awesomeness.

It's really up to you whether you add a new answer or improve a basic answer that lacks details. Many details of the case might influence your decision. If the answer is accepted, for example, it ought to be a good one, I think, because people will see it first.

In general there's a tendency on Stack Exchange to avoid duplication of content. We often delete new answers that replicate old ones without adding anything useful. One good, comprehensive answer is less time-consuming to parse than one half-answer and one good, comprehensive answer that contains the information missing from the half-answer.

So, if you are feeling community-minded, you might feel that editing the answer to include the details it's missing is the extra nice and selfless thing to do...

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    Well said. I've done both, but I can't state any specific conditions that would prompt me to choose one over the other. (Other than perhaps available time)
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 23:20

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