I posted a question with a fair amount of information as recommended. After some comments and a discussion in chat, I added some updates, and now the question is becoming too long. There will probably be more updates because the issue is not resolved.

At the same time, as we've been homing in on the answer, I can see that some of the information I included before are not really relevant/useful.

Is it a good idea to rewrite the question more concisely with the hindsight of new information or is it better to show more explicitly the process it went through at the expense of getting quite long?

On one hand I'm thinking of reference value (future users looking for answers shouldn't have to unravel a whole process to figure out what's going on), but on the other hand, comments or answers already posted might become confusing without the original version of the question.

3 Answers 3


A question should probably in general be as short as it can be while including all the relevant detail needed to answer. If you are sure some piece of information you've included isn't needed, then I agree with you that removing it does potential answerers and future visitors a favour by making it easier to find the key parts. Make sure you keep all the important clues to the solution, and perhaps debugging steps that others with the same problem should follow, but don't feel you need to entertain us with a good story or preserve everything for future historians.

Thank you for being concerned about making sure answers still make sense after edits to your question :) You can comment on or suggest edits to answers that refer to or quote parts of the question you've removed or changed. Comments are usually expendable and can be flagged for removal if they become obsolete. At the moment, you have nothing much to worry about here, as your question has no answers yet :(

As you may know, the revision history of every post is preserved and publically available forever unless the post itself is deleted (though multiple changes made by the same user within 4 minutes or so will merge to the same revision), so you won't be throwing information away. If needed, you can refer to a particular revision of your post by linking to it. For example, here's the 4th revision of your post. I found it by clicking the link at the bottom of your post saying edited at such and such a time.

In the particular case of your question, it looks like a bit of reorganising could benefit the post eventually, but it isn't overly long and the good formatting makes it easy to read and follow. Thanks for making efforts to write your question clearly :)

  • 1
    +1 for "preserve everything for future historians"!
    – Ratler
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 0:51
  • 3
    I've also come across this: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/15344/… (point 4). But this answer makes sense. I guess there's no foolproof rule, and judgment is required in each case to find the right balance between the two.
    – Ratler
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 1:01
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    Yes. Changing the meaning of the question would be really unfair to answers, but editing for concision is unlikely to cause any serious problem for them :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 6:10


Terrible Very good example here...

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    Looks like a good example of a example to me.
    – stumblebee
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 0:49
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    @stumblebee :D D: :D
    – Fabby
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:25

As soon as you have a valid verified answer, it will be much easier to clean up the question.

Because the valid answer will enable you to link: problem, diagnostics, cause and solution and thus weed out the noise.

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