I recently answered a question on Ask Ubuntu and got 2 very different comments that I thought might be worth considering by the community.
The OP had asked about how to disable the lid switch on a laptop. As someone relatively new to Linux who has gained a lot from the site, I try to give a bit back by answering relatively simple questions (hopefully freeing up IT experts for those questions that are complex / require a lot of knowledge that is way beyond me).
The research I did came across an answer from 10 years before on Ask Ubuntu... it needed a minor tweak and the previous answer was a bit bogged down in detail for a new user, so I answered (after confirming the fix worked on my laptop which runs the same Ubuntu version used by the OP) by referencing the original answer and summarising the bit that was relevant to the user.
First comment on my answer was that it's better to close such questions and refer to the original answer as it's a disservice to other users who might come across my answer and not get all the benefits of the more detailed previous answer (and even if they do find both answers, it makes Ask Ubuntu more cumbersome to navigate). The second comment said it was better to do what I did and give a concise answer that worked for the OP, because I made it easier for the OP to find the fix they needed. The OP clearly liked my answer.
So I appreciate there is no absolute to this, and the answer is probably ideally both - but do we (when answering) prioritise the specific question that is asked for that particular user, or do we prioritise giving answers that are useful to everyone? And in terms of the specifics, is it better to refer to a previous answer, even if very old, so long as it still works, or is it better to give a new answer?
I imagine there will be different views on this so perhaps might work best if a few people give views as comments and then some of the very experienced users / moderators could give answers?
FWIW, my personal view is that I've really found it helpful as a relative novice when the responses to my questions have been written in a way that reflects my inexperience, and so I've valued the more individual approach.
I hope this question helps rather than creates more confusion!
Thank you all.