Disadvantages of Current Duplicates Policy
Stated briefly, the current policy encourages proliferation over pruning.
The disadvantages of the current duplicates policy stem from the fact that it is a policy of judgement as to which questions and answers are more clear instead of a simple and rigid rule of priority based on first question posted.
This encourages AU members to write new, better, and redundant questions and answers rather than encouraging AU members to usefully edit and improve questions and answers that already exist. This spreads Q&A competition for points relevant to a single question over multiple pages of differing quality rather than confining competition to the useful improvement of one page per question.
Ideal Outcomes of Duplicates Policies
- "According to the Gospel of Spolsky 13:4, a core mission of Stack Exchange communities is to stop re-answering the same questions, and instead build a library of canonical answers."
- Spolsky again, "Every question in Stack Overflow is like the Wikipedia article for some extremely narrow, specific programming question. How do I enlarge a fizzbar without overwriting the user’s snibbit? This question should only appear once in the site. Duplicates should be cleaned up quickly and redirected to the original question."
- All AU members, large and small, should therefore feel that the site's community, intellectual, reputation points, and other incentives flow in the direction of creating the encyclopaedic canon of Ubuntu Questions and Answers.
- By encyclopaedic canon, I mean a set of comprehensive articles with mutually exclusive content that are systematically organized and provide accurate information.
Thanks for your time and patience.