Originally asked as "Is it bad to post separate partial answers and invite people to vote on them separately?"

One moderator recently deleted two relevant answers I posted to my own question "What functionality and API are affected by TZ and DST changes? What to test?".

The help center about deletions doesn't contain a requirement to contain everything in one answer and doesn't require anything regarding community wiki marks. Still, the answers were deleted (and undeleted later, when I marked them as community wiki). I think the moderator overreacted.

Please moderate this conflict.

The conflict is resolved, but it attracted my attention to the problem of community wiki as such, and I think the moderators should also thoroughly read through the following post and change their habits: The Future of Community Wiki with main points for me being "Favor quality (by ownership and suggested edits) over openness (aka community wiki)" and "Community Wiki is primarily for Answers [that may be improved but the author won't put any more effort where others might]".

So as long as I'm interested in the topic and willing to improve, I'd like to keep multiple non-accepted mutually additive answers and get my ownership back, thanks in advance.

I'll make the final checklist community wiki once it forms up if you convince me that it's still worth it.


3 Answers 3


I'll give you the same answer here as on the specific question (where you posted 3 separate answers to your own question):

If you want people to brainstorm and feel that there is no "one single answer" you should convert your post to a wiki, I can help you with that if you want. A wiki is designed to meet the requirement of gathering this sort of content and allowing people to discuss and reach multiple just as "correct" answers. There is no need to get upset, just follow the guidelines and you will surely get the answers you need. Do you want med to help you convert the post to a wiki?

Here is more about wikis: Purpose of Community Wiki?

Also a think worthy answer:

On questions with multiple broad but distinct answers:

These tend to be discussion questions. Write an essay, touch on both answers, detail your thought process. The exception would be "poll" questions, in which each answer should be a single concept (and, marked Community Wiki). From Is it OK to post multiple answers to a question?

I know wikis are not the solution to every broad question, but I do feel that your question is a perfect example, where you want do gain a sort of check list where you want input from all users of the site

I hope you understand my reasoning

  • I'm not really upset about my own rep or something about you and me personally. I'm worried about content and community. These tend and should you quote still have valid counter-arguments in answers to that thread, even voted higher than others. I think you had all the right to propose or recommend that I consider marking my question community wiki, and explain yourself in the first place - before deleting any relevant content. Nov 1, 2014 at 20:38
  • I was lucky enough to notice the deletion timely, otherwise the workflow issue might have been missed by the community - and with the recent RTZ change issues having massive scale in Russia that could be a significant miss for the community. Nov 1, 2014 at 20:42
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    I do understand your side of the story, and why you where upset. If I had not been on my cell I would have given you a longer reasoning behind the deletion. And yes, this is kind of a grey area in the community, where there is no one true answer. It would be nice to here how the other members reason around this and similar questions. How should we handle them now and in the future? I think that it an important discussion Nov 1, 2014 at 20:48
  • Ok, you have an excuse. But please consider this case in the future when you see relevant Q&A that you are tempted to delete, even when you're distracted by some other duties. Maybe you should even step away from moderating for a moment if distracted seriously enough. Nov 1, 2014 at 21:12
  • Just to make one more thing clear. The idea to convert your post to a community wiki was a way to get it into the guidelines of this Q&A site. You do yourself reference the question as a poll, and as such I think it is well worth to read this meta post meta.stackexchange.com/questions/57383/… . As you see, the platform itself is not the best at supporting polls, where we actually want to rate alternatives and similar. So that was the main reason I took an action to begin with Nov 2, 2014 at 7:43
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    And, one single event where you think I did not optimal decision is enough for you to ask me to step down as a moderator? You do not think that is setting the bar at a height that no one will be able to pass? I get that you are upset, and I can to some extent understand why, but I think it is important for both of us to take a step back and try to understand the view of the other person (which I really have tried to do my best at). Nov 2, 2014 at 7:46
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    I've converted the question to a community wiki since its a poll question. I also think you are out of line, Alexey, asking an elected moderator to step down based on your own feelings. Treat members and moderators with the respect you require to be given to you.
    – Benny Skogberg Mod
    Nov 2, 2014 at 8:01
  • I didn't say "step down" once and for all, I said "step away" for the time when you're distracted enough to make decisions without sufficient thought. Please continue moderating, I do appreciate your time and effort, don't get me wrong. Nov 2, 2014 at 17:49
  • I'm sorry to generate more emotion than consideration. Let's get back to business of improving content. Nov 2, 2014 at 17:55
  • And this is not a poll in the sense where people elect someone or one modus operandi, rather a brainstorm of what components not to forget when testing. I'm very much surprised and upset by the reaction to my reasoning. Nov 2, 2014 at 17:59

In my opinion, stating one singular thought and one answer per thought contradicts the format and function of the entire site. You give out an answer, but that is NOT to say that every thought needs to be it's own answer. Why not include it all in one answer? If the help center doesn't say anything about putting everything in one answer doesn't mean that lack of explicitness can be exploited. One answer is one voice, not one possible solution. One answer per thought starts to lean towards reputation mining, and that will upset some users.

Your reference: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2532729/daylight-saving-time-and-time-zone-best-practices shows that the answer that one user gives is a BUNCH of points. Why not follow that?

  • Ok, if it's rep mining you're concerned with most of all, keep my answers community wiki, but for certain cases I still see value in separate partial answers of which certain may be useful and others of lesser merit. I hope I've demostrated enough good faith ;-) Nov 5, 2014 at 18:11
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    That's not my main concern. It's brevity, structure and readability that's my main concern.
    – Mike
    Nov 5, 2014 at 18:17
  • In the instance of test cases, each can be elaborated and accompanied with scripts to perform actual tests. How structured and readable would single answer be? Nov 5, 2014 at 18:23
  • Am I wrong or can each answer be referred to via its own permalink? Nov 5, 2014 at 18:27
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    What you are doing and more collaborative than Q&A. I don't think that's the intention of stack exchange. You are looking to start a true wiki or knowledgebase.
    – Mike
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:22
  • Why not? Why can't stack exchange evolve into something more collaborative or a true knowledge base? Not just wiki, really. Nov 5, 2014 at 19:39
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    The fact that you acknowledge that it's not a true knowledgebase should answer your question. Maybe one day it will evolve, but that's not to say you should force it using the wrong tools.
    – Mike
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:42
  • I don't acknowledge that. You do. I disagree. If those one-off Q&A seem the true intention to you, I'm really sorry for SE's future. If we don't work to make it closer to a knowledge base - it never will be. That's what community is for. Nov 5, 2014 at 20:00

Actually, having read Jeff Atwood's blog on the future of community wiki I'm even tempted to ask for a reversal of my answers' community wiki status, because high-rep users can edit and improve them anyway and low-rep users are not guaranteed to receive better quality info from other low-rep users' edits.

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    Just to make one more thing clear. The idea to convert your post to a community wiki was a way to get it into the guidelines of this Q&A site. You do yourself reference the question as a poll, and as such I think it is well worth to read this meta post meta.stackexchange.com/questions/57383/… . In short, Nov 2, 2014 at 7:42
  • Here is another quote from the post you reference, "The intent of community wiki in answers is to help share the burden of solving a question. An incomplete “seed” answer is a stepping stone to a complete solution with help from others". I think that is exactly the purpose of your post, don't you? :) and a member with high reps does not necessarily have more knowledge about a specifc topic than a new member (I mean, I know nothing about this topic but I'm pretty sure a lot of our newer members has ran into it the past week) Nov 2, 2014 at 7:51
  • Each test case in answer to my question should be more or less self contained. It's not 'incomplete' per se. The high rep users tend, I think, to not mess with topics they are not knowledgeable about. A new member is free to add another answer but should not modify existing ones. Nov 2, 2014 at 17:48

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