I've asked a lot of questions, but very few of them have any answer that nicely covers the whole issue or which is so much higher quality than the other answers that it deserves to be highlighted? My current accept rate is only 34%. Should I increase it by going back and selecting the answer with the highest number of votes or doesn't accept rate matter on this site?


Why would anyone accept an answer?


6 Answers 6


I would suggest that we remove it from the OP user box since its irrelevant to the effort that the user puts into Programmers. This way SO people who join won't have a mindset that <50% = Not worth answering


On Stack Overlflow, accept rate makes sense as there is a right answer.

Where there is no single 'right' answer, then the question belongs here.

Therefore, the implication is that there might not be a single correct answer, so why should we have to bother marking as 'solved'?

I would prefer the community to use votes to show which is the 'best' answer.

  • I disagree. There are many questions here that have best answers, and the quality of answer depends on the knowledge, time, or effort of the writer. Other questions, however (those that should be CW) simply pool various inputs or opinions.
    – Mark C
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 14:29
  • You said "best answers" - plural, and I agree, but you are not allowed to mark multiple responses as answers. Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 17:15
  • @Mark - programmers.se is the place for subjective questions. By definition, subjective questions don't have an answer that is objectively the best. Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 20:48
  • Sorry, that is the ambiguity of the English language. There are many questions on this site that currently each have a best answer, but even on Le Overflow it can be hard to call a single answer "the best". This is not what we are mainly talking about, but sometimes one answer will provide one good solution, while another will answer a question the asker didn't even know they had (for example; there are many things that can make "better" answers).
    – Mark C
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 23:09

I think that a low accept rate should/will become the norm.

There are some cases where there's a clear correct answer and some where there's at least one answer that stands out somewhat in quality, and I can see accepting in those cases. So far, though, they seem to be largely the exception.

  • ppl bash my acceptrate (on SO). However it stopped when i hit 65%. When the feature came around i was at 34% and ppl were hating on me for not accepting an answer when i didnt know if the answer really was correct
    – user2528
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 20:59
  • @acidzombie24: In such case, you should make an effort to find if answer is correct. People are making an effort while answering to your question. Specially on SO where general discussions are frowned upon.
    – pyfunc
    Commented Nov 13, 2010 at 8:14
  • @pyfunc: I had many questions where all answers were wrong or no answers but one answer that should have been a comment. Also there were many answers i could not remember which answer was correct because it was over a year and didnt have an accept rate feature (and i forgot about them)
    – user2528
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 18:26
  • @pyfunc the whole point of asking a question is that you don't know the answer.. how exactly is the OP going to determine the correctness, when they didn't even know enough to answer the question (possibly incorrectly). Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 23:28

Hmmm... People are much less likely to answer a question with an accepted answer. For many questions this would be counter productive....but TheLQ makes a good point about the <50% mindset.

Would a check box, like the community wiki box, or similar device.... that effectively tagged the question as answered....or un-answerable...with the goal of maintaining the OP's acceptance rate ? ...moderator driven ?...something ?

Might end up being the root of all evil...Just thinking out-loud.


Post a synthesis and accept it. Seriously.
On SO, I was in the situation, that I had asked for a problem, some people gave me helpful pointers, which I did upvote, and in the end I provided the answer myself. Even got an upvote :)


Maybe instead of just hiding accept rate as @TheLQ suggests, acceptance itself should be hidden/removed?

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