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Since technology develops at such a quick pace these days, it seems that the answers to many questions, including those which received useful responses at the time they were asked, can be updated based on recent developments. For example, someone might have asked for a book recommendation on a given topic in 2010, but by 2012, there might be a better one on the market. Perhaps there should be a way of "refreshing" a question to learn whether a fresher answer is available?

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    I've retagged as discussion, feature-request is for when You have an idea for a new feature, or for a change to the existing functionality. - from its tag wiki. Since you are not telling us of an exact way this could work i.e. describe how the feature would work, I think discussion is more appropriate.
    – yannis
    Dec 23, 2011 at 0:43

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For example, someone might have asked for a book recommendation on a given topic in 2010, but by 2012, there might be a better one on the market.

I think that questions on book recommendations that would fit your description are probably off topic. I don't see how a book question that becomes deprecated in such short time would be a good one, even if it's on topic. Technology may be moving at an extreme pace, but high level concepts don't change that often.

Do you have any examples of existing open questions that would fit your description, i.e. are in need of "refreshing"?

Perhaps there should be a way of "refreshing" a question to learn whether a fresher answer is available?

  • You can edit any question at any time, and any answer, if you think you're improving them in any way.
  • You can ask a new question with a link to the earlier question and an explanation why it and its answers don't answer the new one.
  • And of course, if you have a more current answer to an outdated question, you can always just answer. A new answer will bump the question at the top of the homepage and if your answer is a good one it will get the attention it deserves. It may even outvote the previously highest voted one.

In conclusion: If questions that fit your description exist, they are probably bad ones that slipped through and we should clean them up. I think - but I reserve the right to change my opinion if you provide an example of an existing question.


I've tried to find questions that would fit the general description while still being on-topic, and I think the best example is certifications. It's reasonable that there are going to be a lot of cases where answers on certification exam x in 2010 are going to be very different than in 2012. Most reputable certification bodies will slightly change the code or the title of the certification / exam, in which case you should ask a new question.

Even if that's not the case, I don't think that the set of questions that actually need "refreshing" is large enough to require some sort of unique approach.

Again, if you manage to find at least one existing question that fits the description and is on topic, all of the above may make less sense. But although I tried, I didn't find any (not even a certification one).

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  • my book example was - an example. If you want a better one, suppose that in 2010 I ask which is the best programming language to use for natural language processing, and say that the most popular response is that python would be the language of choice. Now, in 2012, someone else comes along and has the same exact question and sure enough he finds my question and the answers provided, but he wonders whether those responses still hold for 2012 or things have changed; in other words, he wants to know how people would presently respond to the question. Hope that makes things clearer. Dec 23, 2011 at 4:00
  • Hmmm... If you feel there's actual need to clarify the question, add any and all clarifications there - update it, instead of responding with a comment, so everyone will see the clarification, that doesn't always happens with comments. But I was more asking for an example of an existing question. We can't really argue hypotheticals, too many factors to take into consideration. But I think the example above would fit finely under the "You can ask again, with a link to the earlier question and an explanation why it and its answers don't answer your new question." category.
    – yannis
    Dec 23, 2011 at 4:04
  • @IsaacKleinman I've updated my answer to clearly show I'm asking for examples of existing questions.
    – yannis
    Dec 23, 2011 at 4:14

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