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My question about maintaining poorly written code base got closed as being duplicate of another question. Those two questions are definitely not a duplicate as I'm looking for an answer to very specific situation (it is even highlighted) and not asking in general "what to do?" as other question does.

Even if it would be duplicate I personally don't see a problem as long as there are users who would like to discuss it, as there always may be some new approach or an new idea about the same problem. It shouldn't be so easy to close a question with many answers at least number of user votes required to close given question should be higher than number of users who in any way participated in given question (created, commented or answered)

  • Generally speaking, questions are evaluated for duplication on their own basis, not on the answers they receive. That your question already got answered comprehensively is actually an argument for closing the duplicate, not against. – Robert Harvey Nov 27 '12 at 0:42
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    Stack Exchange sites are primarily geared towards people trying to search for an answer to a question. It's far easier on them if they don't have to search through duplicates to see all the answers to their question, and if they can compare the number of votes in one place. – psr Nov 27 '12 at 1:34
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Your question was closed by 5 users. In order for it to have been closed as a duplicate, the majority of the users must have agreed that it was. That's simply how voting on Stack Exchange sites work - 5 users with at least 3000 reputation on the site (or a single community-elected moderator) can close a question. On the other hand, 5 users (or a single moderator) can reverse that decision and vote to reopen the question if it happened wrongly. That's the way it works on every site on the network, and I highly doubt that will change - it seems to be working quite well.

As for your specific case, let's take it one step at a time:

First, why do you not think it's a duplicate? One of our guidelines for asking questions is to search first. You don't reference any other question on our site about working with legacy code, and there are plenty. How do these existing questions not help you in your situation? You should address in your question that you've done your research and why things that you are finding are either confusing or inadequate for your situation.

Something to be careful of, though, is that if you are too specific, your question might be closed as too localized. If your question is so specific to your unique instance that the answers won't help other people, then the question is too specific. The purpose of this site (and every Stack Exchange site) is to capture knowledge that is useful to a given population (in our case, people developing software, often in a professional environment). Be sure to keep that in mind when reading through existing questions or other resources and when framing your question.

Next, what is the smallest set of information that we need to address your concerns? Your question is rather lengthy, and I think some of your concerns get lost in the details. You mention specific technologies - are these really relevant? You mention specific platforms - are the specific platforms relevant or just the fact there are multiple platforms? There's really a lot to digest here, and a lot of it is extra information. Having extra information means more to wade through and people might miss the differences that separate your question from others if it's buried. Right now, it seems like it's a very common "how do I deal with poorly designed and built legacy systems" question, which is what it is closed as a duplicate of. Why is it not that question, but something different? It seems like there's a very particular aspect of this project you are concerned with, but it gets lost in the noise of everything else.

Finally, there are some comments. The details requested by the comments should be edited into the post. It's OK to respond in a comment as well, either with the information or to let the commenter know your post was updated. However, comments are second-class citizens. Make sure your question reflects all of the information that other people who want to share their knowledge need. It might also help to reformulate the question - the question you mention in the comments is very different than how the post reads.

Given the fact that your post has answers, it probably won't be reopened, even with an edit. We tend to not reopen posts that have been answered if the edits would invalidate existing answers. However, I'd encourage you to search the site and possibly reask. Maybe focus less on the details of the project and the technologies (except where necessary) and on the explicit question you ask in the comments - the feasibility of maintaining two databases.

  • 1. Right from the FAQ "But if you give us details and context..." What you call "rather lengthy question" is exactly giving details and context 2. Read my question especially part in bold. It is asking exactly about "feasibility of maintaining two databases". 3. So it is not possible to reopen but you suggest reasking. Don't you think that it is a straight way to creating duplicates? – onlineapplab.com Nov 27 '12 at 1:41
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    Hi onlineapplab, the idea is that, through searching, you'd learn more about your problem. Ideally, it would answer your question and there'd be no need to re-ask. However, if the material you searched through still didn't answer your question, you'd actually have something a bit different to ask. Thus, the goal isn't to ask a duplicate, but to ask a question that isn't already covered here. – jmort253 Nov 27 '12 at 3:15
  • @onlineapplab.com Your question provides excessive details, though. In order to know if it's feasible to maintain two databases, you don't need to know about PHP or the hardware of the server or that there are SQL injections or that there is an outsourced team or what your job in the project was. None of that has any bearing. You need details and context relevant to your specific question - the things that will impact the answers. After going through it, your question isn't obvious. It seems like you want help maintaining a legacy application, which is what the duplicate is also asking. – Thomas Owens Nov 27 '12 at 11:30
  • @ThomasOwens In what way "What would you include in your list of the most effective strategies to help straighten out the spaghetti (and prevent it in the future)?" is a duplicate of "Is such plan feasible at all?" I'm not asking what to do as in my case current code is unfixable there is no way to "straighten it out" as literally everything was really badly executed (that's why there is so much details) and it should be rewritten from scratch but I'm not allowed to do it. So I came up with a specific plan to solve this specific situation and I would like to get opinions about it. – onlineapplab.com Nov 27 '12 at 16:58
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    @onlineapplab.com I'm not saying it is. However, based on reading your question and the answers that you received before the question was closed, it appears that people did not understand the intent of your question because it was so deeply buried in irrelevant information, and only then given a small chunk of text in the question. The votes as duplicate also indicate this. I would recommend searching for similar questions to the one that you actually have and if you don't find an answer, reask it, but only include the relevant information. – Thomas Owens Nov 27 '12 at 17:03
  • @ThomasOwens If we both agree it is not a duplicate then it shouldn't be "closed as exact duplicate by ...". It may require editing or rephrasing but closing it as a duplicate was not the right thing to do. – onlineapplab.com Nov 28 '12 at 11:50
  • @onlineapplab.com Closing might not have been the "right thing", but it's how people interpreted your question right from the answers, even before it was closed. I'm not going to reverse the closure because of the unclear question and the answers it generated. Because it has answers, edits that invalidate those answers will most likely be rolled back - edits that destroy or invalidate answers are not good things. Consider rephrasing and reasking as a new question. – Thomas Owens Nov 28 '12 at 11:54

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