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closure-as-duplicate post notice is inaccurate

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The question post "Drafting the Codidact Arbitration & Review Panel" is closed as a duplicate of the later "Second Iteration of Drafting the Codidact Arbitration & Review Panel" and has a notice on it:

closed as duplicate by luap42 on Aug 18, 2020 at 15:55

This question has been answered before. See: Second Iteration of Drafting the Codidact Arbitration & Review Panel

To my mind, at least, "before" sounds like the "Second Iteration of Drafting" question was answered before the "Drafting" question was asked. Or, at the very least, like it was answered before the "Drafting" question was closed. Neither of those is true.

I think the notice should say not "has been answered before" but "has been addressed elsewhere". This is more vague both as to timeline and as to whether or not the other question already has answers, which means it applies accurately to a broader of range of closureworthy questions; yet it is clear enough.


I'm marking this a bug because the current implementation is inaccurate or misleading.

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Why should this post be closed?

1 comment

(cc from my comment on aCVn's post) FWIW mods can add close reasons per-site. So this would be definitely possible. For now, I could also change the text on this site only. luap42 😷‭ 10 months ago

2 answers

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We have an issue open to fix this in the code, but I recently realized that moderators can also fix it locally: the close reasons are editable. I've edited it here on Meta to say "This question has been addressed elsewhere".

Moderators, please consider backward compatibility when editing close reasons. Don't edit a reason into a completely different one, because the edit affects all questions that have already been closed, and disentangling it later would be hard. (The UI doesn't expose any edit history on close reasons, so if you see an old question with a now-inappropriate close reason, it'd take digging in the database to figure out when it happened.) You can always add new reasons and deactivate old ones. Things like this current use case -- clarifying the meaning of a close reason -- are why close reasons are editable at all. So please do edit to improve reasons, and please be careful not to break existing closures in the process.

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0 comments

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Maybe what we need here is some way to close a question as "superseded by" another question; not really a duplicate per se, but something that works similarly from a technical and user perspective, with different display strings in the UI and a different implied direction of causality.

That would allow handling precisely this case, and quite frankly, in my opinion would come in awfully handy especially on Metas at times, when an issue gets revisited at a later date.

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4 comments

FWIW mods can add close reasons per-site. So this would be definitely possible. For now, I could also change the text on this site only. luap42 😷‭ 10 months ago

@luap42 Closing as duplicates is useful. But so might closing as superseded be. I'm not sure whether this should be a specific feature request as such, but I do think it would be a useful feature to have for certain cases. Canina‭ 10 months ago

Interesting idea. We could extend the use case for suggesting a duplicate to add a checkbox for the supersede case; I don't know if there are better ways. Right now duplicate is part of the close flow like on SE, but we plan to separate it out (so site-specific close reasons would work now but won't long-term, @luap42). Monica Cellio‭ 10 months ago

@MonicaCellio Intuitively, and without having thought it through in detail, I would say that they should probably be distinct UI workflows. Duplicate implies that the previously existing question covers the same ground; supersede, on the other hand, implies that a newer question takes the place of the older one, but isn't necessarily the same one. There's overlap between the two cases, especially as they've sometimes been used in practice, but there's also a distinction. Canina‭ 10 months ago

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