Tl;dr: The minor improvements that takes an answer from 44 to 39 are often the most interesting and impressive feat. If you made the improvements, then it should be OK to post it as your answer.
Note: This post is about site culture, not policy making.
I'll use Luis Mendo's comments on one of my most recent posts as an example.
- I posted my original answer
- Luis Mendo commented and suggested a different approach that saved 5 bytes
- I found an approach that saved another byte.
- Luis found another different approach that saved 5 bytes
- Before I even responded, Luis found a new different approach that saved yet another 9 bytes.
Of course, there are similarities between the solutions, and they're probably based on the idea of the previous revisions, but it's still a different solution. Maybe Luis wouldn't have solved the challenge at all if it wasn't for my post1, but the shorter approaches are still his.
I suggest that:
- We still post comments suggesting simple improvements ("you can use
- We post separate answers, even if they're inspired by (and similar to) someone else's. And as always: Give credit where credit's due.
1 Of course he would, but let's pretend he wouldn't.