I know that porting answers to other languages is permitted (and sometimes encouraged) but is porting answers to other versions of the same language allowed?

I came across an answer earlier which was a direct port, to an older version of the language, of an answer I'd posted to the same challenge. My original reaction was to downvote it for showing no original research but I thought it best to check first, whether ports like that are or are not permitted by any site rules or etiquette.

If it's not permitted, what action should be taken with offending answers? And, as a follow up, does challenge (in)activity have any bearing on when such ports would be allowed?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Porting to a different version usually requires little to no effort. If that's the case, I think the poster should at the very least give credit to the original. Personally, I'd call it a duplicate or something like plagiarism. \$\endgroup\$
    – mbomb007
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 18:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you link to said answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – user58826
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was reluctant to do so, @programmer5000, because 01) I didn't want this to be a discussion on whether or not I was right in thinking the other answer was a rip off of mine rather then it being a more general question on how to handle this behaviour. 02) I didn't want to encourage downvoting on the other answer or be seen to be touting for votes on my own. If you really want to see it to judge for yourself, a quick bit of digging through questions I've posted answers to should easily unearth it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shaggy
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 8:29

1 Answer 1


Technically, ports are valid answers. Feel free to downvote them if you feel that they're just ripping off of another answer, and mod flag them for plagiarism if credit isn't given to the original answer (because SE posts are licensed under CC-BY-SA, attribution is mandatory if another user's post is copied or modified).

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Be careful when mod flagging though, it's definitely possible that the new answer was conceived independently (especially if they're posted around the same time). \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Riker Sure, but it's usually pretty clear when an answer has been copied versus when two people came up with the same obvious solution independently. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 19:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, @Riker, it happens all the time, but in this instance there 7 hours between both answers being posted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shaggy
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 8:30

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