Questions frequently need tweaking to the rules, even after going through the sandbox. However, rule changes that break previously valid answers are annoying to the answerer (at least from the perspective of someone who's had answers 'broken' on several occasions).

Example rule changes, (from least to most annoying):

  • Removing a rule
  • Closing a small loophole soon after the question was posted
  • Closing a loophole used by existing answers
  • Tighter restrictions on input/output format that break existing answers
  • Adding a rule to "make it harder" after answers have been posted
  • Completely changing the question because the original was just simply too easy (this happened today)

Can we come to a consensus on what rule changes are acceptable, and what should be avoided? I realize this is subjective, but a good guideline would be useful.


1 Answer 1


I have created this very complex infographic; I hope my hours of effort will solve this problem.

does it invalidate an existing answer? if so, NO. otherwise, okay, but be more careful next time

The only possible exception is if the answer in question is exhibiting one or more obvious loopholes that the user who posted the question clearly meant to close.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You haven't labeled your arrows, so I choose to read this as "don't you dare change your rules unless it invalidates an existing answer!!!" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 1:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @undergroundmonorail Huh? I have no idea what you're talking about. There's clearly labels there, and of course I didn't just do a ninja-edit. Be more observant next time.... \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 1:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ You edited your answer, invalidating an existing comment :o \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 1:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @undergroundmonorail No I didn't! Check the revision history! It's not like there's a 5 minute grace period or anything. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree 100%, and as this is currently the most popular answer, it gets the checkmark. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 14:04

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