Should another user post another answer, instead of commenting, in a language that already has answers from somebody else, in the following circumstances?

  1. It is a modified version of the current answer.
  2. It uses an entirely different algorithm, etc.
  3. Part of the new answer is a derivation from the first one, and part of the new answer utilizes another algorithm.

My personal idea is No for the first one and Yes for the second one. However, what about the third one?

Notice I'm not discussing copyright here.

Do we already have a consensus on this? I cannot find up-to-date posts after a bit of research. The only thing I come up with is mniip's idea from 2014.


1 Answer 1


I don’t think there can be a consensus on this because it highly depends about the initial and new answers.

I personally do the following:

Comment but don’t post a new answer

  • if the improvement is fairly straightforward for someone that knows the language well and was overlooked by the author.
  • If the improvement uses language quirks that the author might not have known but don’t fundamentally change the algorithm used initially.

Post a new answer, but cite the original answer

  • If I came up with my answer after looking at the original one, and part of my answer is directly inspired / copied from the original one, while the rest uses an original algorithm
  • (I also do this if I get inspired by an answer in another language than the one I’m using, and I transcribed parts of it into my answer)

Post a new answer, without citing the original answer

  • If I came up with my answer after looking at the original one, which inspired me to come up with a completely different approach
  • If I came up with my answer independently, with no knowledge of other answers (duh)

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