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I am wondering if one can edit his/her opening question to answer some of the comments that have been made?

In this particular example, I have received many great answers and comments. As I have already been "warned" by the SE bot that conversations in comments should probably be transferred to the chat, I think it would be appropriate to edit my question instead of writing many comments.

Would this be acceptable?

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This is a personal opinion.

It has happened here before that people have kept adding replies to answers at the end of the question post. The end result was a "question" post ~15 pages long that was almost impossible to follow for newcomers. If it gets out of control, the post will both not be easy to answer and not be very useful for those who find it with a search engine.

So my suggestion is:

Please do not add an excessive amount of replies into the question. Instead re-formulate the question in a way that the original misunderstanding would be avoided. If the answers you got are not satisfactory, rewrite the whole question in a way that newcomer answerers can write a good answer without having to read all the prior conversation.

  • I agree with your point about the need for newcomers to be able to write answers after reading only the initial question. – CHM Feb 5 '12 at 19:28
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    @CHM My point is: don't get excessive Just use common sense. – Szabolcs Feb 5 '12 at 19:49
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I am wondering if one can edit his/her opening question to answer some of the comments that have been made?

Yes, absolutely. This is the point (well, one of the points) of comments, to suggest ways in which the post can be improved. The comments themselves are meant to be transient, but anything that comes out of a comment thread which is worth keeping should definitely be transferred to the question (or answer) being commented on.

However, two things to keep in mind:

  1. Every time you edit a question, it bumps it up to the top of the active questions view on the site home page. So it's generally best not to make an edit every time some little thing is pointed out in a comment; instead, wait a while to gather feedback and then make all the necessary changes at once.
  2. Exactly as Szabolcs said, adding "replies" or addendums to the end of a post makes it harder to read. The contents of the post after the edit should read like something you could have written as an original post. In particular, try not to do this:

    [original post text]

    EDIT: blah blah blah

    EDIT 2: blah blah blah

  • Without explicit "EDIT" marks it may be dificult for people who've seen the question before to see what's changed. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Feb 7 '12 at 10:21
  • That's the point, people shouldn't be thinking about what has changed. They should only see the new question as a cohesive whole. In any case, if someone really does need to see the changes, that's what the revision history is for. It shows highlighted differences between each version of the question. – David Z Feb 7 '12 at 11:09
  • That's true only for new readers. As someone who may already have been reading, and commenting on, a question I don't want to be required to check the history of every question to see if something has changed. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Feb 7 '12 at 23:17
  • Unless there's been some official word about this that I missed, it's not only true for new readers. If you want to see the changes from previous versions you should have to look at the revision history. – David Z Feb 7 '12 at 23:22

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