Taking a page from this meta.math.SE discussion, and in light of this question, I wonder if it would be worthwhile for us to maintain a community wiki post like this one in meta.math.SE that lists questions that a.) are likely to be asked, in ever so different variations, again and again; and b.) have canonical answers that completely address most of these known variations.

To use the question in main that I linked to as an example, the question is asking about the Filling option in Plot[] affecting the Table[] argument being plotted. It may well be that a few weeks from now, somebody would ask the very same question, but this time with PlotStyle, ParametricPlot3D[], and NestList[].

So: should we make a compilation of "abstract duplicate" questions?

  • 1
    The only thing about your particular example is I don't recall it being asked here before. On SO, of course it was asked. But, it is likely to be asked again, in another form, or not, so I think it should be canonical version.
    – rcollyer
    Feb 15 '12 at 2:26
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    I'm still of the opinion (as I expressed on the math site) that "abstract duplicate" is not a good name for it. "Generalizations" or (from Szabolcs's answer below) "canonical versions" seem like much better descriptions to me.
    – Isaac
    Feb 15 '12 at 6:05
  • Another candidate: how to use the result of Solve? This keeps coming up. mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/1819/12
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 15 '12 at 23:01
  • @Szabolcs: I'm thinking of starting that other topic and starting the faq if and when we have ten or so of these questions...
    – J. M.'s torpor Mod
    Feb 15 '12 at 23:04
  • @Isaac: Okay, I'll use "canonical versions" for naming the CW question. :)
    – J. M.'s torpor Mod
    Feb 15 '12 at 23:05

I agree that this will be useful, I have actually brought up having a tag several times.

So, to make sure I understand you correctly:

  • This is a proposal to have canonical versions of the most commonly asked questions. We can create these by editing and generalizing some of the existing questions about these topics. New questions about these problems can then be marked as a duplicate of the canonical version. There will be a meta post listing all these canonical questions and they'll be tagged .

Is this correct?

I support this proposal, and here are some suggestions on what we could include int the list:

  • That's a pretty good summary. :) Yes, that other question is FAQ material as well.
    – J. M.'s torpor Mod
    Feb 14 '12 at 9:59
  • @Sjoerd I think the point is to have very good and complete answers to the most common issues. Then we can mark new questions about these problems as duplicates of these questions. The faq tag is just a little extra, a way to group these together. The idea is not that new users should read all [faq]-tagged questions
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 14 '12 at 20:13

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