What is the difference between the concept of canonical question (as used across the whole SE network, see e.g. 1 2 3) and this abstract duplicate thing that you have at math.se? Are they just the same thing with a different name?

  • The original thread should give you a pretty good idea of what the difference is, if any. They are at least very close. – Alexander Gruber Nov 5 at 9:15
  • @AlexanderGruber I have already read that thread, and still I don't get the difference. They seem identical to me. – Federico Poloni Nov 5 at 10:35
  • Federico, it may well be that the concept of an abstract duplicate was introduced at Math.SE at a time none of our meta-activists had heard of the corresponding concept elsewhere in the network. Cross-site interaction is not always at a very high level. – Jyrki Lahtonen Nov 5 at 13:16
  • @JyrkiLahtonen Or, perhaps, cross-site interaction is only at a very high level (between, say, per site moderators and more global moderators), and the average user never sees most of the rest of the network. :P – Xander Henderson Nov 5 at 19:55
  • You linked to posts that are 4 years later than my old post. How far back did SE start widely using that term, and what precisely are its ramifications, e.g. how does it impact SE and Google searches, etc – Bill Dubuque Nov 5 at 22:33
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    It feels like everyone here is getting defensive. I'm not blaming you all for using a different term. That's OK, it happens; It seems that the two ideas evolved independently. I'm honestly just trying to understand if they are the same thing or if there is a subtle difference. – Federico Poloni Nov 5 at 22:52
  • Note that Jeff Atwood answered my original question with a link to an SE blog post 2 months prior. So it wouldn't be surprising that it was not yet well known on other sites at that time. I don't recall it ever being mentioned here before that (or even after that). I haven't had time to research the SE version yet so I can't comment on the differences. – Bill Dubuque Nov 6 at 20:49

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