# Is a complete rewrite of an answer preferred over a new one?

I posted this Q&A question on meta, for the sake of sharing knowledge.

After posting, a lot of different iterations and improvements came on the answers. I build upon one of the answers, made some improvements, and built a (at least to my purposes) perfect solution. I wanted to share this knowledge, so I had two options: I could either post a new answer, or edit my current one, which was very insufficient at this point. I chose the latter.

So my question is: Is this the preferred way of going about it, or is it better to post a new answer?

• you should make clear that this is about a question on the meta site. Oct 28 '20 at 6:52
• I think posting a new answer is OK. Oct 28 '20 at 11:44
• @supinf I've edited so it's clear. However, I'm asking this question about rewrites in general, both on meta and on ME. Oct 28 '20 at 13:38
• Editing your answer is better since it avoids people wasting time reading an outdated answer. If you choose to post a new one I would add a note at the beggining of the old answer pointing to the new, better answer.
– Ruy
Oct 30 '20 at 15:54
• Personally, I think editing the current answer was a good choice. Posting a new answer would have also been fine. Nov 2 '20 at 6:40
• there was a secondary effect to making the edit (minor in this case), the comments on your answer don’t really make sense / had their meaning changed. on Main i would flag them as no longer relevant / conversational but not sure what to do now Nov 9 '20 at 1:23
• @CalvinKhor That was one of my concerns. Feels similar to how it's not acceptable to rewrite a question if there's already an answer to it. Nov 9 '20 at 1:30

In the given case, I think your old answer contributed something valuable: it showed how to use the array environment in a simple way to accomplish the given effect - and this is something I believe would be useful to maintain, especially since people may be more likely to use array than to search meta for some specific macro definitions. Your new answer builds upon this original, showing how to encapsulate this basic idea with macros. In my opinion, the best choice in the given situation is to keep most of the original answer and then additionally include the refinement - my inclination here would be to just take the old answer and include it at the start or the end of the new one (possibly separated by a horizontal line), although there are surely more elegant ways to ensure that no value is lost in the edit (e.g. one could write it more as "here's the basic idea and here's a more advanced extension" or "here's a working system and here's how it works" - but such solutions can take some work to write and aren't strictly necessary).