When a user posts a (solution-verification) question on a problem (often a standard problem), I tend to not vote to close as a duplicate, since the user is asking for feedback on their particular solutions.
(Related: this old meta post )
In the recent weeks, there were two exception on my standard behavior: one was a question in which, after feedback was given, another user posted a de nuovo answer. After that, I closed the question as a duplicate using the golden-hammer.
The second was a now-deleted question in which the poster asked for hints for a standard problem (that a semigroup with a right identity and right inverses is a group). I closed as a duplicate, and the poster added an argument for half the problem, tagged as (solution-verification). Another golden-badge user re-opened. But the original poster was still asking for answers to the other half. When I pointed out it was still a duplicate, the user claimed that it was not identical to the previous question, and so could not possibly be a duplicate (as they were only asking about half the problem, not the whole thing). I said that was not the standard, but did not vote to close. The user deleted the post shortly thereafter.
I would like to make the following general policy proposal for (solution-verification) posts:
There should be no immediate votes to close a (solution-verification) post as a duplicate, to allow for suitable feedback.
After a suitable period (two days? three days? some other period), and once feedback has been given, it would be appropriate to vote to close these posts as duplicates.
(In fact, perhaps not only "appropriate", but "desirable"?)
- If the solution provided is sufficiently different/of interest, encourage the poster to submit it as an answer to the duplicate question. Otherwise, just closing is appropriate.
Reasoning: I understand not voting to close (solution-verification) posts as an initial matter, so that users will not be turned away before sufficient feedback is given.
But we don't want multiple posts open on the exact same subject, and also when a lot of them will contain only small variations of standard arguments. Hence, the proposal to wait, but eventually close these posts once they have served their purpose.
What I'm hoping for is consensus that these questions, when they contain correct or nigh-correct answers, be "eventually" closed as duplicates. The precise meaning of "eventually" is perhaps where discussion might be warranted. I'm envisioning it as "not immediately", to (i) encourage/reward the effort; (ii) increase likelihood of engagement; (iii) give the poster the direct feedback they seek. Even a "closed as a duplicate" done pointing to an identical or near-identical argument is likely to be perceived as criticism rather than endorsement/encouragement.