Should a question be closed if the issue is a duplicate but the question is asked differently. Example: this question here and this question here where caused by the same issue but the way the questions were asked could make it hard for someone else coming along to find it. It felt wrong answering it again but I thought there might be value in leaving it in case others ran into it in the future?

  • Is this in itself not sort of the same as this recent meta question: meta.salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/2141/… ? – Samuel De Rycke Apr 1 '16 at 6:44
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    @SamuelDeRycke no I read that and several other posts. The way the questions in this situation were posted they appear to be different issues on the surface but in reality it's the same issue, so should I have flagged it for being duplicate? The point of SFSE is to be a repository of answers and to have the ability to find answers, but if you can't find the answer because of how the question was asked should it be closed or left open? I felt like it would be frowned upon to reuse an answer so that's why I'm asking. – Jenny B Apr 1 '16 at 13:31
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    Personally, the only time I have a real issue with it is when the same person asks essentially the same question on the same issue they're having a few hours after the first post. They're usually rephrasing it just enough to make it sound a bit different or adding some complexity rather than editing the original question to draw more attention to it. That's when I feel there's an issue with duplicity that's not hidden by nuances. – crmprogdev Apr 13 '16 at 14:46
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    One thing I do to try and prevent this in future questions is edit the title of a post to make it more representative of what the real problem is. This way, future posters might be more likely to find an existing question w/ answer(s) when they search and hence make it (somewhat) less likely that a new question is posed. An admittedly imperfect solution. – cropredy Apr 16 '16 at 16:15
  • @cropredy I wasn't sure if we should do that or not, also thinking that someone else might think it's the same issue and search for similar terms. – Jenny B Apr 16 '16 at 17:28
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    Jenny - I tend to only change titles where it is clear the OP title is only dimly-related to the real issue. E.g "Trigger fails" becomes "Parent values in trigger have null values" when the OP doesn't realize that trigger context contains only the subject SObject fields unless soql is done. It also serves a subtle reminder to OP to do a better job searching the 'next time' – cropredy Apr 16 '16 at 17:46

Found an old blog post that answered my question referenced in the help docs -

One thing I want to be clear about, though, is that duplication is not necessarily bad. Quite the contrary -- some duplication is desirable. There’s often benefit to having multiple subtle variants of a question around, as people tend to ask and search using completely different words, and the better our coverage, the better odds people can find the answer they’re looking for. And isn't that, really, the whole point of this exercise?

Furthermore, it's OK for duplicate questions to have duplicate answers. While you could argue that the duplicate questions could all be merged into one question with a "master" set of answers, this is kind of irritating from the perspective of the user looking for an answer. Put yourself in their shoes. Instead of finding ...

Gonna stop worrying about it!

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    Good find, that definitely shines some perspective! – Samuel De Rycke Apr 12 '16 at 8:44

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