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I'm new to this particular stackexchange, and admittedly my first answer was not quite in keeping with the general expectations. That's not my point.

The specific answer is here: Low-power-draw HD resolution video card

I'm happy to admit it does not specifically provide a low power graphics card as requested by the enquirer. However it does provide an answer that would provide the same end result, albeit a completely different way, and probably a way that the OP had not considered at all.

Over at https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/ we make an effort to salvage the good parts of a comment/answer by using comments, or by direct editing. Delete is for those answers that are beyond saving.

I'd like to politely suggest that delete should be a last response, not the first.

Edit: Screenshot as requested. screenshot as requested

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  • Mods, since none of us can see deleted posts yet, I request a screenshot for context to this question. – Andy Nov 4 '15 at 3:20
  • Without the context, as mentioned above, this sounds like a reasonable request. I'm interested in seeing what was deleted. – Andy Nov 4 '15 at 3:22
  • @Andy OP solicits the opinion of the masses for ideas, and my answer was not exactly in line with their request. Perhaps it should have been a comment not an answer. Asking the wider group for input helps get ideas that may not hve been considered initially. My main whinge here is that the answer got deleted without the chance to evolve and be as useful as possible. – Criggie Nov 4 '15 at 3:50
  • @Criggie your feedback would be useful on the point in my answer about clarifying deletion policy. – ArtOfCode Nov 4 '15 at 9:26
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    Based on this question and the one that spawned from it, we have decided to allow this kind of answer and yours has been undeleted. – Adam Nov 4 '15 at 22:27
  • @Adam can you make that an official answer? – Andy Nov 4 '15 at 22:33
  • @andy done. Thanks to everyone for being approchable and not defensive. – Criggie Nov 4 '15 at 22:36
  • @Andy I added an official statement here since your question covers this question. – Adam Nov 4 '15 at 23:40
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I think this kind of answer falls into a grey area when it comes to determining how it should be treated. There is no denying that your answer provides legitimate and useful information. The problem is in how that information pertains to the question asked.

Your answer doesn't recommend the kind of hardware that is asked for and instead recommends a good alternative with its own pros and cons. On one hand, this can be seen as "not an answer" because it doesn't address the question. On the other hand, it is perfectly fine because it addresses the underlying problem the OP wants to solve.

This brings the situation to a fork in the road where we have to decide if we will accept any answer that solves the problem regardless of what the solution is (desired hardware, undesired hardware, software, etc.) or if we will only accept answers that recommend the item asked about in the question (which has to be hardware of course).

I am personally undecided right now because it will have a large impact on the future of answers on the site, but I'm thinking we should allow this kind of answer simply because it provides a solution to the problem, which is ultimately what people want out of a question.

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  • Many of the answers I've seen will be defunct in months, because the product will no-longer be available. You raise an excellent point of "solving the problem" instead of "answering the question" The OP may not have considered an alternative approach. And this answer would be valid for years, as opposed to whenever a specific hardware device goes end of sale, then relying on the used market/ebay. – Criggie Nov 4 '15 at 3:55
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    @Adam, I wrote another meta post before I saw your answer. Instead of focusing on the delete portion that this question poses, it focuses on whether or not we should accept software alternatives to hardware requests. – Andy Nov 4 '15 at 4:05
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    @Criggie We've taken the outdating factor into account here and found that it isn't really a problem. I agree that your solution would last much longer, but this isn't really a problem of how long solutions will last. – Adam Nov 4 '15 at 4:11
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To address your specific request here right off:

In Should we delete things that don't match our criteria?, we talked over what the deletion policies should be. Here, they are similar to Software Recommendations, where deletion is closer to a first response.

That's because, being a recommendations site, we're much more liable to get low-quality and spam posts then other places on the network.

Now, your answer was neither of these, but as it stood it didn't really answer the question - you recommended a piece of software, rather than the GPU asked for. Since we're proactive on deletions, I deleted the post. Admittedly I skimped a little on the comment, which usually also links to the answer quality guidelines and encourages you to post another answer - my fault, sorry.

It occurs to me that perhaps the difference in deletion policy isn't obvious enough, given that it has resulted in an unhappy poster coming to Meta to complain. Feedback would be welcome here - should we link them in a comment when we delete things? Publicise them some other way?


What your answer did do was address the problem behind the question, I won't dispute that. And, to be honest, I like seeing answers that do that - the deletion was a policy thing rather than a feeling about the answer. However, in this meta post, we're now debating if these answers should be left there - please do weigh in.

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  • I think more needs to be discussed with this policy. As it stands, the post you linked to links back to the answer quality guidelines. I'd say the answer meets the 3 criteria in that post. It's not a "I Googled this for you". It is verbose and explains the reasoning (though, doesn't meet all of the requirements of the OP) and it is well formatted. If those are the only requirements you are using (and since you linked to it, it should be), I think the answer is appropriate. It provides a solution, but probably not what the OP wants. – Andy Nov 4 '15 at 13:41
  • I posted a response over here in regard to the policy. – Andy Nov 4 '15 at 13:59

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