There have now been two questions closed as "duplicate" in the past several days (at least that I have seen) that are definitely not duplicates. Yes, they are similar / related / overlapping, but not true duplicates. Aren't "duplicates" supposed to be the exact same issue / problem / scenario? If a new question is 90% - 95% the same, does that really qualify as a duplicate? What if that 5% - 10% difference makes a huge difference in the answer / solution?
The first item below is maybe 50% overlap, but the critical issue (cross-DB security vs. intra-DB security) is such that anyone being affected by cross-DB concerns won't benefit in any way from the supposed "original" question / answer. The second item has far more overlap, but the difference in length of string means adding a simple
CONVERT as opposed to creating a stored procedure to break a long string into chunks.
closed as a duplicate of: Select Permissions Across Multiple Schemas Within the Same Database
closed as a duplicate of: varchar(MAX) text cuts off while going more than 8000 characters inside a procedure
Why are we doing this to people who are coming here for help? All it does is add to confusion and spread misinformation. If we want DBA.SE to be a site known for QUALITY content, then we need to respect variations in nuances between issues and only mark true duplicates as "duplicate".
PLEASE, can we stop being so trigger happy to close questions and give them a chance to sort themselves out? Can we maybe engage the O.P. to have them explain why their question is not a duplicate of question XYZ? (
and, of course, re-open those two questions Thanks to @Max for re-opening those questions). Thanks :-)
To clarify the exact issue here of which I doth speak: I do understand the points made by @Max regarding the process notifying the O.P. that there needs to be some clarification, and that the process shouldn't take too long since the longer it remains unclear the more likely it is that one or more good-hearted folks will
spend waste their time — life's most valuable resource — on an answer that is likely to not be relevant to the actual question once clarified (or is relevant but has already been answered via the duplicate, depending on the reason for closing).
HOWEVER, I am not speaking of questions that need clarification. I am speaking of questions that specifically do not need clarification, and are being closed mostly due to:
- hastily reading of the question and/or the proposed duplicate, or
- not appreciating / accepting the nuance of the question (i.e. being too easily dismissive of it), or
- as noted in @Mr.Brownstone's answer, not having enough knowledge to understand the question
The two questions I referenced towards the top had enough info in the question from the very beginning to determine that they were not duplicates (not exact duplicates nor even variations of a pattern). In both cases I ended up editing the question title to more accurately reflect the true nature of the question, but the questions themselves were clear enough. For the first one, "Access view...", even if someone did not have enough knowledge to pick up on the fact that the cross-database issue made them entirely different questions, I had added a comment to the question explaining the difference, and that was after only the first (at most second) close vote. For the second question, the solution noted in the "original" question would have worked, but it was also over-engineered in this case and was unnecessary given that my solution took all of two - four seconds to implement. Now, someone did not appreciate my solution (noted in comments on my answer) because it would not work in 100% of all possible strings (hence #2 above) but that is a choice that each person needs to make for themselves. We aren't gatekeepers of knowledge. We share knowledge and let people make informed decisions because they are adults, not children. I explained the nuance of the situation to the O.P. and that it wouldn't always work, but would work for them in that moment and likely many other moments over the course of their career. Closing the question so as to hide this workaround is insulting to other professionals who might actually be able to make an intelligent decision if told how and why things work the way that they do rather than given simple mantras of "just always do / use this" or "never, ever do X (e.g. use a CURSOR)", etc.
The other, more difficult to assess, aspect of this is being patient with folks who are not native English speakers. In at least one, if not both, of the questions noted here, I assume the O.P. to be a non-native speaker due to both language used, sentence structure, and in one case, how the number was formatted using spaces instead of commas as the thousands-separator. I am not sure that everyone will understand the note, or more specifically, the importance of it, that is posted when a question is first marked as duplicate. And, native speaker or not, it could be that the O.P. is thinking to themselves, "this question is already clearly different than the proposed duplicate, so I have nothing to change". I know that I have run into at least one situation, a while ago, with a non-native speaker who didn't understand the notice provided regarding the need to award a bounty on a question that they posted after I posted my answer, but received no additional feedback so wanted me to get the bounty and did not understand the rules for automatic awarding of bounty vs when it won't be automatic.
What I am asking for here is more patience. Taking more time to more thoroughly read the question, and potentially the proposed duplicate, and more understanding of those who might not (fully) understand what is being communicated, regardless of how clear we think we, or the posted notices, are.