I came across this new question 🔗 and decided to answer it. I had two ways to solve OP's problem so I decided to post two separate answers. I was then met by the dialog:

Are you sure you want to add another answer?

You could use the edit link to refine and improve your existing answer, instead.

And this got me thinking; is it better to have one long answer presenting different solutions than providing multiple answers, one for each solution? I would argue that several answers is better since one of the solutions might be correct and the others not, and if you have one long answer it's difficult to know which solution was correct.

Should we prefer one answer presenting several solutions or one answer for each solution?


2 Answers 2


That's up to you. I don't think we need to set any kind of official policy about it, particularly since there haven't been any discernible trouble with the status quo.

I think that warning prompt about adding multiple answers exists as a way of reminding users, subtly, that this isn't a discussion forum, and that multiple "answers" are not successive responses to the discussion.

Personally, I'd probably post multiple answers if I were offering up legitimately different solutions and wanted to cover each of them in some significant depth. The only time I can remember really doing this is on meta, usually to seed a discussion. Generally on the main site when I'm mentioning multiple different approaches it's at a high level, a list of possible options that are supportive of the primary answer and not independent answers on their own.


If one solution is correct and the other solutions are not correct, this probably means that the question is not precise enough.

The check-mark to accept the answer says:

[...] because it solved your problem or was the most helpful in finding your solution.

And the upvote text says:

This answer is useful.

We see that the concept of "correct answer" is in fact "useful answer".

I think that posting different answers with solutions using different approaches is ok, as long as the solution is well expanded (you have a chunky post).

If the description for each solution is short, I guess it would be better to post a single answer than many short ones.

I think the dialog is there to inform new users of the possibility to edit their previous post, a kind of training feature.

If you know what you're doing, go ahead, either create multiple posts, or a single one, based on what you feel is right.

The only drawback of creating multiple answer posts is that some users might frown upon the attempt to reap more rep. Two answer posts means twice the amount of upvotes possible. I don't think it's really an issue here, though.


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