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I had an issue in Emacs 24.3 that corrected itself when I was able to update to 24.4. Is "Update Emacs to 24.4" a good solution to the question? It doesn't feel right to answer it in that way, but I'm also no longer looking for a solution to the problem because it no longer exists.

3 Answers 3


I think you should definitely add that answer to the mix (and accept it), especially if none of the other answers provide a working solution for Emacs 24.3.

Of course it's more satisfying to find out what is really going on, but if there is a workaround that addresses the original problem, then that workaround should be made available as an answer: First of all, answers are much more "visible", in the sense that anybody who knows that comments are for discussion and answers are for, well, answers will look to answers for a solution first. Secondly, not everybody feels the same way about finding out what's going on. Some people are perfectly happy if they can get rid of a problem, without caring in the least about what might have caused it.


“This issue is fixed in Emacs 24.4” is a valid answer (as long as the question doesn't explicitly state that the issue needs to be fixed in a specific version that the asker is using).

It isn't the only possible answer. It isn't even the best answer — most people don't upgrade all their software every time a new version comes out. Regardless of the upgrade-or-not issue, a good answer would explain why the problem arose in the first place. But it is a valid answer.


In the general case, insofar as we strive for answers to be practical, I believe that the answer is: "it depends".

For many users, upgrading one minor version is a practical solution. For others, it is not.

I recommend that the asker accept an answer if it is practical, but so too politely reject answers that are honestly impractical.

When there are multiple classes of users (some who can easily upgrade, some who can't) then the question should be split and the two parts should link to one another ("related question" feature).

  • 2
    +0 I agree that answers should be practical. But I strongly disagree that questions should be split to post answers catering to different types of users. If we did that, we'd be generating duplicates on purpose. Plus, how would you title the different questions? "How to frobnicate the bar 1" and "How to frobnicate the bar 2"?
    – itsjeyd
    Nov 4, 2014 at 10:41
  • I think @Gilles stated what I was thinking better: "... as long as the question doesn't explicitly state that the issue needs to be fixed in a specific version ...". This indicates that a separate question should be asked if the user explicitly can't upgrade.
    – daveloyall
    Nov 4, 2014 at 15:13
  • I see. That makes sense to me as well :)
    – itsjeyd
    Nov 4, 2014 at 15:46

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