I was able to solve my problem based on the advice given here - Imake and header files but I would like to know whether I can continue to ask questions on the same topic one question at a time. Is this discouraged and closed or it is on topic at Unix and Linux SE ? By that I mean the software is not compiling and one fix leads to other errors. Can I ask my questions in a series related to compilation of the same product ? I will obviously space it out over time and I try my level best to solve it myself.


2 Answers 2


No, it is not discouraged to ask follow-up questions.

However, avoid asking a series of very similar questions, and avoid using questions and answers as an interactive chat session to debug a particular thing.

A section in our Help Center mentions

We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.

along with

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

For your problem with imake: I answered the question to the best of my ability, with the information given in the question. Had you provided more information about exactly what piece of software you tried to build, I would possibly have been able to see for myself, on my own machine, what the issue was and come up with a much more detailed and complete solution.

One possible issue with a series of follow-up questions is that the individuals that look at the questions do not know what it is you're actually want to do. You say you're wanting to do "X", but it's actually "Y" that is the main issue that you're trying to solve. It is conceivable that solving "X" might even make it harder to solve the real problem "Y".

For example, copying that site.def file to a new location may solve the immediate problem of it not being found by the build process, but in doing so, it may mess something else up further down the line.

This is why I initially just left a comment rather than an answer on that particular question. I knew that my imake-foo was not up to scratch and I wanted to give a workaround that might have worked (but it didn't actually work completely in the end).

  • If the software had a public URL for download I would have posted it in the question. Unfortunately I got it via an associate. It is no longer supported.
    – user119034
    Mar 9, 2018 at 10:34
  • @gansub Yes, that makes it harder to write a good answer. In this particular case, we may simply need someone with more imake knowledge. Note that I not say "don't write a follow-up question", just that it's important to (try to) frame it in such a way that an answer actually solves the real problem.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Mar 9, 2018 at 10:39

Adding to @Kusalananda's answer:

As long as your question contains a Short, Self-contained, Replicable example, it's fine. It might be a good idea to link the other asked questions for reference; however, each question must be able to stand for itself.

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