I've written an answer that became very long. First, the info in the question was a bit general and I wanted to cover general cases by example. Then, inspired by another answer I extended the answer to be longer.

Now, the question has been clarified by a screenshot and became a bit more specific, basically rendering my answer as to general (as I feel it). So, as a good citizen of SE, I edit my answer also to be more specific and make it start with the specific answer.

For now, I kept the old answer in the bottom, but the total is really long. And I do agree with the short and concise principle. (openSUSE wiki style guideline).

Keep it short and concise

When writing, consider how quickly you decide to read on, or not. Poorly written and overly wordy articles will not be read.

  • Do not add irrelevant or redundant content. People will read short, clear articles that give the information they need. But they will flee those bloated with irrelevant content.
  • Use a consistent, non-cluttered format from top to bottom. No one will read a lengthy article broken into sections by miss-matched layouts or colors. Those just make reading slower and serve to drive away the reader.
  • To make your article useful and popular, keep it short and concise!

Should I cleanup the answer? In that case I intent to keep only the Edit 2 section, and maybe 1 or 2 facts from the first version.

I've had similar situations happen to me as well. I've taken a similar approach and kept most or portions of my original answers in the bottom portion of my answer and put a header above it stating as such, and then put the revised, more specific answer/details on the upper portion of the answer.

I think this is a completely appropriate way to deal with this and if you look across the other SE sites, you'll see a similar thing being done.

I would try and make your answer in both portions as concise as you can but beyond that it's up to you to do as you see fit.

Personally, I would edit my already submitted answers to fit an update question, if necessary.

If any part of the old answer is definitely no longer relevant, I would remove it. In some cases, this has lead to removal of bits of answers that I've spent significant time on.

If any part of the old answer is no longer relevant but if it still may be interesting or affect the solution given slightly different circumstances, then I would fit that into the updated answer in a way that makes it read okay (a reader should be able to follow the text from top to bottom in a natural way).

I would probably not leave the outdated answer as-is in any case, as it's no longer relevant to the question in that form.

The revision history would contain the old submission anyway, and is also linkable.

I try to keep "EDIT:" and "UPDATED:" tags in the text to a minimum, and instead alert the relevant user in a comment, if they have previously commented on the answer.

  • 2
    Yes, especially to leaving off "EDIT" and "UPDATED". That's just noise to anyone who encounters the answer later. – mattdm Jul 8 at 13:36
  • Not least because you would then have "EDIT: Did a thing" immediately followed by a hot-linked "Edited by Bob at $time". – DopeGhoti Jul 12 at 15:23

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