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I'm specifically thinking about this question, but it's true in general. StackOverflow in general is well known to be extremely aggressive in closing questions as duplicates without much justification, and the things suggested in the help article only do anything within a few days of the question being asked; after that you're SOL if you wanted to get an answer more informative than the accepted answer for the ostensibly-duplicated question. (In the case of my question, I had already read the answers there before asking my own question, and they did not address my problem. But good luck convincing a drive-by deletionist of that.)

What policies exist to deal with this kind of problem?

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    I for one am not convinced it’s a dupe. That said, I believe you let strong feelings about behavior on Stack Overflow get in the way of reading the answer to your q (which is usually the answer for all sites, including Vi and Vim)—edit your question to explain why the dupe doesn’t answer yours. Then you might be able to flag for moderator attention and ask for unclose votes or something. – D. Ben Knoble Aug 4 '19 at 13:51
  • I ALREADY DID THAT. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 5 '19 at 17:54
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    angry shouting at me, who is trying to help you, is neither kind nor productive. I understand you are frustrated. Take a step back. I personally find it hard to contribute my volunteer time towards people who shout at me. I will go back and look at your original Q to see if the difference is well-clarified, or suggest edits if I can. – D. Ben Knoble Aug 5 '19 at 17:58
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In the case of my question, I had already read the answers there before asking my own question, and they did not address my problem. But good luck convincing a drive-by deletionist of that.

I think the problem here is that you didn't actually say that, you just mentioned "several files at once, unlike other questions", but that's not the same as "I tried the solutions from the other questoin, but that answer doesn't work because reason X".

The "drive-by deletionists" – most of whom have been consistently contributing to this site for years, by the way – can't know what you don't tell them.

The best course of action is to edit the question and clarify why it's not a duplicate. Just "several files at once" on its own doesn't strike me as a big difference as such. The given answer isn't really specific to multiple files, other than prefixing the solution with :argdo, which is a generic way to run commands over several files. I don't think that separate "do X for one file" and "do X for multiple files" for hundreds of questions would be a good idea.

  • I'm aware that people who use SO regularly are more likely to delete questions for little to no reason, so there's no reason to bring that up like it was a virtue. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 2 '19 at 0:40
  • "I don't think that separate "do X for one file" and "do X for multiple files" for hundreds of questions would be a good idea." If this would let 1% more people find an answer to their question before giving up the search, then absolutely there should be. This is the internet; space is cheap. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 2 '19 at 0:42
  • :argdo wouldn't ever work for me because the set of files I have open and the set of args I passed to vim rarely have much to do with each other. But that's irrelevant! Question-askers should not need to defend their question against people who think there's a trivial solution, because most users don't know your 'trivial' solution. If they knew your trivial solution they wouldn't be asking a question to StackOverflow! Add it as an answer and you would be doing something useful; close the question and you're not. In fact, you're preventing anyone else from doing something useful. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 2 '19 at 0:49
  • If your views are representative of the broader SO moderatorbase, then the threshold to close a question shouldn't be 5; it should be at least 50, probably more. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 2 '19 at 0:55
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    @JacobKopczynski I'm not sure what you are trying to do here, but to address the important points: 1) This site is not SO, it's VI.SE 2) Nobody here delete questions for no reason: what would be the point? 3) Your question wasn't deleted it was marked as a duplicate 4) It is important for us to mark duplicate as duplicate to help more people to find an answer to their question: our users can't make good answers to every duplicate, that would be way too much inefficient work. Whereas when questions are marked as duplicate if you find one, you find all of them. – statox Aug 2 '19 at 5:28
  • SO, SE, same thing. That's just pedantry. And when questions are marked as duplicates, they are closed, thus preventing anyone from answering the question. Since it is usually not the case that they are actually the same question, this is extremely unhelpful. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 2 '19 at 18:07
  • @JacobKopczynski The reason questions are marked as duplicates is so that we only need to maintain one question with good answers, instead of two, three, or more. See: Why are some questions marked as duplicate? Note: duplicate questions are never automatically delete since they're useful considered useful "search targets". – Martin Tournoij Aug 4 '19 at 14:01
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    Now, we're all human, so of course misunderstandings and mistakes happen. But on the other hand, if 5 people independently came to the conclusion that your question is a duplicate, then chances are you can do a better job at explaining why it's not a duplicate. – Martin Tournoij Aug 4 '19 at 14:01
  • 5 people skimming the question and deciding it's a duplicate is meaningless. I asked for a way to do something for several files at once; no answer gave any suggested means of doing that. I should not have to defend a question against people who didn't bother to actually read it in detail. – Jacob Kopczynski Aug 5 '19 at 17:56

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