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An answer is a proposal for a specific solution to a question.


  • Any user may propose an answer at any time.
  • Any user may rate as many or as few answers as they like, at any time, and may revise those ratings at any time.
  • Any answer may be linked to a debate; the answer's listing will show the debate's status in real time.

Details to Hash Out

  • There needs to be some way to identify duplicates, to avoid splitting ratings. One obvious ways is to allow any user to flag any answer as a duplicate of another answer, and then require some sort of minimum level of approval before the ratings for the duplicate are merged with the original. Is "split spamming" something to worry about? If supporters of Answer A post multiple copies of Answer B near to the deadline (when there might not be time to spot them all), they're not likely to be able to split very many ratings -- so not much effect. There might be a "sweet spot" during peak activity times, though, when a lot of splitting activity might go unnoticed before it was too late.
    • Turning off the ability to post new answers some time before the vote deadline is probably a good idea for this reason, and also possibly good because it will give the last-minute ideas more chance to be examined. This is probably something that should be fine-tuned by posing it as an ongoing question, with periodic modifications to the system based on the current aggregate rating.
      • Further refinement: allow new answers to be suggested after an "answer cut-off deadline", but these appear in a separate listing -- and can only be voted for by choosing a "none of the above" option which will automatically be included in the list of answers whenever there are "disabled answers". If "none of the above" wins, then the process starts over again -- with the new answers included. (Yes, this too can probably be abused.)

Probably the best way to hash out details like this is to implement the system without resolving them (pick the easiest or most elegant way to do it), and then post the problem as a question. Let the system tweak itself.