I am posting this to see what is the general point of view on this issue, and the most commonly accepted behaviour. I was going to post this on the main stack meta, but after some research I feel that the problem is more inerent to SharePoint questions that anything else.

At the time of writting this question, I have posted only four questions. Three of them are still "open", without a clear response. Since most of my question are pretty difficult and specific, and since I avoid making trivial questions like "How I check in a file in the user interface" I had fell to an answer % of 25. While I know that we shouldn't really worry about that number %, I also feel that since it is there, it is shown to everyone (so it isn't only a warning to the user), and it has colour coding it indeed will scare away people from questions.

I am then left wondering what to do with some of such questions. Take this one for example:

Purpose of the MAPPINGS CAML element in a custom Choice Field definition

It is scored 9, so it would seem well accepted. I also think that I say that the question is well written and provide quite a lot of information about the issue, that it should be answerable (if only someone manages to grab that information), and that the purpose is also clear (a valid resource that states "yes is possibile this way" or "no you can't because"). Still, since as Stuart said that info seems to be a black hole, no one was able to provide an actual documented answer that can provide a way to use the MAPPINGS element, nor a solid reference that states that this isn't possible out of the box*. The only answer (that I voted as usefull but which I don't feel that answer the issue) only provides a reference to the caml docs, that (as expected, we are talking SharePoint here) provide no info other than "it exist and should do that".

Now, it is NOT MY POINT to discuss that specif question so please, take it only as an example of the problem... What I would like to know is what is the comunity point of view regards handling similar questions.

As I see it, the question should remain unanswered and I should only vote the helpfull posts. But that would still lover the percentage in the run. On the other hand accepting an answer would give the idea that the question is answered which it is not, with the result of discouraging new answer, lowering the question visibility to people that may know the REAL answer and bring false results to ones that hopes to find and answer to a similar problem.

NOTE: taken from meta: Which answer should I choose?

  • Don't hesitate to accept an answer that is well-written, suggests a good practice and works for you.
  • Otherwise, even if there are answers that are good enough but that you're not entirely satisfied by, you might wait 24 to 48 hours to give other people a chance to give you a better answer. A question with an accepted answer isn't as likely to receive further attention as one without an accepted answer.
  • Make sure that besides working for you, the answer is really good practice. Sometimes after the answer gets accepted, another comes in, uncovering the fact that previous one was in fact a bad hack.
  • The bottom line is to accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful to you, personally.

So they say "accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful"... but... what is the point in accepting the only helpfull answer that contains usefull info but does not resolve the problem? I feel that it will only bring more noise than anything else.

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1 Answer 1

IMO, accept rate is there to be used as a gentle reminder to get you to accept answers to your questions (seems to be working :P).

In your case, you answer questions way more than you ask questions (which is awesome) but the questions you do ask are difficult to answer.

Usually I try to reward whoever took the time to answer my question and was the closest. You can always edit your question or their answer to include additional information.

It may be that you never get an answer that fully resolves your question.. so you can answer it yourself with any workarounds or additional information and accept it.

See also, Questions which have no answer.

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Yea, saw that topic Kit, but IMHO that should fit more a case where you discover that "it is not possible". In my case the question fall more in the "No one know". That is why I am wondering if giving the impression that the question is answered is the best choice. Won't then we risk to discurage further research on the topic? –  SPArchaeologist Dec 7 '12 at 16:08
    
You could make arguments for either case.. I prefer marking it as answered but then again I'm biased because I like seeing answered questions (it used to count towards your site stats especially when we were in beta). –  Kit Menke Dec 7 '12 at 17:17
    
At least it seem I'm not the only one.. –  SPArchaeologist Dec 24 '12 at 9:46
    
I seem to regularly have questions that other people can't or won't answer, so probably half of my questions are self-answered. Other times I'll create or mark an answer and just leave a comment saying "this wasn't really resolved but whatever." That last thing really hasn't happened as much but there's probably a few of them in my history. –  Matt Jun 27 '13 at 15:52
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