I started looking at one of the rather complicated questions and began formulating answers based on compartmentalizing the problem into smaller, simpler problems. I need a place to write down the current progress but since I have no idea if this will ever reach an appropriate solution I don't know if it will ever turn into an accurate answer.

Is it appropriate to stick all of the "progress" in an answer and edit it more progress as I encounter it? Or should I do all of my work "offline" and only post an answer when it is complete?

  • $\begingroup$ Good question. I think this is part of the consideration of the "too broad" close reason, but I don't think that fully answers the question. Can't quite put my finger on it... $\endgroup$ – Aza Jun 24 '14 at 21:25

I have had a number of times on math where I have posted an incomplete answer and it seems to have helped somebody else finish the job. If there is substantial progress I think it is fine. As puzzles tend to have "one trick" that is probably less common here-you either have the trick or you don't.


Here are two separate points:

  1. Are answers, which doesn't fully answer the question acceptable?
    I think yes, because:

    1. Many questions here are not about facts, but solutions, sometimes of a complicated problems, so any help can be appreciated by the user who ask.
    2. They can contain useful and related to the question information.
    3. As we can see, they are encouraged by asking person and community. Also they are encouraged by similar communities, for example, MathSE.
  2. Where can I save my intermediate progress?

    1. You can use your local files, or internet resources.
    2. You can create and delete an answer, so only you can see it. (I use it, but I am not sure is it good or bad).
    3. I think it is bad to add an public answer and then edit it significantly, it is hard to follow.

While I hesitate to suggest posting an incomplete answer, I have seen a number of such answers posted and upvoted, so I'd say post one or two and see what the community has to say about them. I think it's much more reasonable and accepted here than elsewhere on the network.


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