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I've been reading some posts about canonical questions, and am still not sure what they are. Examples:

Is a canonical question like what we would call in Australia a Dorothy Dixer where you ask a question to which you know the answer? For example:

Q. (by Nick) How do interrupts work on the Arduino?

A. (by Nick) Glad you asked! I'll explain them ...

Or is it (as some of the links above seem to indicate) just improving existing questions?


I could probably do some "reference" questions if they were wanted, I just want to clarify if that is what is intended by the expression.


I also notice a checkbox: "Answer your own question". What does that do? Does that mean you put the question and the answer into the same post, or does it indicate you are planning to answer your own question?

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I would sum it up as this: a question with an answer that is generally regarded as "the authority" on a topic. For example, "avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00," aka Some Dude Named Avr Won't Let Me Upload My Program is basically a canonical question.

The goal is to compile one source of information that is more useful than lots of fragmented answers across hundreds of questions.

I also notice a checkbox: "Answer your own question". What does that do? Does that mean you put the question and the answer into the same post, or does it indicate you are planning to answer your own question?

Click on it! It adds another textbox that is converted into an answer when you post. It's a good idea to do this out of respect for others; if the question and answer are both posted at the same time, people won't spend wasting time researching and writing answers when you are drafting your own answer.

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