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Hi, I'm fairly new to SF and have used the site mostly to get answers for my questions and provide answers to questions I know (read: the basic point of the site).

I recently posted an answer on this question: In tail -f, how do I filter out stuff that has certain keywords?

I answered at approximately the same time as another poster (he used egrep, and I used grep -E) and I will admit his came in first. I left mine because:

a) I was ignorant of the fact that egrep is just a symlink of 'grep -E' (hell, didn't even know egrep existed, tbh)

b) given A, I didn't realize mine was a duplicate answer.

My question is, from the perspective of helping the site (not my rep, since that's unimportant) do I just delete the answer and add a comment to his answer just because it came in first, regardless that it seems to be the popular choice?

  • /bin/egrep being a link to /bin/grep is distro dependent. On CentOS 5 it's a link on Ubuntu 9 & 10 it's separate binaries. – Iain May 18 '11 at 17:21
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a) I was ignorant of the fact that egrep is just a symlink of 'grep -E' (hell, didn't even know egrep existed, tbh)

Well i'd say leave your answer ESPECIALLY since given 100 distro's grep -E is more likly to be available on all of them than the symlink egrep :) so you are adding value.

b) given A, I didn't realize mine was a duplicate answer.

Meh happens all the time, alternate solutions are good, even if is is just syntactically different.

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You can delete the answer if you'd like, but it's not really necessary. Duplicate/synchronous answers happen all the time.

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I would say leave it, whether it's the most upvoted or not. Similar (duplicate) answers are a feature of the way the site works.

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You're welcome to leave your answer. If it offends the purpose of the site, we'll let you know.

Technically your answer is 'more portable' and would be ever so slightly 'more correct' (if such an idea exists) as I see it. I'd probably just upvote both correct answers in the sort of case..

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Leave it, for the reasons already mentioned. You posted a good answer, as clearly shown by the upvotes it has received.

When I see multiple answers with essentially the same information posted within a few minutes of each other I figure they were most likely being entered at the same time, each in good faith, and treat each according to its own merits. In such a case I don't discriminate against either just because there appears to be duplicated content. This is very different to someone posting the same information hours, days or even months after it has already been posted.

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