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As answers are up-voted their place in the list will shift. So assuming that someone reading your answer will be familiar with the content of the one "above" is fraught with danger.

However it seems wasteful to reproduce a slab of someone else's answer when you want to extend it or rebut it (beyond the character length permitted for a comment).

I presume that other SE sites have met and answered this challenge. What advice should new users be given to produce pages that are efficient and effective to read (in a potentially infinite number of arrangements)?

7

There are permalink URLs available for both answers and comments:

  • Answers: Click the "share" link below the answer to get the permalink.

  • Comments: Right click on the comment's timestamp to get the permalink.

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  • 1
    Yes there are permalinks available. Is it considered "best practice" to ALWAYS include it when referring to another answer rather try to precis the point being responded to? – Fortiter Oct 15 '12 at 0:36
  • @Fortiter, I see no problems with using quotes of part (but not the whole) of a post/comment in your own answer/comment... especially as subsequent edits may change the referenced post/comment to lose the relevence. – Andrew Oct 15 '12 at 6:30
  • It depends on the context. Often, just saying "as @Fortiter mentioned in another answer" is sufficient. Other times, quoting a sentence/paragraph like > the quoted text is here is appropriate so that you can provide the necessary context -- rebutting or expanding on a point. – bstpierre Oct 15 '12 at 18:12
  • @bstpierre - We should keep in mind the point of SE isn't to hold discussions, so if we're just debating another answer, we might want to just take it to chat with the person, but if the answer rebuts the post while still answering the original question then we should go for it. :) – jmort253 Oct 18 '12 at 0:04
  • +1 Very helpful answer. – GeneJ Oct 18 '12 at 7:36

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