I noticed recently that Why is Linux reporting “free” memory strangely? is marked as a Canonical question.

CQs seem like an excellent idea, but my digging around on the serverfault and stackoverflow meta-sites have failed to enlighten me as to how these questions are canonized.

Can we have CQs on DA, and if so, how do we canonize questions?

  • FWIW, I would be willing to take the down to write down a few really good and extensive canonical versions of the question I see over and over that I've gotten tired of answering, if we implemented this. :)
    – Letharion
    Nov 17, 2012 at 19:18
  • 1
    If you are willing to write those canonical questions, we (as community) can coordinate and decide which ones should be written. Keep in mind that the purpose of such questions is avoiding to answer the same type of questions over and over, which also means questions about something already covered from a canonical question should then be closed as duplicates.
    – apaderno Mod
    Nov 18, 2012 at 4:24
  • While not exactly what you suggested @kiamlaluno, I've posted a suggestion for a question to be canonized. meta.drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/2350/…
    – Letharion
    Feb 16, 2013 at 0:09

2 Answers 2


Can we have CQs on DA, and if so, how do we canonize questions?

As far as I understand, canonical questions are generic questions about a specific topic that are created when similar questions about that topic are asked from more users. In those cases, a generic question about that topic is created, and the other questions are closed as duplicates.
To make an example, consider the questions about a hook not being executed, where the only evidence shown about the hook not being executed is that dsm() doesn't output anything. You could create a question that answers about the reason why dsm() could not output anything when executed from a hook, and mark the other questions about the same topic as duplicates.

The answer is then: Yes, we can have canonical questions on Drupal Answers, as long as we are able to find questions that keep to be asked in different nuances.
There isn't a way to canonize a question. A canonical question is a question like another one that is used with a specific purpose.


Looking at the edit history for that question this looks like something the guys on Server Fault are doing manually; it doesn't look like the system gets involved in any automated capacity.

There was a similar discussion on MSO a year or so ago which looks to have been received well, but there doesn't appear to be a resolution (but no tag either).

For what it's worth I think this would be a great feature to implement. The nuts and bolts would need to be fleshed out but it would make life easier when closing repeatedly-asked questions (among other things).

If this post gains some traction I'll whack a bounty on the MSO question and see if anything comes of it.

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