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I originally wrote a question that was deemed to have too many questions in it, thus it was closed for not being focused. I was told by a community leader to make them separate questions, so I did. But now those are being reported as duplicate.

Here is the original question that got closed for not being focused (too many questions):

Is there a way to obfuscate programs so that other developers cannot reproduce my business without doing the hard work?

Per the community recommendation, here are my three new questions, now at risk of being closed for being duplicate with one another:

  1. Are all programs plainly visible within the blockchain?
  2. What are ways to protect a novel program solution in order to protect the IP investment of development effort?
  3. Is there anything that prevents popular programs from being cloned hundreds of times by copycats?

It seems that this dilemma is causing the questions to not be allowed to be asked, not because of their merit as questions, but because of the community not agreeing about where they should appear. This tug-of-war between contradictory classification is preventing ideas from being thoroughly explored on this site.

What is the best way to handle this? Not everything in the world is perfect, so I can live with the answer, "there is no good solution."

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Like an argument may be sound but invalid yet still convincing, any post may generate useful replies. This does not, however, mean that any post generating useful replies meets the criteria for Stack Exchange posts to

  • demonstrate research
  • be clearly written, and
  • provide use value.

In general, my opinion is that posting a series of questions makes it difficult to obtain the goal that each post "shows research effort; it is useful and clear" (the text which pops up when you hover over the upvote).

I think this point is illustrated by your expressed concern that now each discrete post is:

at risk of being closed for being duplicate with one another

This overlap says to me that the propositional content of the inquiry is unclear. My hunch is that there are concepts which need decoupling as well as clarifying to resolve the overlap into a focused inquisitive. My guess is that this is precisely why Stack Exchange has the guidelines it does (and a big part of how they build a valuable community.) My suspicion tells me that your concern may also be due to not having done due diligence by researching solana.stackexchange prior to posting.

Specifically here, I find it valid citing as a concern that the post "needs details/clarity, needs more focus" because such a post is "problematic to identifying the problem in a way that can be properly addressed by answerers." Note, the use of "the problem" here. Not to suggest that "a series of questions" is always bad SE style, or has negative value, but rather to suggest that focusing on one question at a time creates an opportunity for clarity exemplar of Stack Exchange guidelines.

from https://solana.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/close-questions:

Questions should be closed by casting close votes if:

  • the question is a duplicate – i.e., it is sufficiently similar to an existing question and would be answered identically.
  • the question needs details/clarity, needs more focus, is primarily opinion-based, or is otherwise problematic to identifying the problem in a way that can be properly addressed by answerers
  • the question is sufficiently off-topic, as outlined in this help center article, or otherwise disallowed for a community-specific reason.

Now, obviously, you did receive and accept a useful reply to the post which directly addressed three of the four questions (1 and 3 are largely the same, but there is as much difference as similarity between reproducibility and investment protection.):

  1. Is there a way to obfuscate programs so that other developers cannot reproduce my business without doing the hard work?
  2. Are all programs plainly visible within the blockchain?
  3. Is there a way to prevent that when writing your program to protect the investment of development effort?
  4. If not, what would keep a popular program from being quickly cloned hundreds of times by copycats?

A useful reply, however, isn't necessarily an answer.

To fit Stack Exchange style guidelines for posting a well researched, useful, and clear question I might suggest otherwise that you gather evidence of your research to address each question, i.e. can you cite a statement of fact which either

  1. answers one of the questions in the series, or
  2. is the impetus for the question because it doesn't appear to make sense?

E.g. are there any Solana docs which cite the fact(s) of program visibility? If so, then plz cite them! This research adds value to the post.

In particular, my issue with "a series of questions" is that while generating useful replies may be arguable as "providing use value," it is only so after the fact of the useful reply. I would argue that such "a series of questions" can not provide the "use value" of a Stack Exchange question without receiving a useful answer.

What is the best way to handle this? Not everything in the world is perfect, so I can live with the answer, "there is no good solution."

There are lots of good solutions. "Best" or "good" are little more than meeting conditions which are adequate to the occasion of posting a well-researched, useful and clear question.

Best.

p.s. I would change your "community leader" to "fellow member in good standing" - afaik they are not a moderator (I may be wrong) but are otherwise super helpful and knowledgable from what I have seen. I would also rephrase "community recommendation" to "recommendation by a fellow member in good standing." 2¢

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  • Thank you for your polite and well thought through response. I will try to do better with my questions.
    – OCDev
    Jul 30, 2022 at 15:32

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