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faq feature-request wont-fix
marmot
How about having means to make an answer a community wiki? That is, no one editing it, including the first one to write it, earns stars for their personal score. I feel that there are situations in which one individual user can only give a partial answer but the community may provide a (more or less) complete answer. For instance, if one asks about the list of deprecated LaTeX packages, there should be IMHO just one but complete answer rather than several which rise to the top depending on how often they got starred.

So wiki answers would have the benefit of having the answer better organized. To be more specific, consider the possible question

> Which LaTeX packages are known to be mutually incompatible.

It is quite likely that not a single user can answer this, or will have the passion to do all the research to do that properly. In a wiki answer we could have *one* answer which sorts the packages (say alphabetically) and the information is much more accessible than having, say, 67 independent answers, which may also vary in their style. 

There are many more examples in which the answers will be sort of encyclopedic, and the otherwise very useful way of ranking answers may not make too much sense.

One may say that the current settings do not prevent someone from editing an original answer to make it more complete. This is true, but I feel that users may not be as motivated doing that as for a wiki post, the more so since these answers will be conceivably getting a lot of stars, and those who are interested in competing for stars may just not be willing to spend time to make someone else get more stars.
Top Answer
Caleb
A CW style implementation that might work for this site would be to make it a different _question post_ type (just like blog / meta questions) with a unique property that:

1. A blank answer is automatically added, owned by *nobody*.
1. Only one answer post would ever be allowed. Much  like the blog posts don't allow answers at all, CW questions would only have one answer.

This is different from the SE implementation that allows multiple answer posts and a mix of post types which I've always found confusing and very rarely useful. Either a question is best answered by multiple people taking a stab at it and the best post being sorted at the top, or it is best answered by lots of edits/users over time adding to a list. Mixing and matching is almost always bad.
Answer #2
Jack Douglas
I'm unsure if we ever want something exactly like Community Wiki the way it works on SE — but I'm interested to hear arguments for and against.

> That is, no one editing it, including the first one to write it, earns stars for their personal score.

This is possible already in a roundabout way that you may like to consider. If you post the question or answer with a dummy account (for example by 'joining' from a private browser session), then no-one real will get the 'credit':

1. open private window 
2. click 'join'
3. go to profile and change account name to 'Wiki'
4. post blank answer
5. close private window.

There is no need to keep access to the wiki account, one per q/a would be sensible I think. And there is no need to post any actual content as the wiki user either — that is best done with your real account.

It would be reasonably easy to fold those accounts into an official 'Wiki' feature if we decided to implement one at a later date.

In general I think this should only be used for those rare cases where an answerable question is posted that absolutely requires a group effort to answer. Normally if you post an answer, I think you should take the credit for it, even if you are just quoting documentation.
Can we have analogs of the "community wiki" option?
Caleb replying to Jack Douglas
Voting should be allowed. Otherwise there will be no way to grade interest or perceived quality when reviewing question lists.
marmot
@Caleb Love it!
Jack Douglas
a further thought: an implementation like this would be very easy to allow communities to opt in/out of the feature.
Jack Douglas
it leaves open the question of whether votes should be allowed on either the question or the answer. My initial reaction is "no" to both.
Jack Douglas
@Caleb if we are going to support CW at all, I think that is a very good (and idiomatic) suggestion for TA, thanks.
marmot replying to Jack Douglas
Great! Thanks!
Jack Douglas
I've tagged it 'wont-fix' for now but we'll revisit later if there is a need. I've also tagged it 'faq' so it will be more visible once we get tag searching and the help pages working
Jack Douglas replying to marmot
I've updated my answer here, does that look like it might be ok for documentation? It might be good to have a meta question on TeX with an answer that links here, if this will be especially useful there.
marmot replying to Jack Douglas
Yes, if that is well documented somewhere this would also work. I believe that this very proposal could, once it works, be a very good answer to the question. Then everyone wondering about wikis on topanswers.xyz would likely find these instructions and now what they need to do.
Jack Douglas
no need to keep access to the wiki account, one per q/a would be sensible I think. No need to post any actual content as the wiki user either — that is best done with your real account
Jack Douglas replying to marmot
It would be reasonably easy to fold those accounts into an official 'Wiki' feature if we decided to implement one at a later date. Do bear in mind I mean a very simple process: (1) open private window (2) press 'join' (3) change account name to 'Wiki' (4) post blank question/answer (5) close private window.
marmot replying to Jack Douglas
It would work but would require everyone who wants to start a wiki to create a dummy account. I think having a community wiki option will just be cleaner because otherwise we will have tons of  "Wiki", "AnotherWiki", "YetAnotherWiki"  users.
Jack Douglas replying to marmot
Yes I think you are right. Can you explain simply why using a dummy account would not work, I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. If you named the dummy account 'Wiki' it would then be obvious to everyone that it's intended to be an edit free-for-all.
marmot replying to Jack Douglas
Happy New Year! I bring up sock puppets because in the answer you wrote about dummy accounts. Seems like the usefulness of these community wikis varies a lot between the different topics. In LaTeX they are IMHO extremely useful because there are questions which cannot be answered by a single user and many are hesitant to do major edits to a post by another user. For instance, if I ask "which packages are mutually incompatible?", it would be great to have *one* answer with an alphabetically sorted list rather than 67 single answers.
David
I've never thought CW posts had much value, and on one "Askbot" site I've been active on, they were an absolute menace. I can think of *one* good use case, though, and that is for "canonical" Q&As which are meant to be there for reference. IF this was a CW use-case, then maybe a category like "FAQ" or the like which would have a different voting system could work? Just a thought!
Jack Douglas
I would only suggest creating a single sock for one purpose — ie creating one question or answer. For another question or answer another can be used and then forgotten.
Jack Douglas replying to marmot
not sure why you mention voting — sock puppets are fine as 'burner' accounts just for posting a question or answer, but no-one should ever vote with a sock puppet.
Jack Douglas replying to samcarter
So pinged if someone commented on the post? Yes that is one concrete difference. In your particular example, if you have gone to the trouble of answering a genuine question by finding it in the documentation and posting it, and if others feel it is worthy of stars, I'd be inclined to agree with them. otoh if like @marmot's scenario you post a 'starting point' and the aim is for others to collaboratively answer wiki-style, then that may be different. If you were doing that and wanted to be pingable, you could find ways to make that possible, a few come to mind. I suspect we'd have to try things out to see how well they work in practice.
marmot
@JackDouglas I am not sure if we should encourage having these dummy accounts. I am more a fan of having one real-life person per user, who is responsible for the contents of their posts, and can vote according to their experience, but not according to the number of their sock puppets. 
marmot replying to Andriy M
It is to indicate that it is a community effort, and everyone is encouraged to edit the post and to improve it. This is precisely the opposite of "the best answer rises to the top".  Stated differently, there are posts where it makes sense to have "competing" answers by one author each who is responsible for the answer. These are the majorities of posts. However, there are also questions who may ask for, say, the complete list of such and such, which no single author can compile. These can be made community posts where everyone can add what they know in a structured way to one post. This makes a lot of sense if you want to sort the complete list of such and such alphabetically, say. 
samcarter
The main use case for CW posts on tex.se was to opt-out of rep. For example if I posted an answer that just copied an example from a package documentation, then I would feel bad to get rep/stars/whatever for something that I did not create. Compared to an anonymous post, a CW post had the advantage that one still got pinged if someone had a question about it. 
Andriy M
What I mean is, even if a user gives an incomplete answer, anyone can still edit it to add more information. What would be the benefit of the post's being a CW in that regard?
Andriy M
Hey @marmot, do you think you could include in your question a summary of the CW-specific properties that you yourself consider particularly useful and would like to be implemented here? Just so that everyone had a clear picture what you are looking to implement with your request. Thanks.