This is related to Should we discourage people that delete their question after they receive an answer?, and to the AskUbuntu Meta question Please stop posting half answers and dumb advice as comments. It's a combination of the two.
This evening I've had two instances of questions being deleted, literally from beneath my fingertips, as I was typing my answers. The reason? An answer was given as a comment, and the user withdrew the question immediately upon seeing it. It was a pity that this happened, not just because I had spent some time writing an answer, but since in one of the cases, the user left with a piece of code that was still wrong in more ways than what the question and comment-answer addressed.
Could we (me included) stop giving actual answers in comments, please?
It is infuriatingly annoying to have the "this question has been deleted" thing pop up when you've spent 10 minutes typing away trying to explain what's wrong, what they should be doing, and why, just because someone casually says "do this: ..." in a comment.
Comments are for comments. Answers are for answers.
- If you have the answer, type it up.
- If you don't have the time to do that, then you don't have the answer.
If you are dying to leave a witty comment about an issue in the code that may resolve the question in a wonderful puff of smoke, then write it up as an answer, or hold that thought and come back later when the question no longer can be deleted (>1 answers, or an answer with an upvote, or one accepted answer).
Answers are peer reviewed, edited, upvoted and downvoted, referred to by other answers, and read by many people. The same goes for questions. Comments, not so much. This means that good answers generally provide more context to the issue in the question as well as a higher quality (in terms of both exposition and of correctness) than what comments do. This is what this site is about: providing good answers to questions related to Unix and Linux, so that the person asking, and others, may benefit and learn something.
I know that writing an answer instead of a comments is no cure for users deleting their questions (unless the answer is good enough to get an immediate upvote), but it would make it more probable that the question may get enough undeletion votes to be resurrected. AFAIK, there is no undeletion review queue, but the more "reputable" people frequenting the chat could possibly help out with this, and a moderator would probably be able to track down the deleted question, especially if you wrote an answer to it that you think was worth rescuing.
Sorry, no real question here other than "could we write real answers instead of comments, please?"