41

You're always encouraged to answer questions as actual answers and not simply as comments. But it's really up to the individual users of the site to put in whatever effort they are most comfortable with. I would encourage you, or anyone that may come across this situation, to look at these comments as an opportunity to write them up as more complete ...


36

Answers posted as comments are fair game. Here's what Tim Post, the Director of Stack Overflow Communities has to say about it: You don't have anything to feel guilty about. If the person was interested in writing and maintaining an answer, they would have done so. If it was in fact the correct answer it's hardly likely that they would be the only one to ...


31

I am very opposed to answers as comments. Using the comments robs us of the ability to vote up or down or suggest edits, and basically defeats the functioning of the Stack Exchange engine. And since comments on the question go above real answers, it's a way to get in a first word, which is unfair to the real answers. I've seen many people say "But, I did ...


24

If you don't have the time to do that, then you don't have the answer. Correct. So leaving a comment may be an acceptable approach. I mention this because I have been chastised for leaving an "answer" as a comment. There are a couple of reasons why I do this: There isn't sufficient detail in the question for me to be sure that my answer will, in fact, ...


22

Unfortunately reviewers are not perfect—and I think you just happened to run into two very, uh, not perfect reviews. Neither of the reject reasons are correct: fixing a syntax error clearly makes an answer more accurate and I'm pretty sure the answer's author intended to give the correct syntax. I don't think there is much you can do about a one-off mistake,...


21

Resisting the temptation to answer this in a comment... But yes, please, let’s write answers instead of comments (of course the users most likely to answer questions in comments are unlikely to read this). This is probably included in the “peer reviewed” part of your question, I think it’s worth expanding on: comments are not peer reviewed, and I see lots ...


17

I don't think you should flag those - moderators don't have a "convert comment to answer" feature, so they can't act on your flag directly. What you can do though is: Ask the person who answered in comments to make a proper answer – this is more likely to work for recent comments from active users obviously. Post the answer yourself if the above hasn'...


17

I see no issues with this. I do this myself, especially if a user has asked bioinformatics-related questions in the past. This was a question about parsing and reformatting a Fastq file from a user with a number of bioinformatics-related questions on our site: The question was definitely on-topic here but I wanted them to just be aware of the bioinfo site ...


16

I would prefer that people not do this. Questions are already "linked" in that they are, or should be, tagged appropriately. People who are interested in specific topics tend to follow those tags, so will probably be aware of related questions anyway. Commenting on their other answers, and including a link to your question, feels wrong to me for a couple ...


15

I don't think it's okay to link to your own site without disclosure, whether in a comment or an answer. I mostly agree with terdon's answer here. I see this as just setting a slightly higher bar: if you can potentially benefit from people clicking on the link, you should probably be letting them know, even in comments, and even for blogs. Of course, as with ...


15

I would add this a comment but.... I have a general rule: If a question is worth typing up an answer, then it is likely worth an up vote. So I will often up vote a question before I provide an answer. Don't know that it will slow down deletions, but it can not hurt.


14

I'll refer to our Help Center's section on the "Comment" privilege, in part: When should I comment? You should submit a comment if you want to: Request clarification from the author; Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post; Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a ...


11

Yes, the flag was appropriate. The comment was indeed non-constructive and the flag was fine. There is no point in such comments and I think they are usually from people new to SE who consider that the same as posting "bump" in a forum. So yes, flagging them is the appropriate reaction.


11

If the only fix you found was reinstalling, you can just post an answer saying that and accept it. Or I can close the question as non-reproducible (since a reinstall fixed it, it was probably something very specific to your setup and unlikely to help future users). And don't worry about "intellectual theft". Answers belong in the answers and have no ...


10

IMO, the comments are a valuable part of the ecosystem and of helping users. Making comments is a part of the game and the interactive process of interacting with the OP and community at large to define and refine the process of writing a proper answer. The comments also allow for people without time or when mobile at that particular moment to add their ...


9

Not really, since we can't do anything about it. The best thing to do is probably to reply to the comment asking the user to post an answer, or (if they haven't been around for a while) just repost the comment as an answer yourself. Posting answers as comments is particularly common here versus other Stack Exchange sites; I'm not quite sure why


9

I feel it's OK for very specific cases. The trigger for this discussion was a user who had posted links to relevant posts on their blog as comments on various questions/answers here. Yes, they had not mentioned that the blog was theirs, but the posts they linked to were indeed relevant. I feel that if the following criteria are met, there is nothing wrong: ...


8

I believe there are legit reasons to provide an answer (or sometimes a hint) in a comment if: the question should not be answered (it's silly, duplicate, off-topic etc.) and either the question lacks basic understanding but is asked in good faith and deserves at least a hint, or the question asks about something dangerous and a quick warning is in order ...


8

Well, lets just say that Gilles is willing to have a thanks each time someone finds one of his answers helpful. You know what would happen? Not very useful, right? How can he find what needs his attention vs everything else? He can't. His inbox effectively becomes useless for all purposes. That's why noise (any kind) is actively discouraged and on some ...


8

To give some more background, this is the text I got to review: Is udev running in your server? This and only this version of the post by Alvaro is of interest. Because the discussion was about whether I should have flagged this or not. This was in the Low Quality Post queue (at the bottom of the list). I flagged it at 14:34. The above text has to be ...


8

Overall agreed. However, here is a case where it is appropriate: When the "answer" is to point out the typo in the code in the question that is causing it not to work. This should be accompanied by a flag "off topic for describing a problem that cannot be reproduced, or which went away when a typo was fixed." I did this just now: Selecting two sets of ...


7

I think it’s OK.  I’m somewhat able to answer questions about shell scripts, awk and sed (among other things), but I don’t always monitor the corresponding tags.  If somebody sees from one of my answers that I’m likely to be able to answer their question, I don’t mind having my attention drawn to it. It seems a little unfair, and may contribute to the “...


7

No, comments are not for extended discussion. From the Tour page: This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat. Further, from the Help Center on the Comment privilege: When should I comment? You should submit a comment if you want to: Request clarification from the author; Leave constructive criticism that ...


6

Users can independently of reputation edit and comment on their own posts. This works in meta the same as the main site.


6

It's not, and you'll get an error if you try to submit a comment with multiple targets: The error is reminding you that there's no need to @target the post owner; they get a notification no matter what. So if you @target a commenter, both the commenter and the post owner will get a notification, but you can't ping two commenters


6

I don't understand the problem here. An answer is something that offers a solution to the problem, explaining how that solution can be implemented. Even in its latest incarnation, the answer in question does not do so: Is udev working properly on your server? Clearly not an answer but a request for more information. udev is the device mapper in charge ...


6

You've raised several discussion points in your question, so I'll try to tackle the ones I noticed. I notice that my flags are rejected. This is astonishing, because by any reasonable interpretation of "unfriendly or unkind", they were... completely off-topic and disrespectful with no relevance to the question or answer. Now I see the two comments ...


5

Fixing a wrong command is indeed a good edit, it's a shame yours got rejected. In the future, don't add the edit comment in the post just to get over the 6-character limit. Instead, fix some syntax / grammar, provide links to man pages or link an uncommon abbreviation to Wikipedia. There's always something to be improved (example). Also, you may be ...


5

I'm quite new to this whole SE universe, so either my comments are uneducated, and therefore serve no value, or they are fresh eyes and could be helpfull. So, here goes... I think a link, answer, comment, or elsewhere, that is "affiliated" should be disclosed as such. If it meets the points set by terdon's answer, and it isn't disclosed, maybe a moderator ...


5

Comments can be deleted by the people who posted them as well as moderators, but in this case it was actually an entirely different answer. The author deleted the existing answer and posted an almost identical answer all within a few seconds, I assume because the first answer had several downvotes. I restored the original answer, moved the comments the new ...


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