46

You should not answer in comments. Not partial answers, not full answers. Not "leads on" an answer. Not "I would answer but I'm tired/just woke up/am drunk so I'll just say this..." Not answers that you think aren’t good enough to post as answers. Not little helpful tips, not helpful suggestions, not useful anecdotes. These will be deleted. Answer in ...


27

I'll step in and provide some background here -- the reason why you see things that resemble "partial answers" in other Stacks is because troubleshooting is an iterative process. "Try turning it off and on again" is not an answer -- yet it may not be possible for anyone to answer the question well without the querent being guided through troubleshooting ...


25

However, I'd feel like a punk if I'd take the linked article, write the answer myself and then accept my own answer to my question. Do it. It'll be beneficial in every which way. If you want them to write it themselves, give them a day or two to have a chance of doing so. But if they refuse or show no signs of doing so, go ahead and create an answer based ...


18

Downvote it. Leave a concise comment. If I can, write a better answer. Downvote because I find the answer unhelpful: this gives the writer a signal that there's something wrong, and more importantly it helps the site sort answers by quality so future readers can tell the answer's got something fishy going on. Leave a comment saying "I think X is wrong" ...


16

Correct, you should not use comments for answers. Doing so robs the questioner of the opportunity to learn how to use the site constructively and robs all other users of a good answer (more than 600 characters worth at least) to a coherent question. Flag these comments as "not constructive" and they will be deleted.


14

It's not really a weird policy, and in fact, in the case that you're talking about, we the users potentially have the power to take care of it. First. Comments can't be directly migrated to answers. If you have a full answer that fits in a comment, you probably haven't written enough. More importantly though, comments just aren't a good vehicle for an ...


14

Answers flat-out shouldn't be posted in comments. Beyond the reasons suggested by mxyzplk — we're not using the site correctly, and everyone gets robbed of a soldified answer — I want to highlight a very deep problem with answers in comments: Comments have virtually no quality assurance. When you post an answer, the entire question is bumped ...


14

If I post a question then someone answers said question as a comment how do I say that’s the right answer, (what button do I click) so that they get the proper recognition? You cannot mark a comment as the right answer. Nor should you. Answers-in-comments — as in, comments wherein someone attempts directly and succinctly to answer the question ...


13

Two approaches, both valid: 1. Leave a comment on the answer you like. Suggest the improvement. "Favorite" the question so it's easy for you to come back and check on later. Be prepared for the eventuality that the author may disagree, or may never respond. 2. Post your own answer. If you think your additional content really adds something, the only way ...


12

I suggest the guideline of asking yourself this question: to what extent is correcting the errors itself solving the problem they're facing? If you're substantially solving their problem by correcting them, then post an answer and include the corrections as part of that answer. (Make sure you answer the question independently. Answers that solve just a ...


12

Asking them to post it as an answer is a great first step. There are lots of users who honestly don't know better, and a few who do know better but slip up anyway. (Not that I'd know anything about that. ;) ) If they do post it as an answer, great! Vote on it as appropriate and flag the comments as mxyzplk mentioned. But what if they don't? Steal It Steve ...


11

To them - comment "this should be an answer, comments are temporary and not for answers" To moderators - again, flag as not constructive and we'll up and delete it


10

Normally, yes, put it in an answer and then accept that answer. However, in this case those comments are trying, with some difficulty, to figure out what the question is asking. The question itself has some issues — but it's hard to tell what the issues are exactly, or why it has issues. The comments were attempting to achieve common ground in order to ...


10

Normally, you would make it a minimally complete answer. But if we take the question at face value and you literally cannot expand it to a minimally complete answer… There is only one place to put answers, which is in an Answer Post. If one feels that their answer would get a poor reception there, regardless of the reason, that's still the only place to ...


9

You put in the additional work so that you can create a full answer out of it! You mention that you "...can immediately think of one or two insights that would be useful in constructing or improving a good answer..." and that is awesome, it indicates to me that you are knowledgeable about the subject and hence likely know where to find more information ...


8

A good answer does not, a good question, make... Someone may write an excellent answer to an unclear question or too broad question but generally a question is useless on our site if its not well written. A question should effectively communicate its needs and adhere to our guidelines or it should remain closed/on-hold until such time as it meets those ...


8

Comments with questions about an unclear question help, as they tend to get the question clarified. Those are fine. Comments that are stabs at answering an unclear question hurt, as they either result in the OP wandering off, or set weird expectations among others that you really know what the question is saying when you don't. These don't help clarify ...


8

You’re using “frame challenge” to mean something different than what normally gets called a “frame challenge” here. Let’s get our terms on the same page first. The usual meaning of “frame challenge” is just a shorthand for “an answer that first challenges the accuracy of how the question has framed the problem, then answers the question by reframing the ...


7

No, these aren't acceptable. These are partial answers in comments. A "lead", an "idea", and something that starts with "not an answer but..." are all answers in comments. Your options are: Take the time to find out and write an answer. Hit them up in chat. Let it lie. Usually #3 is the best, because usually the helpful tip isn't really that helpful. ...


6

Frame challenges are generally about solving problems which is not the job of a comment I'm not going to say that frame challenges can never be part of a valid comment, but the form of a frame challenge isn't generally something that is useful for a comment. A frame challenge is where an author answers a question in a wholly different way the querent ...


6

I agree with existing answers saying either to get a complete answer together, or walk away; that is generally what your options are. To be more general, basically, a partial answer can’t just be put anywhere—there is always more work to be done to get things in a state where that information can be posted. Here are a couple more ways you can work to make a ...


6

The person posting an answer in a comment is doing things wrong. They’re not supposed to do that, and there are good reasons they’re not supposed to do that, and so they get no “credit” for doing that. The correct response is to post an answer yourself with the correct information, and accept that. If you are feeling generous, you can mention them in your ...


6

No. A bad or unclear question is a bad or unclear question, and simply because one person has an answer that appears correct/good, doesn't mean that it actually answers the question the poster intended. It may be a good guess, but it's still a guess. Comments are intended to help clarify and improve the question to where it can be reopened/answered, not ...


5

I'd assume to use the comments for clarification of the question, rather than actually putting for the answer itself. Even if the question is changed after the answer is submitted, at least answers are shown and people will know to search for answers there, rather than passing over the question post entirely.


4

I'll contribute my thought - there's not one right answer. It's a matter of degree. If it's a short thing, put it in a comment, as it certainly improves the question to correct a clear error in it. If it requires a bunch of explanation or would be a long back and forth, it's better to add it as an answer. A downvote to the question can be performed in ...


2

It's up to you Knowingly putting up an incomplete answer may net downvotes. But if you think that the information is good for the querent and/or answerers, then you can accept the downvotes and feel good about contributing in the way you want to contribute.


2

Just Do It However, tag the commenter, and invite them again to answer. And if they do, then you can delete your own. If they don't then everyone benefits by the answer being there. And if they do, no harm no foul as you delete your own answer (and optionally, incorporate the bits from your answer that might be unique into your question). A good example ...


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