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I understand that users with less than 50 reputation can't comment, but sometimes answers from such low-reputation users get converted to comments by moderators, so it's possible that such comments would come to be.

Now, these users can edit their own answers, but not their own comments. Why?

Perhaps some explanation is in order (my apologies for this being a personal story, but it demonstrates the point marvelously):

I recently found an answered question whose answer seemed out of date, or was inaccurate for Windows 10. The answer itself is excellent, but it points to the wrong file - either the file was changed in some update since then or it's different on Windows 10. At any rate, I found the file myself and wanted to add a comment to that answer with this information.

I don't use StackExchange to ask or answer questions though and therefore I don't have enough reputation to add a comment, so for lack of choice I added this information as its own answer. A moderator later turned this to a comment, which was great.

A few days later I noticed that in a stroke of brilliance I only wrote the path to the file's directory and not the name of the file itself. So I wanted to edit my post-turned-comment to add this information, but I couldn't. I thought to ask the moderator who made the conversion, but there's no messaging system. Devoid of any alternative, I once again had resort to adding this information in an answer (editing my original, converted answer didn't update the comment). In my answer I added a note for moderators shortly describing the situation and asking for this information to be added to my comment if possible. It seems like a terrible form of communication to me, but again - I didn't seem to have any other choice if I wanted to add this useful information.

My request was granted, but with it came a warning that if I continued posting answers instead of comments I would be banned from posting answers. But what was I supposed to do, then?

Another user commented on my second answer saying I should ask a good question or give a good answer to get the reputation points I need, but I had no desire to go looking for questions I can answer just so I could edit my own comment for the sake of saving some other people time and effort, and I certainly wasn't going to make up a question when I had none to ask.

I get the minimum reputation restriction. But once a user has a comment on an answer or a question already, why prevent him/her from editing it? Or at the very least add another comment on a post s/he's already commented on? I felt like I was treated as a troll for adding useful information in the only way I was able to.

  • You could edit the answer in question to add your clarification as an update to it. No rep is required for that. The edit would be reviewed before becoming effective. – fixer1234 Aug 6 '17 at 4:54
  • 3
    Comments can only be edited for 5 minutes after posting anyway, so a couple of days later would have been too late. For communication with moderators (and other users) we have a chat room Ask a Super User Moderator. Gaining 50 rep is the work of just a few good (real) answers. You could have also edited and then flagged your original answer for moderator attention. – Mokubai Aug 6 '17 at 6:13
  • "Now, these users can edit their own answers, but not their own comments. Why" - Because nobody can edit a comment after 5 minutes and comments are not meant to be permanent in the first place. If a answer is being converted to a comment isn't a positive thing. The solution is to submit an actual answer. – Ramhound Aug 6 '17 at 14:54
  • "I recently found an answered question whose answer seemed out of date, or was inaccurate for Windows 10." - the question was never applicable to Windows 10. If the answer is no longer applicable to Windows 10 it means a new question should be asked and that point should be made clear and a new answer to that new question would be submitted. Your desire not to ask questions or submit answers is sort moot from the community's perspective. It's what you should do, and if you don't want to do it, then don't contribute in the incorrect way (by submitting comments as answers) – Ramhound Aug 6 '17 at 14:58
  • I realize that's harsh but if you want to contribute then you will do it the correct way. Besides both paths are identical – Ramhound Aug 6 '17 at 14:59
  • @fixer1234: I hadn't noticed that, and you're right; that's what I should have done. Thank you. – Tomer Godinger Aug 6 '17 at 19:29
  • @Mokubai: Thank you for letting me know about that chat room; I really was surprised it was "impossible" to contact a moderator. – Tomer Godinger Aug 6 '17 at 19:33
  • @Ramhound: I did suggest allowing adding a new comment in that case, but this discussion is moot since what fixer1234 said is a better idea anyway. Also, the question is applicable to Windows 10, as I had the same problem on Windows 10. I don't mind asking questions, but I won't go looking to make one up just to be able to add a comment (or at all). Requiring a form of rite of passage is not a good way to get new people to join. The paths weren't identical; I left out the file name ("Preferences"). I edited my original answer afterwards and added it, hoping it would update the comment. – Tomer Godinger Aug 6 '17 at 19:37
  • A question from 2012 isn't applicable to Windows 10. If the Chrome application data folder changed since 2012 that still would be its own question since the existing answers would apply to later versions of Chrome – Ramhound Aug 6 '17 at 19:41
  • The question was about getting Chrome to treat custom protocols correctly (namely steam://). The answer to that question is adding the line "steam": false, to the excluded_schemes setting under protocol_handler, just like it says in that answer. The only difference is that this setting is now (or in Windows 10) located elsewhere. Why would you want this to be its own question? – Tomer Godinger Aug 6 '17 at 19:50
  • It could be a question, which asks where the data file in question is located, with a specific version of Chrome on Windows 10. The answer to that question would be the answer you submitted to the other question. I can only help you do what will result in your answer(s) to be well received. If you want to follow that advice, that's a decision you will have to make, but commentary submitted as an answer will not be well received and eventually has already been pointed answer bans do exist. You not wanting reputation doesn't change how you should participate in the community. – Ramhound Aug 6 '17 at 20:24
  • So just to be clear on the right way to do things here: assuming I did have enough reputation to add a comment to that answer, or had known that I could edit it, you're saying that I should not have touched anything in that question and instead created my own question asking what you said and answering it myself. And hopefully anyone else who comes upon that question will search for my question and not assume the whole thing is no longer true. Is that correct? – Tomer Godinger Aug 6 '17 at 20:41
  • @TomerGodinger If you had a new question that differed from the original question, you should have submitted a new question, then answered that question. What you shouldn't be doing is submitting comments as answers. – Ramhound Sep 6 '17 at 21:07
  • @Ramhound It's not a new question. It's an update to a detail - an important detail - in the given answer. I already get that I shouldn't submit comments as answers. I never wanted to do that in the first place. What I asked here was how I should have added that information when I was unable to add a comment. fixer1234 has already given a good answer to that. – Tomer Godinger Sep 6 '17 at 21:16
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First, decide what is the "problem":

  1. The answer will not work for current version of OS or application (but still the same Windows 7, or same Windows 10)

    The ideal solution is to edit the answer and provide a working answer. If you don't know the working answer, leave an edit to explain that this is not working per date/version and the reason.

    Per Windows 10 Creators Update, this will not work as the Microsoft has disabled X service. You can manually enable the service to make this work.

    The alternative is to post a working answer yourself, preferably linking to the obsolete answer and the reason.

    The least preferred alternative is to leave only a comment, but this is still acceptable and more common.

  2. The answer will not work for an updated version of OS or application (The answer is for Windows 7, but will not work for the current Windows 10)

    The ideal solution is to post a new question with the updated tag, linking to the old question, and post a working answer yourself (it is allowed to ask a question and answer it yourself).

    If you don't know the answer, it is fine. More knowledgeable people will come across your question and try to answer it.

  • Thank you for the detailed breakdown, but I think what fixer1234 said is a better idea in the example I've supplied, since the answer itself is absolutely correct for the question asked, but a secondary detail in it needed an update. If I did what you suggest, I would practically create a copy of the question with just one of the secondary details being different. – Tomer Godinger Aug 7 '17 at 21:01
  • @TomerGodinger - I would argue that an answer only applicable to 1703 Windows 10, wouldn't be appropriate for a question that was seeking a solution that worked for Windows 7 (unless that new solution also worked for Windows 7). – Ramhound Sep 6 '17 at 21:10
  • @Ramhound I don't know if it's applicable to Windows 7 because I don't have Windows 7 and so am unable to look into it. I do believe it is, however, since this is about where Chrome keeps its settings. I find it highly unlikely that Chrome would keep its files in the same folder in Windows 7 as it does in Windows 10 but would change their structure between the two. It's much more likely to have changed in a Chrome update. Still, I can't know for sure, so I mentioned that it might be because it's a different OS. – Tomer Godinger Sep 6 '17 at 21:22

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