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I've recently come over to SU to ask a question, being an active user on SO. It seems at least here, that the opinion is that informative comments ta should be deleted, and wonder why that was so? I was especially co fused to hear that if the OP doesn't edit their post with that information that they would be flagged for deletion.

This, to me, seems odd. Although yes, some information should be editted into the original post, some questions that are asked in the comments may not actually the pertinent to the question the OP has asked. Adding details of what is irrelevant based on questions on comments would seem silly, and just bloat the question out.

The deletion of the comments, as well, would mean that other volunteers would be deprived of the knowledge. That seems quite counter productive.

This certainly isn't the way I've seen SO used, where the a comments might ask about something, which can easily be answered as not relevant, and those comments certainly remain on there, for others to see. If the response, by the OP, does add something to be editted in then yes, then OP should be encouraged to do so, but it seems odd to flag that comment for deletion; or more so to delete the original question itself. It feels quite counter intuitive.

If the OP were to respond, and then, perhaps, not come back to the question till the following day that comment may well be deleted, and more people have asked. That does not make a good experience for the users.

It would be great to hear some feedback from the community of SU here.

Edit: apologies for the typoes, posted this from the phone. I'll ensure to correct them when I'm at a PC next, but doing so on a touchscreen is difficult at best.

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    I'm not really sure what you are talking about, perhaps some examples would help (if you have examples, please edit your question to include them). I also participate in Stack Overflow, and have not noticed any difference between the way comments are treated there compared to Super User. In all Stack Exchange sites, comments should be regarded as ephemeral, they are not a platform for adding long term information. – Blackwood Mar 27 '18 at 23:59
  • Thanks @Blackwood. I think Mokubai has certainly hit the nail on the head here with their answer, which I've accepted. Although I could give an explicit example, he's pretty much covered it well. On a separate note, i'd love to know what the downvotes are for. According to the Votes page, downvotes are for whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect. Perhaps the voters would consider using the comments for constructive feedback? :) – Larnu Mar 28 '18 at 8:41
  • @Larnu Votes on Meta sites work differently than on the main sites. Here they signal agreement/disagreement with posts. – Twisty Impersonator Mar 28 '18 at 11:18
  • On Meta, votes are the "here here!" and the "boo!" of the community. – music2myear Apr 16 '18 at 22:54
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Comments are, preferentially, for teasing out information. Rather than being permanent fixtures of "this is some information" they are best used as "trial and error" or faultfinding tidbits. Real information on the problem should really be in your question.

We do not enforce the keeping of comments like we do useful answers and a set of comments could quickly become one sided or difficult to follow.

Imagine you were having a problem with some program not running and someone asked a question about what antivirus you used because they saw an error running certain programs with Norton. You reply "McAffee". That person decides their query is irrelevant as the problem is elsewhere and they delete it. You are left randomly saying "McAffee" with no context and it is just confusing matters.

From the comment privilege page:

What are comments?

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be up-voted (but not down-voted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, and when they are deleted they're gone for good.

...

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 related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

Comment can (and in many cases have) been left in place for years, but they are not first class citizens on the site. They can be deleted by their owners on a whim and information can easily be lost. If the information is important then it should be in your question where it is protected by the revision history and undeletion powers of normal users.

  • Thanks Mokubai, this was much more what i was looking at. The views I had expressed at me seemed to more imply that comments were and should be deleted; which your's doesn't actually say, just that they might. You certainly add the word "preferentially", which means that it seems (in my view) that some else's reference was being pushed on me (not a welcoming experience for a new user to SU). This does sum up well what they should be used for. It certainly at least points out, that in my opinion, that comments informative comments should be flagged for deletion. – Larnu Mar 28 '18 at 8:36
  • Useful information from comments should definitely be in the question itself but at that point the comments are largely fluff. I like to leave comments so that people get the "I helped!" warm fuzzy feeling, but if they get flagged then so be it. – Mokubai Mar 28 '18 at 8:41
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It seems at least here, that the opinion is that informative comments ta should be deleted, and wonder why that was so?

Informative comments should be avoided because they can be deleted at any point, and extended discussions should be avoided. Any information required to answer your question should be contained within the question itself. Once you have several discussion the comment section can be extremely difficult to read. There are a ton of meta questions on the purpose of a comment to confirm, that comments are temporary, and only information contained in an answer or question is permanent.

Can a moderator from another community delete my comments in our community?, is a single example, that the community could use to defend avoiding having information contained within a comment.

Although yes, some information should be edited into the original post, some questions that are asked in the comments may not actually the pertinent to the question the OP has asked.

If you provide the information in a way that sums up the questions you received, then you have allowed a moderator, to remove two unnecessary comments. This allows additional comments, seeking clarification, to be seen an answered by whoever is asking the question.

Adding details of what is irrelevant based on questions on comments would seem silly and just bloat the question out.

You shouldn't assume the questions asked in the commentary is irrelevant. If somebody believes the question is important to be asked, then you should address, or flag the comment as not being necessary. If the commentary is indeed irrelevant then it should be deleted.

The deletion of the comments, as well, would mean that other volunteers would be deprived of the knowledge. That seems quite counterproductive.

If the information is not important enough to be contained in the answer, then the comment, isn't necessary and should be deleted.

If the response, by the OP, does add something to be edited in then yes, then OP should be encouraged to do so, but it seems odd to flag that comment for deletion; or more so to delete the original question itself. It feels quite counter-intuitive.

In your particular case. I specifically requested you submit the information as an edit to your question, but instead, you provided the information in an abbreviated comment due to the length limitation of a comment itself. I always ask people to submit the information as an edit to the question instead of a comment.

If the OP were to respond, and then, perhaps, not come back to the question till the following day that comment may well be deleted, and more people have asked. That does not make a good experience for the users.

If a comment is deleted then it wasn't necessary. If the author didn't update the question, then they either felt the information being requested wasn't necessary to answer the question, or simply didn't feel like providing the information. In either case, it is not actually typical to delete comments that haven't been addressed, but important information should be contained in the question, instead of comments.

In this particular case, I decided that since you had read my comments, that they were no longer necessary so I went ahead and deleted them.

  • Even before seeing your response here I wondered if OP had come into contact with you. :D – music2myear Apr 16 '18 at 22:53
  • Wasn’t fun for either of us.... – Ramhound Apr 16 '18 at 23:10

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