51

Some things are simply impossible - however, it's useful to say why not (or better yet, how it could be done, but how incredibly difficult it is). If we had a question like I need to alter my turbo enfrobulator using the degobulation widget on frobster 2.0 - how do I do this? You can say Or you can explain that you can't enfrobulate from the ...


26

If what the OP asked for is clearly impossible, it is acceptable to state so in a full answer, as long as a reasonable explanation is provided. If you just want to say that it's impossible, it's not worthy of an answer as it is little more than noise. At Stack Exchange, we want to keep the quality of answers high, so an answer that states that the desired ...


18

I would suggest that these kinds of comments should always be phrased like the following: Your question is off-topic here, but on-topic for xyz.SE. However, please do not re-post on the other site, your question will be migrated there automatically. I voted to migrate your question to xyz.SE. It should be migrated shortly. This will however need one ...


18

Post an answer that would be significantly outside the original answer (A guide with many additional answers and steps. I've done this a few times and it's been fairly well-received, so I don't see the problem with just doing that.


15

Since the sites are open to anyone without registration, we need to restrict some functionality to users that have shown they understand how the site works and can write good questions and answers (instead of the aimless ranting regularly found in some other, more general, message boards). Very new users that have no idea how the site works could abuse the ...


12

If you don't know an answer, why don't you simply pass-by? Your meta-question (quoted above) is based upon the assumption that the question you asked on the main site meets our criteria for what a valid question is. IF you asked a question that is: On-topic, Answerable (with something other than opinions), Focused on an actual problem you're having, ......


12

Stack Exchange doesn't want comments that just say "thanks". They clutter up the format & turn it into a forum. Stack Exchange is not a forum It is a Question & Answer site, where each response is intended to be an answer to the question raised, in an overall attempt to promote learning. Comments may be used to provide &/or request ...


11

@pinging in comments is a bit complicated. There's a full description on Meta Stack Overflow. What's probably happening in this case is this: The first author of the question or answer will always be notified of any new comment. There is no need to use @name to notify them. (You may still use it for clarity, if needed; however if only you and the ...


11

Those are always edge cases. I would be hesitant to provide a simple rule on how to deal with these kinds of answers, although one thing should be clear: "You cannot do it" can be a valid answer. However in this particular instance it's clearly this: It doesn't solve the real problem. If OP asks "Is possible", he really means "How do I do <XYZ>". ...


11

It's a matter of politeness more than 'is it right'. I'm encouraging ramhound to post an answer since he comments lots and answers less than he should ;p. However, it should be entirely fine, most of the time to post your own, detailed correct answer.


11

Comments serve an auxiliary function; they exist to support the all-important questions and answers. The goal is not to generate more comments, but better Q&A. As such, you should assume that comments will be temporary; if you're putting information into a comment that would be nice to have around long-term, consider trying to work it into the question ...


10

When I leave a comment that allows the OP to resolve the problem, great, but that wasn't my intention. I usually do this when I don't have the time (or simply don't want) to write a proper answer. I still want to leave the hint for the author of the question. Now when the author follows that hint, it was actually useful and it allowed the author to resolve ...


10

My piece of advice would be not to escalate this and call people names, or assume bad intentions. This user voiced their opinion and they're entitled to do so. I agree the comment thread got a little out of hand. Certainly, chat would've been a better option to discuss this—if there even is a need for discussion. I understand your frustration, but please ...


10

I believe this is status-bydesign, since comments does not appear to be an actual search operator. We can see this by looking in the upper-right of the search results, where it shows the interpretation of your search terms: "Zero answers" is a search criterion, but it's looking for the literal comments:0 string in posts. As far as I know, the on-site search ...


9

I don't think that this is really that big of a problem and isn't happening all that often. Most times, I've seen that these comments are migrated to the answers section when the OP realizes that it's an acceptable answer and/or has more time to elaborate on the comment. If all else fails (i.e. you see that the comment is super old, and the OP is no ...


9

Comment upvotes are... special. They don't actually really mean anything (I seem to recall, at most a badge). On the other hand, comments are a useful way to extract and elicit more information from an OP, or to suggest something too minor to be a question on its own. A comment upvote is just a way to say "this comment added something" (and we don't downvote,...


9

One of the things about any kind of troubleshooting is that it often requires a tangential approach to find out what the exact problem is, it could be with a component of something else. Sometimes it is useful to a user to say "have you thought about..." in order to garner whether the problem lies elsewhere. Due to the way the site works we have to allow ...


9

Have the system automatically add a comment for every anonymous down vote that simply states, "down vote with no explanation - @anonymous" That would be extremely noisy. In the past 90 days, it would've generated at least 948 comments, comments that explain nothing, take up valuable space for every reader, and perpetually rub in the face of the author ...


8

You're 11 rep short of being able to comment. This isn't much. It takes … 6 accepted edits that you propose two upvotes one accepted answer You should be easily able to get even 50 reputation within one day. The most important thing is making your answers stand out from the others, by adding relevant links, using formatting, and maybe—in the beginning—...


8

The comment you see was actually an answer post converted to a comment by a moderator. ♦Moderators can convert answers to comments provided they are no more than 600 characters long. (Perks of being a 10k user—I can see deleted answers most users cannot.) This typically happens when a user intends to post a comment and cannot do so for the very reason you ...


8

There is a Flag capability for comments. The flag shows up when you place your curser to the top left of the comment text. For the most part everyone here is trying to help, even if they have different methods, different ideas, and different thinking. Sammyg acquired rep from participating here quite a bit. I am not a mod (at all) but mods have cleaned up ...


8

Comments are only available to be modified in the next 5 minutes after you send them, once this time passes, they are permanent and cannot be modified. You can, however: Either simply add another one after the one you cannot modify. Delete your comment from yesterday and send a new one if you need it (you can even reference the deleted one pointing what ...


8

The reason I chose to ask this question in this format is to inform the moderators of an ongoing problem In the case of a fundamental question, less is more. If someone asks "Why is the text on a webpage so big when on my computer when on another computer the text on the same page is smaller?" I see this a lot where the person answers the question giving ...


7

You have a few options: Flag each one as obsolete: not a great solution. Because of how mod flags are shown it wouldn't be too annoying for the moderators if they're all on the same post, but it's a waste of your time Flag the first one with a custom message asking for all irrelevant ones to be removed. This is better, because you only have to flag once. ...


7

Just a few quick points as I'm short on time: Questions that are closed are kept "live" in terms of allowing votes, comments, etc, because they can still be edited and reopened. Comments can help guide this process so are useful in this time. If this happens they become "normal" questions again, so limiting the voting wouldn't really serve any purpose. If ...


7

If you don't want someone to "steal" your solution, you should post an answer. If you simply can't answer the question because the author didn't provide enough details, then it's a good idea to use comments to confirm with the author if a certain approach would help solve the issue. In this case it is clear that what you suggest could solve the issue. So ...


7

They asked the question. Example:


7

The comment you replied to was deleted by its owner, as is their right to do. Your comment was then flagged as obsolete and it was deleted as it made little to no sense on its own without the original comment. Comments are transitory and should not be counted upon to remain indefinitely.


7

Your flag detail stated This should really be converted to an answer as it solved the asker's problem. There was a couple of reasons here. The first is that Moderators cannot convert comments to answers. Frankly I don't see a reason for us to need that power either, we can't force people to post an answer and we shouldn't even if we could. Secondly ...


7

I think that message is unclear and should be changed to something like "Comments may only be edited after 5 minutes" or "Comments may only be edited 5 minutes after posting." In the English language, your suggestion would mean that comments could only be edited, 5 minutes after they were submitted. Which of course is not the case, and in reality, after 5 ...


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