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An unfortunate consequence of the comment/answer confusion

Oct 14, 2016 at 09:43 AM

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In this Q&A system there's a filter to show only unanswered questions. That's a good thing. People like to go looking for questions that need answers, and being able to find them easily is very helpful. Unfortunately, this filter hides questions for which there is an answer at all, not only questions for which there is an accepted answer. At the moment, where people are submitting comments as answers (made worse by the fact the new users can't comment, but can submit answers), this is going to result in many unanswered questions not appearing on the list.

I hope people looking for unanswered questions aren't relying just on this filter.

I think we need to do something to help people understand how comments and answers are supposed to be used...

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2 Answers

Vadim Kalinin Oct 14, 2016 at 09:59 AM
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To my mind the idea to differentiate between the answer and comment is a bad idea. The logic of the discussion is now too complex and it's hard to find new comments in the long discussion. Also people will continue using answers instead of comments....

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I add, it happens that a comment to an answer is newer than a comment on the question, but you always see as first the comment to the questions and it's almost impossible to find out the right order, since Sort works only for answers!

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And now it's impossible to have the following sequence:

Question

Answer

Question about the answer by topic author

Detailed answer - can be only comment and can't be selected as correct answer!

If detailed answer is converted from comment to the answer - the hierarchy logic is lost.

If the first answer is marked as correct - also logically incorrect.

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When answer is converted to the comment the formatting is lost!

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I heard there was a bug with this feature. I don't know what it is, but perhaps this is it? I've only tried it with small answers/comments and didn't see an issue. Perhaps my experiments didn't have complex enough formatting to go wrong?

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In the answer the format was:

Question

Answer

Question about ....

With hierarchy!

When I converted the question to comment the result was:

Question

Answer

Question about....

No hierarchy!

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Ups, it's not a conversion issue!

In the comment spaces at the beginning of the line are removed....

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But in answers they are not? Interesting...

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Former Member

Agreed. It would be better to have everything as comments with the latest comment to the original question shown first (or last depending on preference).

Comments on comments could then be shown indented after the relevant comment.

At the moment on even fairly short threads it's almost impossible to easily find new contributions to the discussion.

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And the voting process makes everything worse. Answers that are up-voted now precede answers that where made before. Besides this gives un-rightful power to people to decide which is the correct answer from several answers or which one is better than the other something that should be kept solely to the person who posted the original question, in my opinion.

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Vadim Kalinin Oct 14, 2016 at 12:06 PM
1

Test answer to check for spaces in the beginning of lines

Question

Answer

Question

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Ups, spaces are also removed in answers!

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