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What is the reason behind having Comments and Answers?

It would appear that there is little value in having two different response types. Many of the answers end up being in Comments which makes it difficult for the author to Accept the Right Answer. Why not just have Answers so the dialog is simpler?

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  • The only difference between these two what I could find is through comment, if we want to convey any message only to OP, we can do this. Of course, other Moderators can also view that. Also, while you can down vote for Answers, for Comment, it is not possible. Only the SCN development team can give some appropriate comment on this. Really, either of one should be made available with all the options.

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9 Answers

  • Nov 17, 2016 at 06:23 PM

    ,

    I know in general what the difference is between comments and answers, and I think many others here too.

    However, often a thrown-in comment to an earlier answer might actually be the solution to the problem. That's just the same as in many meetings, one raises the questions, others talk about it loud and finally you have the solution - and the answer to the question is formulated in the meeting minutes.

    Just look at an example from yesterday: https://answers.sap.com/questions/61459/in-sales-order-conditions-tab-condition-value-colu.html

    Kıvanç answered, the user commented to this answer that he did not understand, I added a comment to this comment , basically translated Kıvanç mathematics into words. And I am still the opinion that it was only a comment that I made, nevertheless it turned out to to be the answer to his problem. Now we are in the situation that this question can only be closed without "best answer" since the answer was only a comment. And I know there are plenty of such cases. The number of questions with "best answers" (former known as correct answers) is currently about 20 - 25% in the MM space (former 30 -35 %). I directly link this drop to the concept of comment and answers.

    Many times the answer is a result of a continuous process with several replies.

    And exact this fact with several answers and comments makes discussions currently hard to follow, you can't directly jump from your activity stream to the right content, in longer discussions you are totally lost to find this content at all as the confusion got an extra kick with the default sorting by votes, which itself pulls a continuous stream apart.

    And because of this I want just REPLIES instead of answers and comments.

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  • Nov 17, 2016 at 08:22 PM

    We've already had a long discussion (or even more) on this but, of course, I can't find it because my profile no longer shows what I've participated in.

    Anyways, I also understand the purpose in general and explained it here but I would vote to remove the comments/answers in favor of simply "replies". It adds no value and only causes confusion. I bet most community members would be in favor of this but, as you know, we are not the ones deciding...

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  • Nov 17, 2016 at 06:01 PM

    agreed, unnecessary complication as sometimes answers are comments, too.

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  • Nov 17, 2016 at 09:05 PM

    What if the deciders want to hear the opinion of the community?!

    We could just do a poll.

    People who do not want answers and comments up-vote Michael's question

    People who want to keep answers and comments down-vote this answer.

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    • Before voting, how could I read the mision from "new SAP community" ?

      I mean, mentors from this "Q&A" site, must think about this system, and have an idea to implement comments and answers.

      • Q&A site without comments, will be only Q&A site.
      • Q&A site with comments, will be discussion site. (Like a forum).

      What did "SAP team" think when move old SCN to this new SAP community?

  • Dec 19, 2016 at 07:06 AM
    -6

    After additional discussion with both users and our own development team, we have decided not to change the current approach to comments and answers in the Q&A solution. Changing the interface would require a new prioritization of features and fixes, and we would prefer to focus on other issues. Additionally, during demonstrations of the new Q&A solution at SAP TechEd Barcelona, we received positive feedback. Since comments are mixed -- some members like the new solution, some members don't -- we'd also like to give people an opportunity to get used to the options for answers and comments. Long term, we still feel confident that the comments/answers approach will provide clearer responses to questions and create the best possible resource for visitors looking for information. Short term, we will continue to work to educate users about the Q&A solution -- and to make the interface clearer. For starters, we recently published a Tip in a Minute video explaining when and how to leave comments or answers for questions ((link: https://blogs.sap.com/2016/11/29/tip-in-a-minute-comments-vs.-answers/)). We're also preparing changes to the Q&A interface so there is better differentiation of answers and comments (collapsing comments to give more visibility to answers).

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    • I agree with both or JL's points. I also found that as I check the number of Questions and Unanswered Questions in the overall community. Comments do not change the status of a Question, but posting an Answer does.

      I record daily the total number of Questions and the Unanswered Questions to watch for the trend of the overall Community. A little testing this morning revealed that Comments do not affect the status of a Question as Unanswered. Only Answers affect it.

      Another observation is that a Moderator can't leave an Answer that is viewed only by the original poster and other Moderators. A Moderator can edit the original question and leave an Update Summary (at the bottom) which then is visible when viewing the Revisions. Which are visible to all. Chat to the poster will accomplish much the same without being visible to all.

      Cheers, Mike (Moderator)
      SAP Technology RIG

  • Nov 17, 2016 at 09:31 PM

    Possibly Comments could be reserved for Moderators only? Not sure if AH has that capability, but that would allow direct communications with the poster without exposing the conversation to all. Moshe, any thoughts on that? Or should we just let them go and use Chat (in Chrome) to communicate with the OP? Might be simpler to go that route.

    AH has Discussions (see Coffee Corner for examples). However AH Discussions do not have the option to mark something with a correct answer (Accept). Having an identified correct answer (i. e. a Solution) is valuable. The institutional memory of SCN is in its Correct Answer marked Discussions in the Archive and will now and moreso in the future include the properly answered Questions here. If we go one way or the other, I think keeping Answers and removing Comments is the better path.

    Regards, Mike

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  • Nov 22, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    I also upvoted. I remember I had a longer discussion with many replies and comments and it happened that a comment became the solution so I turned it to an answer (there is a feature for this action) which then made the thread a little challenging to follow. here you go https://answers.sap.com/questions/32958/questions-with-zero-responses-second-round.html

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  • Nov 23, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Please, check this idea and the polemics about it. I also find the comments/answers cocenpt a bit cumbersome

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  • Nov 29, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    For those of you watching this thread - here's one for your notifications feed:

    https://blogs.sap.com/2016/11/29/tip-in-a-minute-comments-vs.-answers/

    P.S. - please note that Jerry referred to our collective feedback about simplifying back to the discussion thread concept.
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