7

People often post quick answers as comments. This completely makes sense if you're not sure whether you're correct or if you don't have the time to make a complete answer.

However, I've noticed that sometimes a good answer in a comment can discourage people from posting an answer. No one really wants to "steal" the answer from the commenter. Here's an example that I ran into while browsing the unanswered questions list:

Replacing rear hub, beginners advice required

What's the right way to deal with such situations? Do we just hope that someone will eventually write a more complete answer, or is it just overkill to worry about it at all?

  • 1
    Is there a way for mods to convert it to an answer? – jimchristie Aug 5 '13 at 20:26
6

I've come across this before and have mixed feelings on how to best handle the situation.

Most times though I upvote the comment and ping the commenter with a reply like this should be an answer. This approach depends on how active the commenter is though. For instance, if I see a question that is some months old accompanied by an answer-comment from a member that has been inactive for a while then I generally will derive a complete answer from the comment with a link of attribution to the comment so that other visitors may clearly see the answer (example for context).

Most times though, I try to get the OP of the comment to provide the answer because that seems like the right thing to do.

4

I've done exactly what you're describing: leaving a comment that answers the question. When I've done that, it's because I don't have time for a proper answer. What I'm hoping will happen is that my comment may be enough to help the questioner, that it may help somebody else with writing a full-fledged answer, or that I might have time later to write up a full answer.

Upvote the comment, of course. If it were me that left the question, I'd be happy to see somebody else post a full-fledged answer. Maybe give me credit with a link to the comment (hover over the date to get the link), if it seems appropriate. Ideally, provide more details in the answer than what's in the comment.

3

I wanted to bump this as I've been seeing an increase in active posters who are providing answers or partial answers as comments. I'd like to point out that even a partial answer is helpful. Since only answer can be accepted, I can understand why someone might not want to just add something in, but hopefully upvotes will show that it's also important.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .