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In the more subjective discussions comments frequently wander into the realms of discussion.

While SO/SF/SU aren't intended as discussion sites, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, however are there certain ways people "should" behave when this happens.

My view is that the basic rule should be that the answer (rather than the answer and the comments) should be the key thing. As a result where possible/relevant all comments and responses should be merged into the answer by the answeree - effectively enhance it answering, or at least commenting on, criticisms.

I did this recently and then went and deleted my comments on the thread - I thought this would be neater and the comments chain was getting longer - however someone pulled me up saying that certain comments now didn't make sense.

I get that and wondered if anyone had thoughts on how best to handle long comment chains?

Enhance the answer and leave comments, enhance the answer and remove comments, take the number of comments that the question is too subjective and close it, something else entirely?

(Example here:

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This isn't an argument it's a contradiction – Chris S Jul 27 '09 at 12:48
That was a Monty Python reference by the way, not a random rude comment – Chris S Jul 27 '09 at 13:16
YOu mean when someone comments like this and somebody else will comment on my comment, which will later turn into a discussion? – Randell Aug 24 '09 at 14:37
Yep. You make a comment about my point, I make a comment about your comment in response, you respond to my response. Essentially the sort of thing SO was meant to avoid but can still happen. – Jon Hopkins Sep 3 '09 at 13:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If there is a discussion thread on your answer, then you should edit the results into your answer instead of commenting yourself.

Obviously, you can only comment on other people's answers, but if it is your own, then you should comment for little things (like clarifications), but if you feel that it has a lasting or fundamental impact on your answer, then you should add additional information into your answer and post an EDIT tag above it, that way all the comments still make sense, and all the needed information is sitting right there in the answer.

example is my answer here

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