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Way to convert a comment to an answer?
link to promote comment into answer
Allow converting comments to answers

Some of the questions get their answers from comments (e.g. Wrong authentication after changing user's logon name).

If the comment is not upvoted, it's hard to spot, hence reducing the question's usefulness.

I suggest a feature to migrate a comment into an answer, so it can be accepted/upvoted making the solution more obvious.

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marked as duplicate by Cody Gray, ChrisF, Yi Jiang, Pops, Michael Mrozek Aug 3 '11 at 14:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers 2

TL;DR: I agree with you that such a feature might be handy, but it should be taken care that we don't get low-quality answers as a result.


Note that comments are mostly written because the commenter did not want to write an answer in the first place. Those two are different concepts, and while turning a (not-an-)answer into a comment works very easily if it's of bad quality or not particularly helpful, the other way 'round is – in my opinion – not a good idea.

Why?

A good answer should look completely different from a mere comment. This is because comments miss a few things:

  • lack of formatting (what about code markup?)
  • lack of possible submit length (600 characters isn't that much)
  • lack of research from the person posting the comment

Now, if you turn such a comment into an answer, it might be helpful, but still just intended to be a comment and therefore maybe of really low quality. Of course, this doesn't always have to be the case, but in your example above it did. One link only is the answer?

Anyway, in such a case, the general practice is:

  • Ask the commenter to write a proper answer. After all, they deserve the reputation from it and maybe just weren't informed that they solved the problem. In the above case, @paolo was never mentioned in a follow-up comment and therefore didn't get any notification.
  • If they fail to do so, ask the OP to answer their own question. Maybe there were some additional steps involved that haven't been mentioned yet.
  • If this doesn't happen, answer it yourself. Stealing comments is fine with proper attribution (and, additionally, turning it into Community Wiki as you did)
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I see your reasons and they are valid for many cases, but not all. There are many situations where a single short comment illuminates the key previously overlooked item that then leads to, or is, the correct answer. While comment-turned-answers will generally be short, conciseness ought not be confused or conflated with inadequacy or inaccuracy. –  music2myear Aug 23 '11 at 21:34
    
Maybe an implementation that includes a voting system and time period (must be 24 hours after comment is promoted before it can be selected as answer, same as self-answers, and 5 votes can demote the question back to a comment, preventing it from being an answer). –  music2myear Aug 23 '11 at 21:35
    
Interesting idea! I absolutely agree that a short answer can be valid and adequate. One would have to specify the use cases and the specifics of such a system though. –  slhck Aug 23 '11 at 21:44

There is some hesitation in writing a guess as an answer. It might just be wrong in which case (the horror!) you can lose several points to downvotes. If it is just a link, it can also easily be seen as "not-an-answer" as you actually don't answer the question.

Sometimes when I get the suggestion to turn a comment into an answer, I also like to flesh it out a bit and turn it into a proper answer. The automation wouldn't help with that.

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