This answer was converted to a comment.

That's confusing to me. It directly answers the question as asked in the question title.

Further, does this means points for votes on the answer are not awarded?

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The first part of it is definitely a comment. The part about how to use ADOX in .Net seems like an answer, though, although without actually putting the answer in the answer (details). But hardly the only one of those out there. –  T.J. Crowder Jan 12 '12 at 15:07
    
Regarding the second part converted to a comment, also see. Your points for the answer will be "lost" the next time a reputation recalculation is triggered, and should reflect in the leagues with the next update. –  user414076 Jan 12 '12 at 15:13
    
I think it's debatable whether the first part is a comment only (although I agree it is in part) - it provides a link to the exact documentation, while asking where the shortfall is. Re the scond part, the later accepted answer did the same thing as my deleted answer; linked to usage of the tech in question without actually embedding it inline. So, my deleted answer provided more information, earlier, than the ultimately accepted answer. –  RedFilter Jan 12 '12 at 15:17
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Here's a thought, although there's probably not a strong need for this. Suppose that someone does actually answer the OP's question with a concise comment on the question...how about if the OP has the ability to convert that comment to an answer and mark it as the accepted answer? The question's OP is the really the best one to judge whether someone's information, whether an answer or a comment, is actually helpful. –  Dr. Wily's Apprentice Jan 12 '12 at 15:37
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3 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I converted the answer to a comment. It was flagged twice as "not an answer".

The answer was:

What do you mean it is poorly documented? Which statement is not clear to you?

Anyway, you can use ADOX in .NET. For example, see How to create an Access database by using ADOX and Visual C# .NET.

Taking the first sentence:

What do you mean it is poorly documented? Which statement is not clear to you?

This is a clarification on a point in the user's question, as well as a request for more information about the question. That by definition is not an answer.

Taking the second part:

Anyway, you can use ADOX in .NET. For example, see How to create an Access database by using ADOX and Visual C# .NET.

This is also "not an answer" in that it is an overwhelmingly broad statement (i.e. "You can use ADOX in .NET", which is the same as "can I add two int in .NET? Yes, you can.") as well as a link to an external resource and nothing else.

And as we all know, answers that are just links are not really good answers. Links should support an answer, not be the answer.

That said, there was some useful information in the post, which is why it was converted to a comment and not just deleted outright.

In regards to your reputation for the answer, the next time your reputation is recalculated (for whatever reason) I believe you will lose any reputation gained on deleted answers.

Note that I didn't recalc your reputation. That would be overkill and it's going to happen at some point sooner or later, and it's not worth a mod's time to perform a recalc unless some rampant abuse had taken place (which is not the case here).

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Re the second part: The OP didn't think he/she could use ADOX in .Net, so saying "You can use ADOX in .Net" is not the same as "The 'yes you can' example. He corrects the OP, and then points to further information. I would have suggested (in fact, above, I did) that the answer have more than just the link, but note that the accepted answer also consists primarily of a "You can use ADOX in .Net" with a link to the same article Redfilter linked. And yet it stands. Seems a bit arbitrary. Perhaps people were overreacting to the unhelpful tone of the opening comment? –  T.J. Crowder Jan 12 '12 at 15:22
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Moving answers to comments is useful when they genuinely are not answers, but the bar should be very high. Where there's just an issue with the form of the answer, a comment (and possibly downvote) is much more appropriate. –  T.J. Crowder Jan 12 '12 at 15:24
    
Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I think what frustrates me is the subsequent accepted answer does the exact same thing as my answer, but without providing a link to the documentation or asking any questions. But, I understand there are limits to this process. –  RedFilter Jan 12 '12 at 15:25
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@T.J.Crowder: The accepted answer was not the answer flagged. The primary responsibility of a moderator for any Stack Exchange site is to work off the flag queue, not to hunt for content to moderate. That said, if we come across something while coming across the site which we feel needs to be addressed, we will, but that does not mean we are obligated to address content not directly related to a flag when we come across it (there are 71 flags in the flag queue now, and that's low). I've looked at the accepted answer because of this and that's been converted into a comment as well. –  casperOne Jan 12 '12 at 15:28
    
@RedFilter Not a problem, transparency was something I promoted as part of my platform when I ran for moderator elections and and this is part of that. In regards to the accepted answer on that question, see my comment right under yours to T.J.Crowder for clarification on that matter. –  casperOne Jan 12 '12 at 15:29
    
@T.J.Crowder As for moving the answers to comments, the bar was set here by both our definitions (although I don't believe that such a high bar exists, quite frankly). Your premise that just because other examples of such VLQ answers exist in the wild doesn't justify this one existing. As as 90K+ rep user on SO, you absolutely have the capacity to flag that answer as not an answer/VLQ, or for moderator attention (but you should flag it in such a way that the community can address it first, and then the moderator if no other recourse is available or it won't get enough attention). –  casperOne Jan 12 '12 at 15:32
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@casperOne: I understand that you were working off flags. I'll just reiterate: I think the bar should be a lot higher than two people clicking "not an answer" and a moderator just going ahead and doing that. Moving an answer to a comment (or just deleting it) is a big thing to do, it should not be done lightly (in fact, I'm not all sure it should be done at all, but this is hardly my only issue with how SO's management treats contributors. (Not complaining about you moderators, who are doing what you're told, and we appreciate your efforts.) –  T.J. Crowder Jan 12 '12 at 15:37
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@T.J.Crowder Thank you for the words of appreciation. That said, you should know that moderators are expected to thoroughly investigate every flag and not act on them without doing so. While we might not agree on the bar that needs to be met, it should be assumed that every moderator investigates each flag to try and determine the best possible outcome for the site. If you think the bar is too low/should be higher, I'd encourage you to post on meta about it (or extend a bounty to a question that already does so). It's more us enforcing the will of the collective community than anything. –  casperOne Jan 12 '12 at 15:58
    
@casperOne: Understood, but the moderators are working to a system and set of guidelines from SO management, and SO management is sometimes very obviously working completely at odds to the will of the collective community. –  T.J. Crowder Jan 12 '12 at 16:21
    
@casperOne - if the answer answered the question, sufficiently even to be marked as "accepted", wouldn't it be more beneficial to the community to let it stand, so future visitors will more easily see it? Aren't comments are supposed to be for less important, ephemeral information? –  Adam Rackis Jan 16 '12 at 21:54
    
@AdamRackis That is a question you'd have to ask the community, no? –  casperOne Jan 16 '12 at 21:58
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I think you should read this question: What is an acceptable answer?

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Welcome to Meta Stack Overflow! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. This answer may be deleted if it is left as a bare URL. Thanks! –  mmyers Jan 12 '12 at 16:15
    
@mmyers hiyoooo.com :) –  Jarrod Dixon Jan 16 '12 at 3:20
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I did not flag this but the beginning of your reply "What do you mean it is ..." is a question not an answer and I suspect it all follows from that especially as the OP gives a detailed comment that probably should be an edit to the question.

Your reply is effect two parts

  1. Ask OP what he does not understand in the documentation which is a comment
  2. Provide the answer re details of ADOX in .NET which is the answer although as noted in @T.J. Crowder's comment not one giving more than a link.
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I do provide a link to exact documentation, while asking what is insufficient in 1) - seems like part of an answer to me... –  RedFilter Jan 12 '12 at 15:19
    
The beginning wording (or even word) is a question and I would see the comment I refered to as being for the second part. anyway see @casperOns's authoritative answer –  Mark Jan 12 '12 at 15:23
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