I know there's this:
I wonder if this needs revisiting?
Probably one of the most flagged "Not an answer" answers I bump into are the ones where a new low rep user has used an answer to query the OP for more information.
A new user needs to earn rep from answers or by asking good questions to be able to reach the 50 rep threshold to enable comments. However, what are they to do if they see a question where they need to clarify some things with the OP before posting their answer?
I think it would be useful to change the rules slightly to allow new users to comment on questions and remove what I think can be an artificial roadbump in their site participation. We are a Q&A site and surely even new users should be able to ask an OP to clarify some aspect of their question as part of the problem solving process...to gain rep?
After all we allow unregistered 1 rep users to litter the site with spam, self promotion and other more serious crimes, so I can't see the harm in giving a helping hand to good faith low rep users to at least be able place their query in the right place.
Presently SO mods use their discretion to decide whether to convert a low rep user's "comment as answer" into a comment, however we're technically breaking the privilege rules and become comment-proxies for these users.
Perhaps this could be achieved for low rep users by:
- requiring registration just like we do with questions now
- increasing the comment throttler to at least 60s
- disabling urls in these comments
We've already "boiled the sea" once to force registration if you want to ask a question (see the comments).
the alternative is forced registration for all users which is a "boil the sea" solution I am not fond of, to put it mildly.
Just to clarify, this would be just for adding comments to Questions, not answers.