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Even thought it was accepted by the person asking the question, and recommended by other people answering the question?

I don't care about the rep, I would like to know why the answer was deleted - as it is correct. A link to some generic FAQ is frankly useless...

The specific answer is: Get Class by part of name in Java

The answer I provided there is the solution the OP is following, so why was it closed? I cannot understand that - hence the question. It's not of low quality, it's a simple straightforward answer - other posters refer to it.

For those on SO without 10K rep, the answer was:

Why not have a map which maps the short id to the full class name?

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what was the answer? Link to question? – örs Mar 2 '12 at 8:23
If you really want to avoid getting a link to a generic FAQ, why don't you link to it yourself and adding that you've read it, and what information misses? Now it comes across as a bit...arrogant? I dunno.. Anyway, could you tell me what you and all your years of being around, mean by "an answer was closed". Because this is not something I've seen before.. Or did you mean that the question you answered was closed? – Nanne Mar 2 '12 at 8:25
Post about it here. Explain why you think the moderator was wrong. You'll get a lot of feedback, and if you have a valid point you'll usually get some support or corrective action. – Jeremy Banks Mar 2 '12 at 8:30
@Nanne, sorry, I don't mean to come across as arrogant, I look this morning, and I'm down over 170 rep points - okay, don't care about that really, but when answers that are accepted are closed without a specific reason, it's kinda annoying... – Nim Mar 2 '12 at 8:30
do you mean that your answer has been deleted? because I can't find your answer in the question/link you provided. – vulkanino Mar 2 '12 at 8:34
@vulkanino, yip - sorry, I'll clear the text – Nim Mar 2 '12 at 8:35
what was the actual text of the answer? was it just a link to somewhere (e.g. a blog)? – örs Mar 2 '12 at 8:37
@örs, nope, a question - which would prompt the OP to realise what is a good way of solving his problem - I rarely just link to some random websites for answers (like I said, I've been around SO for a while and understand how it works...:) ) – Nim Mar 2 '12 at 8:44
Rewrite it as "You could simply use a map which maps the short id to the full class name." Then the question mark is gone, and suddenly people see that it's actually not a question. – CodesInChaos Mar 2 '12 at 9:44
I've undeleted the answer. (Commenting because Mr. Disappointment has already answered explaining a possible rationale for the answer being deleted in the first place.) – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 2 '12 at 10:12
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can challenge here, I guess, or flag for attention, but to address your concerns on 'why'...

For reference for those not able to see it, the answer was:

Why not have a map which maps the short id to the full class name?

Accepted answer or not, this is hardly an explicit answer and is instead an outright question; asking questions in answers is highly discouraged anyway, and when an answer consists of just a question then it falls out of favour with most. Any success the OP managed to derive from your 'answer' would either be through further communication in comments, their own experience in understanding what you might be getting at, or sheer luck.

Any future visitors would only ever get the advantage of comments and not necessarily have the same ability as the OP to conclude the right thing to do; and not all users will count on their rabbit's foot.

So in short, it wasn't a justified answer anyway and should have been a comment.

However, I see something wrong here with the post being only deleted when, if accepted at the time (presumably because of resolution through comments), there was clearly helpful information for the OPs scenario - I think a misduty* has been done with not converting your answer and all of its comments to comments on the question.

*Ya, I make up words sometimes.

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You can challenge the moderator's decision by raising a flag. Even though the post has been deleted, you can still click on the "flag" link. You'll want to select the "other" option and write a message, explaining to the moderator who handles your flag why you think the answer was deleted in error and should be reinstated.

For example:

(And, of course, you can always post on Meta. In addition to learning how the rest of the community feels, most of the moderators monitor this site periodically and will personally respond with a reasoned justification for their actions. Personal service just doesn't get much better than that.)

But just for the record, I very much agree with Lasse's decision to delete your answer. Primarily because it wasn't an answer! It was actually a question, and those shouldn't be posted as answers.

It might have made a good comment (in fact, I'm surprised that Lasse didn't convert it to one), and in the future, you should probably post these types of inquiries/suggestions as such. You have plenty of reputation to post comments and plenty to know that only actual answers belong in the answer box.

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I do understand the answering etiquette, and most often I comment rather than answer. In this case, I think our opinions differ, rather than state something, I suggested an avenue for the OP to explore - it's a valid answer IMO, and has led to the OP realising the error of his way. A better learning experience for the OP. – Nim Mar 2 '12 at 9:20
We got a flag today that literally spelled "Why" as "Y" (in sentence caps). Luckily, it pre-dates your answer, otherwise I would have come after you with a giant Y. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 2 '12 at 9:37
It wasn't actually a question. It was a suggestion phrased as a question. – CodesInChaos Mar 2 '12 at 9:42
@CodeInChaos, :D – Nim Mar 2 '12 at 9:49
Anyways, the flagging mechanism is broken (or atleast appears broken), if I click to "flag" the deleted answer, I get the popup, however the text box and the button are disabled, so even though I've now "updated" the answer, I cannot get it looked at.. ah well.. – Nim Mar 2 '12 at 9:54
@Nim: I'm big about learning experiences for the OP, as you can see if you go back and explore my recent activity on SO. It's rare that I hand people a stringer of fish. But most of my advice, I proffer in comments. I post a lot of stuff like you did here, I just don't put it in an answer. The only time I elevate it to an answer is if I have/take the time to explain why I think this will solve the problem. That, I think, is the difference between a comment and an answer. One just makes a suggestion. The other provides a useful explanation. Yours does not meet the latter criterion. – Cody Gray Mar 2 '12 at 20:16
@Nim: Flagging works just fine. I've done this before. You have to click "other" and type some text into the box in order for the button to be enabled. Follow the freehand circles. If it doesn't work, then that's a bug with your browser; consider opening a new bug report. – Cody Gray Mar 2 '12 at 20:17

If it ever happens that I would want to discuss deletion of my own answer, first thing I'd probably consider would be editing of the answer to make sure that it does not have anything even closely resembling things mentioned in deletion FAQ.


Not that "protective editing" will guarantee improvement. Sometimes it is really hard to beat concise, simple and correct answer.

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