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I just spent an hour composing a two page long reply to a question I commented on earlier (yesterday). I searched my archives for code, typed samples, and did some research to write the best quality answer I could. When I finished and pressed "Answer", I got a "Deleted by owner, 12 minutes ago". The question even had at least 1 upvote.

Shouldn't the owner have had to vote to delete the question? At least considering the fact that I had interacted with the OP earlier in the comments?

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The question is here, after my 'best' english capabilities,… – Independent Mar 5 '12 at 17:52
up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, the owner doesn't have to vote for deletion if no answers have been posted to the question. And no, comments don't count as answers.

The full criteria for when one can delete their own posts can be found here in the FAQ. Specifically:

You can't delete any question that has an upvoted answer and/or multiple answers, or that has been closed for less than 48 hours.

I agree this system is rather unfortunate in the cases where someone is busy composing an answer, but I would assume that happens only extremely rarely. Most of the time, when a question is deleted by its owner before any answers are posted, it is because the question was lousy or an obvious mistake was found (the solution to which is unlikely to help anyone else in the future).

Reading the comments to the linked question, I have no idea why that person decided to delete it. Since you're not 10k+ on Stack Overflow and can't see deleted questions, I'll reproduce the comments here for further analysis:

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Thank's for reply. Extremely rare, maybe. To me it's extremely waste of time (and even more now, debating this). The question was really related to a topic that isn't so easy to find short, adequate information about. That why I was taken extra care about it's reply. – Independent Mar 5 '12 at 10:00
@Jonas: Since you took all that time to compose a careful reply (and you think it's something that would be useful to others), I would strongly suggest starting your own question and then posting your answer. There's nothing wrong with answering your own question. – Cody Gray Mar 5 '12 at 10:02
@Jonas: When that happens, I usually play Jeopardy by reposting all the content. Heh, seems Cody Gray has commented the same, now you've heard it from multiple persons... ;) – Tom Wijsman Mar 5 '12 at 10:03
.. and when you do, post the link here. :) – sarnold Mar 5 '12 at 10:07
@Jonas - I've undeleted (with the help of others via chat) questions which I had a good answer to but were deleted during the time I was typing the answer – Flexo Mar 5 '12 at 10:07
@awoodland: I considered that, but I think the person who asked the question should have the right to delete it if there have not been any answers posted. They obviously had a reason for doing so, even if I can't fathom it. I think the better solution is for Jonas to post his own question and answer it. He might as well get the rep for it. – Cody Gray Mar 5 '12 at 10:13
@CodyGray - the instance I recall the OP had deleted because of a few early downvotes, but a relatively minor edit resolved that and the question got more upvotes and left something useful for googlers to find later. – Flexo Mar 5 '12 at 10:18
@Cody, I agree to that. Shit happens and you we will probably survive. I try to make it a question/answer by myself, when I have time for it. Perhaps I receieve a super revolutionary answer on it, while re-formatting my answer ;p. – Independent Mar 5 '12 at 12:12

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