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I have put in quite a bit of effort to solve this question, mainly by adding comments to existing answers for further clarification. A bad thing that could happen (and actually happened with one of the earlier answers to that question by user Blauohr), was that the answer suddenly gets deleted by the poster.

Is there a better way to collaborate with people giving answers which are (initially) incomplete and require further discussion?

Or am I missing the point completely and should (for that question) rather just file a bug in one (or both) of the "competing" packages?

share|improve this question
Why did they delete the answer? Was it wrong? If so, why would you want to keep comments regarding an answer that has been determined to be wrong? – Cody Gray Mar 21 '12 at 3:49
It was strange. The user who posted that answer first said in one of his comments that his answer wasn't helpful, but that he would not delete it because of the comments we had added before. Then, he offered a bounty on that question, which he awarded (for reasons I don't understand, but fair enough, it was his bounty) to another answer to that question. After that, his answer (and the comments) disappeared... I think he deleted it - or is there another way to remove it? – FriendFX Mar 21 '12 at 4:03
@CodyGray: So if you asked me, yes, his answer wasn't very helpful, but that for me is no reason to delete it, especially because it held useful comments. – FriendFX Mar 21 '12 at 4:08
@CodyGray ...and yes, the current top answer there could also be wrong, as it claims there is a bug in Jython. Which has - if you read the comments - not yet been proven and might be resolved later in the comment thread. If those comments establish that the answer was indeed wrong, keeping it still makes sense, to an interested reader at least who wants to follow the steps to resolve it. – FriendFX Mar 21 '12 at 4:15
up vote 5 down vote accepted

That answer was deleted indeed by its author - nothing you can or should do to prevent it, it's his full right.

However, for the exact purpose of preserving information 10K+ members (in addition to moderators of course) can still see it all.

So, here it is: (click for full size image)

deleted answer screenshot

Full Text of the answer:

does sys.getdefaultencoding() returning the 'right' value ?

then you can try this

reader = codecs.getreader(sys.getdefaultencoding()) 
sys.stdin = reader(sys.stdin)

but ...

maybe it is not a good idea

Text of the comments:

Sounds like a dirty hack ;-) ...I tried it and interestingly, sys.getdefaultencoding() does return the "right" value in PyDev/Jython. Unfortunately, this didn't have any influence on the value of sys.stdin.encoding. I am suspecting the python-gnupg code to use that to communicate with the binary... anyway, doesn't your hack also means that the encoding is not stored with the stream/reader objects???
Christian Gelinek Mar 13 at 11:27

I meant to say: Since changing the sys.stdin reference to a manually created reader object with its encoding configured doesn't change the sys.stdin's encoding (which I assume to be the reader object's), then the encoding doesn't seem to be "remembered" by your reader. Or did I miss something?
Christian Gelinek Mar 13 at 11:38

PyDev creates special sys.stdin and sys.stdout objects for Eclipse console window?
Mikko Ohtamaa Mar 14 at 4:58

I guess so, how otherwise would it get the output into it's Console window and let the user type into that window for input purposes? I'm not sure though if the problem is indeed related to those objects, because I think python-gnupg tries to find out about the encoding for communicating with the gpg executable.
Christian Gelinek Mar 14 at 7:04

ok, ok this wasn't helpfull, .. but deleting it will kill the comments ? / starting a bounty
Blauohr Mar 14 at 8:23

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Thanks a lot for digging up that information! I guess I'll have to wait then to get 10k+ rep to be able to save my "valuable" comments on someone else's answers myself... – FriendFX Mar 21 '12 at 23:33
@Christian no sweat, just had to follow your link no digging was required. :) For the record, we do have some unofficial "archives" for Stack Overflow contents (using the public data dump) that still hold stuff that is now deleted on the main site - never looked into that myself but you might find it useful, just search Meta for "archive" or "data dump" to get started. :) – Shadow Wizard Mar 22 '12 at 6:55

Yes, there is a "better" way - move the comment discussion to Chat - this is actually encouraged by the system once the number of comments hits a certain threshold, but any user with 100 rep can create a chat room and invite some users to it.

However you might want to look at supporting this Feature Request:

Should "move to chat" be provided on demand?

Edit to respond to comment:

Bear in mind that the question I was answering was "Is there a better way to collaborate with people giving answers which are (initially) incomplete and require further discussion?"

You might not have the whole answer, or feel that someone's done the bulk of the work so rather than create a competing answer you offer some advice to improve/complete the answer and don't want to get into an edit war about it, or have the answer convert to Community Wiki after too many edits.

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That might make it easier for the people who were involved in the discussion to find the information again, but it certainly doesn't help the rest of us who weren't participating in the chat room. Better to follow kiamlaluno's advice and put the information in an answer if you want it to stick around. – Cody Gray Mar 21 '12 at 16:00
I felt my comment would be better placed as an edit. – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Mar 21 '12 at 16:34

Comments are second class citizens, and can be removed, or disappear when the post "owning" them is deleted.

If you are writing something useful that answers the question, you should write an answer, not a comment.
Comments are for clarifying what the answer is saying (in this case the OP should edit the post rather than adding a reply in a comment), or for pointing out something wrong in the answers; they are not supposed to become a long thread. This is also the reason comments support a limited Markdown, and it is not possible to use new line characters.

If you are able to write an answer for the question, then you could point out that other possible solutions are not correct, and why. Suppose that for a question, there are solution A, B, C, and D (such as possible solutions that are normally given in questions similar to the asked question); in your answer, you could report that solution A is the one that should be used, and explain why the other solutions (which you shortly describe) are not the right solutions.
If this is possible, you gave important information in the right place (an answer).

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I usually comment on answers because I feel that the answer doesn't address the problem or because the answer is incomplete or incorrect (as is the case here). Of course, when I do that, it is someone else's answer I attach the comment to and therefore I have no way of controlling when it's deleted. Also, just because I say "this answer isn't complete/correct because..." doesn't mean that I have the answer yet (if that was the case, you're right, I should create another answer) and instead can lead to further discussion. – FriendFX Mar 21 '12 at 23:26
If you write "this answer isn't complete/correct because…" then that is not anymore relevant once the answer is deleted, in the same way any discussion about the deleted answer is not anymore relevant. – kiamlaluno Mar 22 '12 at 10:11
True, though the comments might hold some valuable information on how to answer the question. If the answer the comments are attached to is deleted (as in the mentioned case) without another "accepted" answer present yet, these comments might hold valuable information about specifics of the question or clues on how to avoid having to go through the same process again if a new answer is posted. – FriendFX Mar 23 '12 at 7:35

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