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I often find myself posting a comment simply to point out a code mistake in my own old comment, or to add a caveat to another user's comment. To avoid polluting SO/SE with lots of redundant comments, it would be nice to have a privilege to enable editing of all comments, old and new, our own and others', to enable basic curating of this content.

Flagging existing comments is not at all the same. For example, in case of a typo, the goal should be to give credit to the original commenter for providing useful input, while correcting a minor aspect of that input.

The main goal of this feature would be to avoid several comments which could have been merged into a single, much more useful and concise comment. Comments take up valuable screen space, so they should be as flexible as answers.

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As for your edit (merging comments) it can be done by a moderator if really required as he can delete comments instantly and post his own new merged comment, just flag one of them as Other and explain the situation. –  Shadow Wizard May 15 '12 at 9:32
    
@ShaDowWizArd: We could do the same for questions and answers, but we don't. I expect that is for the obvious reasons that it's not a good way to assign reputation and keep the spirit of the original post. –  l0b0 May 15 '12 at 9:36
    
There's a very good possibility that someone will simply do a TRUNCATE TABLE Comments; instead... –  Time Traveling Bobby May 15 '12 at 9:44
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2 Answers

Comments are third-class citizens here. They're not supposed to be permanent, and only serve to notify the post owner of possible improvements/clarifications. Small discussions are OK there, but the fact is, after a long time, most comments are deleted anyway if their content has been incorporated into the post. Comments are not content, so we shouldn't waste time "fixing" them.

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I won't say they're not supposed to be permanent - more like not supposed to contain any significant contents. –  Shadow Wizard May 15 '12 at 10:23
    
If they are not supposed to be permanent, why is it that they are not simply removed automatically after some time? And if they are not "content", why are they even supported? –  l0b0 May 15 '12 at 11:32
    
@l0b0 because the system has no way to tell if a comment was acted on(note that comments on meta sites are for discussion, I'm only talking about main. I said that they're not "content". I did not say that they're not "useful". They ask for clarifications/etc, right? And allow a teensy bit of discussion in the case of kinks. –  Manishearth May 15 '12 at 11:54
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Not worth doing it in my opinion.

Comments must not contain anything valuable in the first place, surely not any code. Such things are better added to the post itself.

If there is glaring error in your own comment, new or old, just delete it and maybe add new comment explaining the "gap" in the other comments. If the problem is with comment made by other user, flag it choosing the relevant reason. Enough flags (depends on the comment votes) will automatically delete the comment.

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If comments contained nothing valuable, they would be worse than useless. As it is, often people have no edit privileges so they add a hint to the author in a comment, and that hint may never be incorporated in the answer no matter how many votes it gets. –  l0b0 May 15 '12 at 9:23
    
@l0b0 it all been said already, some good answers can be found here supporting my point of view. As for edits, everyone (even non registered users) can suggest an edit. –  Shadow Wizard May 15 '12 at 9:30
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