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Possible Duplicate:
Allow converting comments to answers
Add a feature to migrate a comment into an answer

This might be a duplicate request but I can't find it. Instead, what I have found is that numerous users have been upset because they've posted rather simple answers and the SO DB engine has posted them as comments to the original question.

I'm not sure if that's still a 'feature' (I've never seen it happen to me) but I would like to request a reverse-style feature for admins.

Can a feature be given to admins that allows them to promote perfectly legitimate answers that were posted as commented, to answers?

My reasoning is simple-- I have posted questions, I've received really simple but perfect answers, and the answerer (often with a very high rep score) has posted the answer as a comment. The question gets viewed time and time again by other users over the month, but the question appears to never be answered because the answer is a comment.

To make matters worse, these old questions some times do get answered, however, they are answered by someone with a low rep score who effectively duplicates the information in the answer comment! I want to give the commenter the answer mark, not new-user-X who may be looking for ways to bump his rep score by cherry picking unanswered questions. This presents a different problem. If I don't mark the new answer as the Correct Answer my Answer Acceptance percentage goes down if I refuse to give the new answerer the Correct Answer mark. This is unintuitive.

Additionally, when I search for questions on a certain topic I look for questions with answers. If a question has 0 answers, I typically ignore it because it doesn't appear to have an answer from the search results. This, too, is a bit unintuitive if a question has been answered by a comment.

An Alternative

An alternative to giving Admins the rights to convert comments to answers is to allow the poster of the question to mark a comment as an answer. The comment could then be converted to an answer, or it could remain a comment but the question could be displayed as "Answered" from within the search results.

I'm not sure which approach is better but I think my original request or the alternative could provide a reasonable solution to my outlined problems.

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marked as duplicate by slhck, Al E., Michael Mrozek, Manishearth, animuson Jun 4 '12 at 18:24

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

In theory, moderators should not be required to have deep technical knowledge of a subject in order to moderate. In practice, this means that mods cannot accept answers, since doing so requires domain expertise. – Robert Harvey Jun 4 '12 at 14:56
@Robert Harvey: Thanks for the response and, yes, I appreciate the irony in your answer. B) – RLH Jun 4 '12 at 15:12
up vote 12 down vote accepted

If I post a comment and not an answer, I don't want it to be converted into an answer unchanged and attributed to me. If I posted it as a comment, it was because I deemed it insufficient as an answer. So if it were converted to an answer, somebody should take the time to flesh it out, or at least it shouldn't be attributed to me.

I see why you'd want that feature, though. But it's not necessary.

  • @reply to the helpful commenter and ask them to convert their comment into an answer.
  • If they don't do it in reasonable time (a couple of days, say), take the contents of their comment and post it as an answer yourself, giving proper credit to the original commenter.
  • If you feel you don't deserve any rep for typing up the answer, make it community wiki.
  • After a while, accept your answer (unless a better answer has been posted meanwhile).
  • Problem solved.
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Even if the comment was the answer, you don't want it to be used by community? That is a bit selfish.... – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jun 4 '12 at 14:49
Well, I have no objections if someone rephrases it, I just don't want it to be converted without change and attributed to me, since I deemed it to be insufficient as an answer. Will make that clearer. – Daniel Fischer Jun 4 '12 at 14:51
Pretty much what I wrote here: Add a feature to migrate a comment into an answer – slhck Jun 4 '12 at 15:31
This makes sense. I still think that it would be a nice feature to add the comment-to-answer implementation but I understand that it could be a fair amount of work with little payoff. I'll consider this the answer. – RLH Jun 4 '12 at 15:41

IMO, if it's just 600 characters long, it doesn't really count as an answer--try making it more substantiative. Of course, this isn't always applicable.

I think it's preferable to just ask the commenter to post it as an answer. That usually happens anyway.

To make matters worse, these old questions some times do get answered, however, they are answered by someone with a low rep score who effectively duplicates the information in the answer comment!

Many times, a question only has one correct answer. The low rep may not have copied, they may just have answered it normally and the answer was the same by necessity.

You can also post an answer yourself quoting the commenter, mark as CW to avoid rep gain (you don't have to, but I do that) if the commenter doesn't feel up to posting an answer.

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