Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

In review beta the recommend deletion button for an answer shows this screen:

enter image description here

I understand there has been some history and debate about "thank you" and "I'm having this problem, too" comments, and though I looked I may not have read every post on every page about these two topics since they seem very vast. But don't those two options fit within the "This is a comment, not an answer" specification? It seems like if you wanted to you could split this up even further and have options for all kinds of comments that fit into this one category.

For example, why isn't there a fourth option for "This is a question to further diagnose the problem comment, not an answer" and so on? Shouldn't we just have one "comment" option and then be able to add a custom message addressing the particular type of comment?

share|improve this question
"This is a question to further diagnose the problem comment, not an answer" - that sounds exactly like the first option shown in your screenshot. – Flexo Aug 17 '12 at 13:33
That is my point exactly. – Conner Aug 17 '12 at 13:33
So why would it be a fourth option when it's already covered? – Flexo Aug 17 '12 at 13:33
That is my point exactly. I'm not proposing adding a fourth option. I'm saying the 2nd and 3rd are just as unimportant as the hypothetical 4th. – Conner Aug 17 '12 at 13:34
Oh I see - being specific is a good thing surely if it makes it easier to provide better feedback than just the "read the FAQ" link that you see if nobody comments. – Flexo Aug 17 '12 at 13:36

Rationale: Don't tell folks to leave comments that don't improve the post being commented on.

You're not leaving comments to "categorize" your deletion recommendation (although a nice side-effect of adding canned comments is in providing some guidance for when deletion is appropriate).

You're leaving a comment to educate the author of the post being deleted as to why it wasn't appropriate and what they should do instead.

If someone's posting an answer just to say "thank you", we shouldn't be advising them to garner enough reputation and post a comment - we should ask them to vote for the post that helped them! Similarly, asking new questions in comments isn't much better than asking them in answers - hitting that great big "Ask Question" button is though.

In fact, it's that first option, the one that does recommend commenting which bothers me the most - even though it's completely appropriate in some cases, I'm already seeing it used where it doesn't apply: answers that are obsolete, irrelevant, nonsense, or simply succinct. This ties in with the reason why I'm skeptical about including a "convert to comment" button in the review queue: all too many reviewers don't seem to know what comments are for.

share|improve this answer
It is confusing in a way, though. The option is called "Recommend deletion", and it proposes you to post something meant to have the original poster fix his post. Maybe the canned comments should be something separate. – Gnoupi Aug 17 '12 at 14:42
Well, right now these are only on answers - there's no fixing a question posted as an answer. You hope they read the comment and post a proper question. With the exception of "link-only answer", none of the canned comments have any place except on posts that should then be deleted. – Shog9 Aug 17 '12 at 14:44
Unless the "question" posted as an answer is really just clarification of the OP's valid question. – Conner Aug 17 '12 at 14:46
@Shog9 - sorry, I meant "posts", not questions (now edited). – Gnoupi Aug 17 '12 at 14:46
@Conner: there's actually another comment that only appears when viewing an answer posted by the OP: it directly addresses this scenario, and recommends editing! – Shog9 Aug 17 '12 at 14:48
@Gnoupi: see, this is why I hate comments! (but same answer, mostly - there's really only one common scenario addressed by canned comments that can be fixed without deletion) – Shog9 Aug 17 '12 at 14:49
I was commenting on situations not posted by the OP. – Conner Aug 17 '12 at 14:49
@Conner: you've lost me then. – Shog9 Aug 17 '12 at 14:50
@Shog9 Sometimes the OP leaves out crucial diagnostic information from their question (e.g. what OS? what language? etc.). If someone asks one of these questions in an answer then it should be converted to a comment. I was saying this in response to your statements, "asking new questions in comments isn't much better than asking them in answers - hitting that great big "Ask Question" button is though.". – Conner Aug 17 '12 at 14:54
@Conner: Ah, I was using "question" in the sense of "a Question on this Q&A site", while you were using it as "a request for clarification". These can be useful comments, assuming they actually ask for something specific, aren't months or years old, and haven't already been addressed by the asker. – Shog9 Aug 17 '12 at 14:57

Something I just noticed: If you have access to the question or answer you've just added a canned (proforma) comment, such as by following the question link before recommending deletion, after recommending a proforma comment, if you refresh the question page you can edit the comment (within the same short period as normal for editing comments I assume).

[I first added this answer to another less relevant question.]

share|improve this answer
You can add a comment directly on the review page and then just recommend deletion without a canned comment. – Conner Aug 21 '12 at 5:39
@Conner This depends upon the answer to this question. If the choice of reason for deletion recommendation matters, this feature is useful. If not, you're right, just add a comment and choose "No comment". – Mark Hurd Aug 21 '12 at 5:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .