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The comments people place under questions almost always seem to be answers instead of comments about the question.

Comments should not be allowed under the question to encourage people to put actual answers in the answer section.

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It seems to me that we have quite the opposite problem: People leaving comments as answers. Besides, how will we communicate with the OP in order to get clarifications or otherwise improve a question? –  Al E. Aug 21 '12 at 15:55
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What about asking for clarification? What if a comment isn't really a full answer, just a thought or half baked idea? –  simchona Aug 21 '12 at 15:56
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Welcome to Meta, rbeede! To preemptively respond to your next question, nothing is wrong with the way you wrote this request. Voting on this site is just commonly used to represent opinion. –  Pops Aug 21 '12 at 15:59
    
If a question is answered by a comment (e.g. "Have you tried X yet?") then it was probably / often too simple of a question, no? –  Jeroen Aug 21 '12 at 16:09
    
@Jeroen Not always. Sometimes I notice people answer in comments instead of answers because they are unsure of themselves. More often like "Did you try this (because I have no idea if it actually works since I don't usually/ever work with X)?" –  demongolem Jan 15 '13 at 20:09

2 Answers 2

Bad idea.

Comments are useful to:

  • Ask for clarification. What if the question is not as clear as it should be? Should we abuse answers to ask for clarification? This is not a forum after all.
  • Submit "answers" which are not well formed. I often have a hint, a quick link, or a thought which could not stand on its own as an answer, but might be useful nonetheless. Keep in mind that comments usually don't make for good answers to begin with. Perhaps I can make them into a constructive full answer later on. But I'd hate for the system to no longer allow me to leave such comments.

We don't have a lot of tools to communicate with users. Comments are the bare minimum we need. If you want to address the issue of answers as comments (which has been discussed here before) then this is not the right approach.

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When Stack Overflow first launched into private beta, there were no comments. You could address other answers using the common @-name syntax.

Things got really noisy. It was hard to follow conversations, and sometimes finding the right answer took a bit of work.

Comments help to break this up into actual answers and meta-conversations.

If an answer emerges in the comments, you can always re-post it as an actual answer - even if you're not the original author (though it's good manners to attribute those who did write it, particularly if you're copying them verbatim).

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