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In response to a question about how to create an iOS view dynamically on the basis of JSON response from a server, I wrote a lengthy response, which the OP up voted and accepted. Frankly, I thought the question may not have been very good (a little ambiguous, no code samples or JSON extracts, etc.), but I actually took some pride in deciphering what the OP was trying to ask and created what I thought was a well-considered answer.

Now, my original answer was flagged as "not an answer, but a comment". That may have been a valid criticism of my original reply, but I had already expanded the answer within a minute or two with the initial code sample. Over the next hours, I had come back several times and had significantly expanded the answer further, adding additional code samples, documentation references, etc.

The OP apparently thought my answer was helpful, because he had both accepted and up-voted my answer. But this evening, well after the fact, a moderator deleted my answer. I've been here on SO long enough that I think I appreciate what makes a good answer and what doesn't. But I'm mystified by the decision to delete my answer, and would appreciate people's thoughts. I thought I did a good job answering the question as concretely as possible, especially in light of the question's complete lack of specifics. I thought I answered the OP's question as well as I could have (and the OP clearly thought I answered his question, too). I care less about the lost reputation than just understanding, given the nature of the question, what was unacceptable about my answer.

So, in short, the question was "how do I dynamically add controls to a view based upon a JSON response, rather than having eight hard coded views for all of the different permutations of the possible JSON responses?". My answer was essentially "add the controls programmatically; let me show you how".

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Looks like the moderator saw the first revision and didn't check for edits. Obvious mistake, hope some other moderator will step up to fix it. –  Shadow Wizard Dec 2 '12 at 9:14
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By the way, in such cases just flag your own answer choose "Other" and explain. I'm 99.999% sure it will be handled quickly, if not then here on Meta is the place to report. :) –  Shadow Wizard Dec 2 '12 at 9:21
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cc: @ShaWizDowArd - Hey Rob, I flagged this for moderator attention for an undelete review and also edited out your meta comment, the first sentence. Starting off an answer with "You haven't shared enough for us to provide detailed answers..." is a good way to get people to stop reading and assume you're just following up rather than answering. ;) Hoping this helps! Good luck! –  jmort253 Dec 2 '12 at 10:46
    
I've noticed that a ton of answers are being flagged NAA when the only thing "wrong" with them is that they start with a bit of uncertainty (i.e. the phrase jmort removed). This is why you should go through the flag queue with your new 10k powers and mark them as invalid. –  Kevin Dec 2 '12 at 15:07
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To be fair, you shouldn't have been answering this question in the first place, you should have a) voted to close, and/or b) flagged for moderator attention. It's a crap question. –  casperOne Dec 2 '12 at 16:12
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Also, please don't post the complete contents of your answer. If it's deleted, moderators and 10K'ers can still see it. If we want the full text, we'll ask for it or get it ourselves. Let's just say that we've seen other people on other metas in the network put the content of their deleted answers in their meta post and it does nothing but inflate the post into a TL;DR mess. –  casperOne Dec 2 '12 at 16:14
    
@Kevin I disagree with this. I don't know if I would delete the answer, but if you're asking for clarification off the bat, you probably shouldn't be answering the question in the first place. If you know full well that you need clarification, then it's a very strong indicator that you shouldn't be answering in the first place. –  casperOne Dec 2 '12 at 16:16

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Moderators see a short excerpt of your answer in the flag queue. This usually helps us make a better decision quickly, but in this specific case that excerpt started with:

You haven't shared enough for us to provide detailed answers...

Coupled with the "not an answer" flag, that excerpt makes the flag look pretty clear-cut. The moderator who processed the initial flag probably thought there wasn't a very good chance of a detailed answer following that introduction, so he deleted it.

Since you did follow that with a detailed answer, jmort253 edited that bit out, and I subsequently undeleted your post.

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