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In this question an user was asking how to crop an image without having tried anything yet, in a perfect "plz gimme codez" style.

I answered first asking if he tried something. He gave an ambiguous answer (don't even know if that was a "yes I've found it but I don't want to try it"), so I posted another comment telling him that he should first try something.

He answered in Italian (probably he saw my profile) that he didn't find anything (a simple Google search would have lead him to another SO question), and that my comment was inappropriate, something that I strongly disagreed with. I though that his question was inappropriate instead, and it also got 5 downvotes, one of which was mine.

I flagged his comment as off-topic because it was written in Italian and not in English.

Now what I see is that my two comments are deleted, and his comment written in Italian is not deleted. Is that just a mistake or is there a rule allowing anyone to write in other languages? And also, why were my comments deleted?

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3  
The first three comments were content-free, and the fourth was in Italian (now deleted). Do you need further clarification? –  Robert Harvey Jan 10 '13 at 0:23
    
Why content-free? –  Ramy Al Zuhouri Jan 10 '13 at 0:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Your first comment:

Have you searched something?

His reply:

I'm looking for ... I found something.

Your reply:

Better if you first try something, and then ask if you find problems in your attempt of doing it.

His reply:

Ho trovato qualcosa che fa uso di rettangoli ma niente che faccia uso di un poligono irregolare... il tuo commento è inopportuno!

Which translates to:

I found something that makes use of rectangles but nothing that makes use of an irregular polygon ... your comment is inappropriate!

Isn't this a scintillating conversation.

Followed by:

@Gigi so you mean you want to map a quadrilateral to a rectangle ? That is not a simple crop operation, it requires a perspective transform.

Ah, finally... A useful comment!

Comments are considered useful if they either clarify a post, or ask for clarification. Comments that are not useful are subject to deletion at any time, without warning. Well, there it is.

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Maybe because he flagged them, idk. I see a lot of "what have you tried?" comments and they're not deleted. –  Ramy Al Zuhouri Jan 10 '13 at 0:35
13  
I personally don't like "what have you tried" comments. Asking "what have you tried" forces Stack Overflow into a sea of partial questions with partial answers. But such comments are sometimes necessary for folks who need a little push. Questions like the one you linked, where there's no effort demonstrated at all, just need to be voted closed. –  Robert Harvey Jan 10 '13 at 0:38
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@RamyAlZuhouri Note that, for the record, the fact that there us undeleted content elsewhere on the site doesn't mean that content is appropriate (at least in the general case). Sometimes content that would normally be deleted just isn't noticed. "So and so did it" isn't justification for you doing it. That's not to say that asking a user what they've tried is universally wrong, mind you. –  Servy Jan 10 '13 at 1:41
    
@RamyAlZuhouri - To add onto what Robert said, I was the one who removed the first three comments. I did so because, while you may have intended well, your comments came off as sounding quite rude to the person asking the question. I left the Italian comment because it provided at least some clarifying information (to those who could read it), which mmgp addressed in the last one there. Both of those were enough for me to recognize what was really being asked, which lead to me tracking down an earlier duplicate that addresses what they want. –  Brad Larson Jan 10 '13 at 2:27
    
Maybe they were sounding rude for him, but I believe they absolutely aren't. –  Ramy Al Zuhouri Jan 10 '13 at 2:31
4  
@RamyAlZuhouri - "Have you searched something?" is pretty blunt, and does read to me as being a little too harsh on the asker. Even just changing the phrasing to "Can you explain what you've tried so far, and the specific parts that you're having problems with?" makes the tone a lot less accusatory. In this case, we didn't necessarily need to know what they'd tried, but more details on what they wanted to do. Again, I know you intended the best, but I think this was just a language issue. Frankly, I didn't think the comments would be missed. –  Brad Larson Jan 10 '13 at 3:08
    
@RamyAlZuhouri: People don't follow the speed limit. However, many of them don't caught. Does that make it more legal? Think about it. The site is so vast and arbitrary. It's impossible to catch every nitpicky thing. Many times people won't even bother with flagging comments until it gets out of hand. –  staticx Jan 10 '13 at 14:48
    
The point is that this is not a speed limit. I think that "what you've tried?" is ok to say. –  Ramy Al Zuhouri Jan 10 '13 at 14:54

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