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The first thing I ever posted on Stack Overflow was a couple of days ago. I answered this question . My answer was deleted a day or so later by Andrew Barber.

I am not only new to this site, I am also new to sites like this in general, so perhaps I have done something wrong. I have looked at a few of the related "post deleted" topics and my answer was neither vague nor off topic. Perhaps it should have been one of the indented comments under the original question, but I didn't know how to create one of those.

Anyway, it would greatly help me if someone could explain the exact reason for this deletion, so that I can be more helpful in the future.

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It was a link-only answer that really should have been a comment instead. Odd that it wasn't converted to a comment, either by the system automatically (it can do that) or by the mod... Hmm, can link-only answers even be convered to comments when the user doesn't have enough rep to leave comments? –  Charles Mar 16 '13 at 17:43
    
You wont be able to comment on posts by others until you reach 50 reputation –  Rory Mar 16 '13 at 17:43
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The answer was only a link, and even looks more like a response to the comment left by kotlinski than an answer to the question. –  animuson Mar 16 '13 at 17:54
    
@Charles yes, they can. –  Anna Lear Mar 16 '13 at 17:57
    
@animuson Yes, it was. But since this was my first-ever post I had a reputation of 0, so I couldn't add a comment (and didn't even know that). –  Alan Mar 16 '13 at 22:34

1 Answer 1

A better paper to read would be:
http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/docs/papers/2007/n2345.pdf.
N2642 is mostly wording for the Standard; N2345 is the paper that explains and motivates the idea.

Your answer doesn't answer the question, it's just a link.
Use a comment(requires 50 points reputation) next time for those replies.

How to Answer

Provide context for links

A link to a potential solution is always welcome, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there . Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

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This is spot on. I did, however, go ahead and convert the answer to a comment on the question, since it provides what looks like a valuable counterpoint to a much earlier comment that links to a different paper. –  Anna Lear Mar 16 '13 at 17:51
    
Some more discussion on the potential problems of answers consisting solely of links can be found in "Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?" –  Brad Larson Mar 16 '13 at 19:44
    
@AnnaLear Thank you! That is what I was trying to do. I'll keep in mind the advice about links as well. –  Alan Mar 16 '13 at 22:36
    
@Alan You can still edit your deleted answer and expand it to a full and detailed answer, one that would only need the link as a reference. If you decide to do that, you should flag your answer for moderation attention and ask for it to be undeleted. Links have the bad habit of disappearing right when you need them the most, you can't rely on them... –  Yannis Mar 17 '13 at 6:03
    
@Yannis, Are you sure he can flag? he has 1 point at SO. –  user209407 Mar 17 '13 at 19:02

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