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A new user tried to help answer a question I had below:

Forcing GCC to perform loop unswitching of memcpy runtime size checks?

The answer he gave was a helpful suggestion, although it didn't work. Obviously, it would be more appropriate as a comment rather than an answer, but the user at the time had too low of a reputation to comment.

He ended up providing more comments suggesting a solution to my problem, all of which also happened not to work, but they were helpful anyway in narrowing down possible solutions and some of that info might be possible to incorporate into a final answer as evidence of what the compiler is doing. Unfortunately the answer was deleted by a moderator later (probably because it wasn't a definite answer to the question), which is understandable, but it'd be nice not to just lose the entire discussion in such situations, since without them I didn't even remember all the things that were suggested/tried without some effort.

So would it possible to allow for viewing deleted answers (when one's reputation doesn't automatically qualify one to do so) when all or some of the following conditions are true:

  • It's an answer to one's own question
  • It's an answer that you've upvoted yourself
  • It's an answer that you've participated in the comments in

Also, since there's no PMs on SO. and I wasn't able to continue commenting on the deleted question, I had to track down the user by responding to an answer he posted elsewhere (since I wasn't sure if he deleted it himself or not, and, in any case, I wanted the comment log.) This is obviously non-ideal, but is there a better way I could have gone about doing so? (I don't know all SO features, so I could have missed a better mechanism...if not, could one be added in the future without being full-on private messaging, for limited use cases?)

EDIT: To be clear, I'm not taking any issue with policies on deleting answers; this is merely a feature request for recovering information from those answers in cases where the system would be able to detect that you have vested interest in them.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the OP can see the answer (and they should be able to, since it's their answer), they can edit it and flag for it to be undeleted. They just need the link to the question (which I assume they already have).

As far as you seeing it? Sure there's a way. Just get 10,000 reputation.

Regarding your "Private Message" feature, it's been asked before and rejected.

Using the 'user has a vested interest' as a barometer for you being able to see something is ... dangerous, at best. The 'vested interest' tagline could be used to justify all sorts of things that don't do well on Stack Overflow (like keeping non constructive questions open).

share|improve this answer
sure, but that's not what I'm asking about, I'm asking about a way to access the comment log (even if it's publicly deleted) – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:34
also, I'm not asking for PMing (I specifically am asking for something that isn't PMing)...only thing necessary would have been to allow the two of us to continue accessing the deleted answer so we could follow up, or perhaps any number of alternate things could have worked in this case – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:35
I'm unsure if you actually read my question? Nothing you said is anything I disagree with (and I stipulated all the above in my question)...I'm just trying to recover the lost information and allow the person providing the most helpful suggestions to write a proper answer – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:36
@StephenLin As long as the OP has a link to it, they should be able to edit it while deleted and improve it. – George Stocker Mar 22 '13 at 1:38
yes, yes I suggested that, but it means that only he can do it, so I had to track him down for it, and I can't do it myself (unless I had the rep necessary to view deleted answers)...just saying the rules should allow an exception in cases where you have a clear vested interest in an answer yourself – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:40
this isn't a complaint about policy, it's a feature request – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:40
@StephenLin Everyone has a vested interest in their own question; but a vested interest doesn't make a good justification for a feature request (quite a few of my own feature requests have been rejected and I've had a vested interest in all of them). – George Stocker Mar 22 '13 at 1:42
sure, it's just a suggestion (I don't see a downside of doing this, but who knows?), I'm not complaining or the meantime, do you have enough rep to edit the comment log out of his new answer? I tried to but was rejected...all I'm trying to do is help out while allowing him credit on the answer – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:44
@StephenLin Yea, I can edit it out. I may end up taking too much out, but let me know if I do. – George Stocker Mar 22 '13 at 1:49
I managed to get a trimmed version approved but the pastebin version (with the listed suggestions) is better – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:54 – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 1:56
edit is not quite right but it's good enough for now; I'll let KScottPiel edit if he feels like it later to clarify some things, otherwise I'll write my own answer (assuming no better one comes along in the meantime)...thanks for the help on both ends – Stephen Lin Mar 22 '13 at 2:12

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