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Specific situation: I found an answer to what I was looking for in a reply to a question on stackoverflow.com, took the code and adapted it. But then I found out that two lines of code needed to be inverted to work. Now, I don't have reputation, therefore I cannot reply to an answer and write what I had to do so that others might benefit from it. I can only post a reply to the question but if I do so, the website generously gives the advice to avoid responding to other answers.

This leads me to the general issue - if I want to write a quick fix that made an answer work for me and I have no reputation, the only way I can do that is by responding to the question - a thing that should be avoided. Therefore I cannot do anything (or if I do it, I am not doing it right) and other people that might benefit from it will not until I get some minimal reputation. Let's say I find this peculiar for a helping community.

I already spent too much time to:

  1. first find out why was the code not working for me;
  2. then understand why I cannot reply to an answer (btw, this might be nice to have option since you get the feedback for other things for which you lack reputation, i.e. voting answers)
  3. then I got this reputation thing and I spent time to find out if someone else posted this question not to get a negative vote and loose reputation [I have no idea why since I have no reputation, but this reputation currency got me, so I believe it has a good idea inside]
  4. Trying to make some sense in this suggestion after the no-reputation 'trauma'

Not to mention that I created the account in the same idea - to vote some better answers that proved more useful for me than others. But as you guessed I could not 'contribute' at all.

This being said, I will close the tab where I could provide an useful reply to an answer and forget about this since now I found my answer.

Maybe this is not so important for you guys, but I don't have the time to build reputations and win medals to give a quick fix to a piece of code and I suggest you allow this with the acceptance of the user who responded (or whatever trick you find acceptable).

share|improve this question
see stackoverflow.com/privileges/comment. The feature you want has been refused many times, principally because of bots. Bots don't get rep (and stay at 1), while user can. And 50 is not much – Hugo Dozois Apr 17 '13 at 0:23
@HugoDozois: 50 rep is big deal, when your purpose here is to suggest a small edit. And suggesting edit with changes in code is likely to be rejected... – nhahtdh Apr 17 '13 at 0:31
What you could do though is write an answer on the question with the two line interverted saying that you were getting blahlbah with X answer and say that you improved it by doing blepblep. and post the fixed code. Because after all, you are replying to the question. – Hugo Dozois Apr 17 '13 at 0:46
You seem to have had enough time to post this complaint. In that time, you could have posted an answer or two to questions and probably earned the rep you needed (or at least be on the way to doing so). :-) – Ken White Apr 17 '13 at 1:27
@Hugo Dozois - You are right. I could not think outside the box: "cannot post comment" + "cannot post answer with comment post since I should avoid this". – Sebastian Apr 17 '13 at 12:56
@Ken White - you are right with the time I spent on this. However programming is just a tool for me and not my job and I don't see why I have to browse around to answer extra questions I will likely by unable to answer. But I totally agree that the time I spent on this suggestion I could have earned some reputation or do whatever (I just got too annoyed). – Sebastian Apr 17 '13 at 12:57

1 Answer 1

This has been proposed various times, with varying reasons. This feature is there to prevent bots from spamming the comments (which are less visible and do not bump a post as opposed to a spam question or answer). On SO, 50 rep is not hard to get, it's just 5 answer upvotes (you can get that with one good answer)

I get that you want to provide us with your participation and don't want any barriers to entry. However, there doesn't seem to be any way to do this without lowering the barriers for entry for spam.

share|improve this answer
Ok, I understand the spam issue. But at least don't discourage people to reply to an answer with a new answer - this is the advice you get if you want to post a new answer: "But avoid … Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers." – Sebastian Apr 17 '13 at 12:43

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