A frequent occurrence, in my experience, is that someone who
- does not understand the comment system, or
- does not have enough reputation to post a comment, or
- would have been able to comment due to being the OP, but lost their account
will post an "answer" of the form
@Alice: Good point, I agree. @Bob: Interesting perspective, thanks. @Cathy: ...
(This example is short for the sake of conciseness; such comments are not ones I'd actually care about.)
Since progress is made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something, I would like a way of dealing with such "answers" that does not require the following process:
- Edit it to contain only the reply to Alice.
- Convert it to a comment on Alice's answer (which deletes the post).
- Undelete the "answer".
- Edit it to contain only the reply to Bob.
- Convert it to a comment on Bob's answer.
I find having to do this especially frustrating when this "answer" contains replies to comments all contained in a single thread; why can't I just convert it once? Ideally, the system would automatically break the post into separate comments for me. I also dislike the fact that my edits will bump the thread (normal answer-to-comment conversion does not).
At the moment, when I attempt to convert an answer containing more than one @-reply into a comment, I'm blocked by the error message
Only one additional @user can be notified; the post owner will always be notified
I'm pretty sure moderators are well-aware of this fact. Shouldn't the system trust our judgement that converting this "answer" into a comment is the right thing to do? Even if, for some reason, the system just absolutely cannot abide the presence of more than one @-reply in a comment (even ones it will not send notifications for!), why not just strip the @ signs after the first one, leaving the user names.
Taking an "answer" and automatically breaking it into its proper comments should (usually) be easy; the @ signs are the demarcation points. However, there are sometimes "answers" that instead look like:
Hey, @Alice, @Bob, @Cathy, thanks for posting - can I ask you to explain...
Maybe in this situation, moderators can be given the option to, in a single stroke, convert the "answer" to a comment in multiple threads, and if necessary, multiple occurrences within a thread, each copy being identical except for which @-reply doesn't get stripped.
I don't think my question is a duplicate of
because those questions are both asking about this issue in the context of "answers" that include multiple @ signs as a part of their content, whereas I'm asking about "answers" intended as several comments. Moreover, I am proposing the solution of breaking the answer into multiple comments (each with one @-reply), instead of just allowing moderators to override the restriction.