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Answer or comment: what's the etiquette?

Looking at this question:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4014249/java-to-c-conversion/4014279#4014279

One of the answers isn't an answer, but some questions to the OP ('where does the error occur?', etc). I don't think this should be an answer, and asked about it, and the answerer (George Stocker) gave roughly the following reasons:

  • Answers have permenance, comments do not. if the comments get deleted, the answer will remain.
  • The OP will be notified by email of the answer, but not comments

I don't think these are valid reasons to post something which (IMO) isn't an answer as an answer, instead of a comment. But this guy has a fair bit of rep and has been on SO longer than me, so maybe he knows something I don't.

is this a valid use of an answer?

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marked as duplicate by random Oct 25 '10 at 13:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
For shame, Gortok, for shame – random Oct 25 '10 at 13:33
11  
Do not ever be intimidated by high EXP users who can't use the site properly – random Oct 25 '10 at 13:41
1  
@random I'd +1 your second comment, but I just got to know the comment vote limit :( – Tobias Kienzler Oct 25 '10 at 13:47
1  
I don't know about email notification for comments, but comments are just as permanent as answers are (unless of course they are flagged and deleted, but his question would have made a fitting comment so why'd anyone do that?) – Tobias Kienzler Oct 25 '10 at 13:53
2  
We should burn him at the stake. – George Stocker Oct 25 '10 at 14:16
    
@George Stocker: you shouldn't take this personal, but it's a bit confusing to see a high-rep user doing something new users are discouraged to do – Tobias Kienzler Oct 26 '10 at 7:51
    
@Tobias Why would I take it 'personal'? – George Stocker Oct 26 '10 at 12:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, they are not answers.

There is a gray area for new users that are not able to use comments yet. But generally it is not acceptable (and possible target for downvotes).

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5  
Too bad George has around 15k rep at SO, so that excuse does not count for him – Tobias Kienzler Oct 25 '10 at 13:50

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