I was looking for unanswered question and I came across this https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10308511/display-mysql-using-jtable which is having an upvote to its name.

After reading the entire question I come to the comments part, to find that the user had made a silly mistake in the question, and he accepted that mistake within the comments without posting a formal answer. I did put an answer to the question so that someone as me does not stumble across the question.

I don't think reading an answer before an interesting question is a good practise (but that is my personal opinion)

There are a few questions on the site where similar problem is there. The questions get answered in the comments, rather a silly mistake is pointed out in the comment and the user accepts his mistake, and very few come back to the question which is lying without an answer.

This can be resolved if the user decide to close/mark answered to the question without an answer, and ask him to give comments. The comment could be then considered as a self-answer to the question.

P.S. I am not well versed with the tags. Please re-tag if necessary.


I hit on this example.
Windows Auth directory in IIS - web.config Permission problem (Answer by user = 3rd from last comment)

It is a legit question, which expands and crystallizes further in a series of comments, and finally gets answered in the comments. The user wants the question as answered but could not mark it down as there is no answer available to be marked answered. Once he leaves the question he never returns back to it, leaving the question unanswered.

The point is when the window of research closes, the question is left then and there. It is interesting to note that the user did return to mark his answer but could not find a way.

So! If there was a answer check mark next to the question(Suggesting to mark the question as answered), this answer would have been marked. As there were no answer to feed the design the user could have been requested to write a comment(In a new popup or somewhere). This comment would then serve as an answer.

  • 3
    Closed != "answered". This isn't an issue tracking system. May 3, 2012 at 19:33
  • 1
    Found a similar question Mark a comment as answer to a question but a different suggestion. May 3, 2012 at 19:39
  • @dmckee I was about to use Delete but did not want to be too rude and that feature already exist :) May 3, 2012 at 19:41
  • If you feel that the other question treats your needs feel free to delete this one. The system will stop you from deleting questions with answers, but comments are second-class citizens by design. May 3, 2012 at 19:43
  • 1
    dmckee we know its not an issue tracking system but he raises a GREAT point. I've been on SO for quite some time and I notice this a LOT.
    – JonH
    May 3, 2012 at 19:45
  • 2
    The example question at hand is too localized and should be closed and deleted.
    – animuson StaffMod
    May 3, 2012 at 19:47
  • 3
    I'm a bit confused. If the question is a real question, posting the answer as an answer is the right thing to do. If the question is nonsense due the poster misunderstanding something or presenting incorrect information, then it should be deleted. Why should there be a third state? Burying answers in comments is not a good practice, and why would the OP be more likely to select the comment as the answer rather than post an answer? (They've already ignored how the site works.)
    – user154510
    May 3, 2012 at 19:57
  • @JonH: No arguments about the point, just about the phrasing of the title. Nitin: I offer my apologies if I came across to brusquely. May 3, 2012 at 20:01
  • @dmckee No offence taken, thanks for being humble. :) May 3, 2012 at 21:11
  • @MatthewRead A good question is followed by a good answer, whereas a not so good question(it still qualifies as a question) is followed by comments to make it good. In the process the answer is found which never reaches the answer section. It is then left to others to do the job of a moderator that too when they are in search for a good question to tease their minds. May 3, 2012 at 21:15
  • 1
    For the second example, there's no reason you (or anyone who comes across the question in the future) couldn't put together an answer from the information in the comments. On the other hand, it's no big deal if the question stays just how it is forever. The really annoying situation is when an OP comments: "Never mind! I found the answer!" and doesn't let us in on what they found. May 3, 2012 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


You did the right thing: you moved the answer in the comment into an actual answer. You even got an upvote for doing so.

Now the question will likely drop off the front page forever and only be noticed by the occasional Google search. No further action is necessary. (Although the original asker might be nice enough to accept your post as the correct "answer".)

(Note that questions without answers are sometimes bumped to the top of the question stack, so providing an answer as an answer that's upvoted keeps the question from rearing its head again.)

Just for kicks, I ate my own dogfood.

  • I agree and that was the reason for doing so. But my point is that this whole thing could probably be avoided if the user had the opportunity to set the question as answered. May 3, 2012 at 21:20
  • 1
    @NitinChhajer The whole thing could probably be avoided if the user had posted the answer as an answer, or deleted the question.
    – user154510
    May 3, 2012 at 21:40

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