I flagged this answer as "Not an answer," since it doesn't address the question — "Is this just an unfortunate shortcoming of Java's autoboxing/unboxing specification, or is there a good reason for this?" — but simply offers a different way to do what the asker was trying to do when they discovered the topic of the question.

The flag was declined. Based on this comment, I flagged again, using the "other" flag so I could enter a brief explanation of why it didn't answer the question. The second flag, too, was declined.

Am I missing something? Does this answer somehow actually answer the question?

  • What were the decline reasons? – ChrisF May 23 '12 at 14:17
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    Also have a look at this answer in a recent discussion on the same topic. If I personally have the idea that the mod might have to look at the actual question to determine if the answer really answers it, I don't flag as "not an answer". Downvoting would be my personal approach. – Bart May 23 '12 at 14:25
  • "declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it" – yoozer8 May 23 '12 at 14:29
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    See also Yoda's excellent table of bad answer types. – Kevin Vermeer May 23 '12 at 14:29
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    Now that I've taken a closer look, I've realized both flags are grouped together, and the second one hasn't been declined. It just looked that way at first because the decline from the first flag was listed at the top of my flag history with the new flag. – yoozer8 May 23 '12 at 14:30
  • @KevinVermeer I've seen the table. I just looked through again, and I think this most closely aligns with #2, just not in question form – yoozer8 May 23 '12 at 14:35
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    @Jim - I would have aligned this with 10, Try this: [code]. It's an attempt at an answer, but it doesn't explain the code. – Kevin Vermeer May 23 '12 at 14:56
  • @KevinVermeer I would align it with 10 if the question asked how do I do this?, but it asks "while doing it this way, I encountered this oddity. Why is it like this?" It doesn't ask for code, so code (especially with no explanation) couldn't be the answer. – yoozer8 May 23 '12 at 17:11
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    @Jim - Hm, good point. That is, however, a subtle difference, I and 2 others who upvoted my comment didn't catch it, and I think it's likely that the author of the answer didn't catch it either. Explaining this situation clearly in a mod-attention flag would be much better than flagging as not-an-answer. – Kevin Vermeer May 23 '12 at 17:23
  • @KevinVermeer I definitely go with the hypothesis that the answer was an attempt to be helpful, but the answerer misunderstood the question. So declining the vanilla NaA flag was, IMO, not correct, but it's the kind of mistake everybody makes all the time. As for the 'other' flag, depends on what Jim wrote as explanation. – Daniel Fischer May 23 '12 at 17:28

It looks to me like it's just a poor/incomplete answer.

"Not an answer" is typically reserved for things that aren't answers at all. For example, when someone posts an answer to ask a new question.

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    I wouldn't say it's incomplete. It addresses something else related to the question. The asker had the choice to do X or Y, decided to do X, and discovered something unexpected. They asked a question looking for an explanation of the unexpected behavior. I really don't think "Do Y" explains why X works (or doesn't work) the way it does at all. – yoozer8 May 23 '12 at 14:33
  • It aligns pretty well with NaA case #2 in this table, except for the part where it's not worded as a question. – yoozer8 May 23 '12 at 14:35
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    I agree with Jim here, IMO that (and most of the other answers) doesn't address the question at all. The question is why one can't call wrapper methods on primitives, not how to achieve the task in a different way. – Daniel Fischer May 23 '12 at 14:50
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    I don't know the first thing about Java and autoboxing, so have no idea if that answers the question or not. How is the moderator supposed to know? – Bo Persson May 23 '12 at 15:44
  • @DanielFischer I hope more mods get on board for this. Strategic downvoting isn't as effective as strategic flagging. – Some Helpful Commenter May 23 '12 at 15:50
  • Yeah, so, it doesn't answer the question. It's deleted now. – casperOne May 23 '12 at 18:27

The second flag was marked as helpful, and the answer has been deleted.

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