Question: What if the author of a question can accept a comment?
The problem: Time and time again, answers are posted as a comment. Usually, the person who commented has the best of intention (e.g. it was a trivial answer [to the answerer], and they weren't sure if the OP would immediately edit the question after the comment). But this leaves the frustrating situation of an unanswered question with a perfectly good answer.
This problem accumulates over the years.
Candidate solution: The OP can just "accept" the comment, after which a duplicate of the comment is made an accepted CW answer, with a preface indicating that it was originally a comment, e.g.
This answer was originally a comment posted by [[blah]] that has been accepted by the author of the question.
Comments on this scheme:
- The author of the comment has indicated they're not interested in gaining/losing reputation through their comment (thus CW answer).
- The original comment is still there.
- If desirable, the "author" of the accepted question could be a "bot", so the answer is not attributed to a genuine account. (I suppose it would already be technically possible for Joe Blow to create a script for a bot that creates an answer from a comment in the proposed way.)
A similar question was asked before here (over 3 years ago), and in numerous other questions which have been deemed "duplicates" (here, here and here; see also here), so there seems to be demand for such a feature. The answers to these questions seem (to me, at least) quite weak:
- "ask the commenter to add the comment as an answer"
The OP already did this by asking the question in the first place. And what if the author of the comment doesn't respond (or takes a long time to respond)? This also adds more chit-chat irrelevant to the question.
- "add an answer of your own, referring to the comment, and accept it."
A hacky workaround. How could this possibly be better than accepting a comment? (Yet, this is the most up-voted response.) Moreover, this adds to the user's list of "answers" (thus making the user's page harder to look through).
- "When i leave a comment, i do so because i want to leave a comment."
Great; now what about everyone else? In the immortal words of the FAQ: "Other people can edit my posts?!" And it's not even an edit, it's copying the post from one box to another (a more hacky version of which is regarded as the "accepted" method).