Perhaps it's just me, but I find comments (principally on Stack Overflow) that are only "Don't use X", "Stop using X", or "Switch to using Y" non-answer. Particularly when they correspond to programming libraries or shells, as it may not be a viable alternative to the OP's implementation. I have reviewed numerous comment etiquette related posts [1], [2], [3], and numerous unrelated ones, and haven't found any direct advice. Likewise, the FAQs on the subject don't address the issue that I have found.

I would welcome any advice on appropriate responses and actions.

  • Non-answer comments....made as comments? Or posted as answers? – Bart Feb 2 '13 at 19:28
  • The choice is left to OP to decide. It is a bit of noise, but I don't think it helps much if you remove all of them. – nhahtdh Feb 2 '13 at 19:29
  • @Bart made as comments. If they were answers, I think one could vote them down, or apply other mechanisms to affect their relevance. – radical7 Feb 2 '13 at 19:45
  • @nhahtdh Thanks for the perspective. I'll just ignore the noise. – radical7 Feb 2 '13 at 19:48
  • If they are made as comments, well, they are comments. They are just fine. – Bart Feb 2 '13 at 19:48
  • Thanks to you all for the perspective. I got what I was looking for. – radical7 Feb 2 '13 at 19:52
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    If the comment is "Stop using a 15 year old compiler", then it's totally appropriate. :-) – Bo Persson Feb 2 '13 at 21:24

The point of comments is that they do not answer the question. If they would, they would be answers, wouldn't they?

I often tell people in the to not use ext/mysql in a premade comment we have in the PHP chat room. I don't see it as harmful or disrespectful. It's an ancient extension that shouldn't be used anymore, that's it.

If they were answers, I would understand, but there's nothing wrong with advising an OP to not use a certain library since there's a better alternative, even if it doesn't solve his problem directly.

Remember that most questions are later viewed by visitors from search engines, and are expected to have value for the future!

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  • I believe your approach is different, in that you provide a reason for not using some technology. My attempted point was for those that make an edict without justification. – radical7 Feb 2 '13 at 19:47

Comments are there to comment on a post.

They can be used to ask for more information or to give some advise. Sometimes they are abused or contain rude remarks.

If you think a comment is not apropriate, you can flag it for moderator attention. If they agree, it is deleted.

You can also flag a post with a useless (or offtopic) discussion in the comments. (Although the post is auto flagged if there are 20 or more comments).

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