Idea: A flag for any user to mark "This question has an acceptable answer."

How it works: Anyone reviewing a question and all answers and comments that follow it can mark this flag. It means someone thought the question has an answer.

But... upvoting and accept! Upvoting is great. It's great when authors accept. That should not change one iota. This is just a proposal for a no-rep counter.

What problem does this solve? I'm looking for questions that have not been answered or have no accepted answers. I find a question that does not have an accepted answer. There is a great answer in the comments or an actual answer. It all happened a long time ago. No one involved in the asking or answering cares anymore. I want to mark this and move on.

Does this break the system? No. It's really meant to be a small, rep-less thing that just helps with search filtering. It is purposefully not meant to break the axioms that comments are not acceptable as answers and the author is the all-powerful acceptor.

People seem pretty passionate about the subject, so I present this humbly and will not lose sleep if you shoot this down. A lot of you have a LOT more experience on this site than I do.

EDIT Added that I'm not just looking for no-answers, but no accepted answers, i.e. questions that appear to not have been adequately answered.

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    Any question that has an upvoted answer is automatically taken out of the "Unanswered" list of questions. I'm not sure what additional benefit this would have... – waiwai933 Apr 16 '13 at 4:25
  • @waiwai933 Well, questions that do not have an upvoted answer for starts. =) Also, I certainly sometimes search for questions that have been answered, but maybe not acceptably, to see if I can add to them. – Ben Flynn Apr 16 '13 at 4:27
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    I don't see how just up-voting the answer you found wouldn't be sufficient .. or am I missing something? – Tim Post Apr 16 '13 at 4:35
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  • @TimPost I should definitely still up-vote a good answer (presumes the answer is not in the comments). A sufficiently upvoted answer is ideal though, 100% agree! – Ben Flynn Apr 16 '13 at 4:41
  • Would a search for [sometag] answers:0 hasaccepted:no be useful? – trashgod Apr 16 '13 at 4:52
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    Reading people's thoughts on this idea, I'm coming to realize I'm probably just asking for my own filter on SO, which isn't really a reasonable request. So, let's close this puppy. Thanks for taking the time to think about it! – Ben Flynn Apr 16 '13 at 4:59

There are already several ways to vote on StackExchange sites:

  • vote questions and answers up or down

  • vote questions up

  • flag for moderator attention

  • close/reopen/delete

  • mark a question as a favorite

If we're going to introduce yet another dimension for voting/flagging questions, there had better be an obvious reason for it. Marking questions as having an acceptable answer is largely duplicative of up/down voting and the unanswered question queue. Even if the feature you envision were introduced, it's not at all clear that users would know that they should use it or why they should flag questions that have good answers.

The biggest problem with the proposal is that it creates more work for users and moderators without providing a commensurate benefit.

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  • These are good points. What is your take on this: I did the following search: "ocmock isaccepted:no closed:no" I never need to look at this question again (old, answered in comment), but what SO voting mechanism should I use? stackoverflow.com/questions/9983318/… – Ben Flynn Apr 16 '13 at 4:49
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    You can either live with the question having no upvoted answers, and thus remaining in the unanswered queue, or you can take a minute to create an answer. The latter option isn't very difficult considering that the answer is laid out for you in the comments. If you're uncomfortable posting the answer from the comments as your own, just mark your answer 'community wiki' so that you won't gain rep from any upvotes. – Caleb Apr 16 '13 at 6:10

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