I sincerely cannot find anything similar from searching.
Questions are only used only by the questioner.
Comments allow for small replies/questions, asking for more info, code, or make a simple suggestion.
Answers are for providing (decent) answer(s) only.
This all works pretty well, sincerely, however, often I find the need to "suggest/discuss" something with the questioner and I cannot use the answer as it's not (yet) an answer, and the comments box is not adequate due to:
- Not enough chars;
- No formatting to get specific points across - No return carriage/paragraph means no separation of questions, suggestion, links, code example to try;
Comments have their place and are needed, however to fill the gap how about a third option in the questions - "Discussions".
Discussions are for asking questions too large for comments, suggesting things that are not really the answer, proposing ideas to assist including some links, code, that can't fit well in comments due to no formatting, but again is not an answer.
Discussions will be like Answers in some ways, allowing most of the same formatting/tools - code, return carriages, links.
However, they cannot be "accepted" in any way, won't show up on the questions list page or change the vote count/green/yellow system.
2,000? Code is not included in char limit (or has a separate one of it's own with 2,000?).
This will allow for a decent discussions, suggestions or ask questions based on the info provided, and also some suggested code which is not quite the answer but worth proposing.
Perhaps with this in place, comment char limit is lowered to 400 to keep them shorter and sweeter. If it's a quick comment 400 is enough, for proposed links, code, etc, use the Discussions.
As with answers this will bring good ones up, bad ones down, really bad ones into the ether.
1) The Discussions would be intermingled with answers, with the vote count determining where within answers they would be. Just the same now with answer vote count determining the placement of answers within themselves, they would just incorporate Discussions in with them.
2) As above, but Answer vote counts take priority over Discussions vote counts. So answer with 2 votes will be above all Discussions with 2 and 1 vote, a Discussion with 3 votes would then be above all aforementioned.
3) Perhaps all Discussions can stack up together underneath all the answers, with Discussions votes determining their positioning among each other.
1) and 2) will also likely need the accepted Answer and/or largest vote count Answer taking priority over all Discussions, so there is always an accepted answer or answer with a upvote above Discussions.
I think I actually prefer 3).
Discussions would be half(?) what you get for answers.
To use Discussions, you would need >=300 rep. Figure off the top of my head ish, I had some thought, but these are more dangerous than comments as would be more prominent and I think more easily misused. At least comments are out of the way and can to a certain degree be ignored, and people tend to shy away from answers if it's not decent (well, to a certain degree).
Would go under Discussions same as answers, each Discussion potentially having it's own comment
Is there any point? Is this reinventing the wheel, or fixing something that isn't broken?
Well, in my time here I've learned many of the "Stack" ways, and Stack-noobs, including me when I joined, feel certain things are not right, and change should happen. After a while, one sees the light and realises why XYZ are like they are.
This is not that. I have used comments and answers enough now to know I cannot answer if it's not an answer, but also dam those comments are sometimes not enough to help and assist the questioner in a decent way.
I understand this is a VERY large change to the way Stack is presented, so don't expect people to say "yeah let's do it". I just thought it was a good idea so wondered what everyone else thought, and Stack could consider it if so wished.
I haven't tagged this feature-request as it would be such a large change, so is discussion only imo.