As we all know, bobince's Cthulhu answer is one of the most linked answers on SO. While I agree that answer is fun, I don't think it is a very good one to help out people looking to parse HTML. That said, there are other answers and comments on that thread that might get a new user on the right track, but I wonder if anyone is even going to read those.
I'd rather see a link to an answer which explains why regex shouldn't be used (in most cases) to parse HTML. Parsing HTML using regex is usually a Bad Idea ™, but I don't think it's helpful to just leave a comment to this answer without any explanation as to why. Now don't get me wrong -- the answer is a classic piece of art. I love it. But it's not helpful for the OP.
I recently flagged a comment here, which had the following text:
They ... just ... never ... stop. Tony The Pony .. He Comes .... stackoverflow.com/a/1732454/
The question was asking for help with parsing a number of links from webpages. Now I don't feel this comment was helpful (I know it is a very old comment -- I'm just using it a an example). The OP might even have wondered "Oh, who is this Tony guy?".
My question is two-fold:
- Why was my flag declined? Similar comment flags have been marked as "helpful" many times before. Was this declined only because it was made by someone who is (now) a moderator? Or is it dependent on the moderator who is checking the flag? (see here)
- Should I flag similar comments in future? To be clear, I'm talking about comments with no useful text other than just a link to this answer.