In all this talk about 'quality' of content on Stack Overflow, there's one piece that's fundamentally missing:
What does the person who visits this question from Google sees. With a link only answer, they at least have something. If we delete accepted "Link only" answers, then we're effectively cutting off our nose to spite our face.
When it comes to accepted answers, especially times when the accepted answer is the only answer, we have to be really careful how we handle it.
What would a "Hello World" example for Augmented reality look like?
This question had 3,186 views over 5 months, or a little more than 600 views a month. That's pretty high for your run of the mill question, which means we have to handle it differently than questions with views in the hundreds over the same timeframe. If people are actively finding the question, then that's a good sign it's useful. Those links, while not a great answer unto themselves, provide really good information to anyone who visits the question.
That means that as moderators, we have two choices for handling this:
- Leave the answer be, since it does provide information, and is the only accepted answer on a question with a substantial number of views.
- Delete the answer, which will then provide no value at all to anyone who visits this question -- a question we've already determined is highly traffic'd for its scope.
Incidentally, in the two hours this issue has been actively discussed, it could have been fixed by now. If you have time to talk about the issue on meta at length, then you have time to fix the issue.
If there are other answers that answer the question completely, I don't have as much of a problem deleting an answer that contains no information. However, if an answer contains information, and that information is helpful, then you should engage with the user before asking us to delete. As moderators, we have five options for each of the thousands of flags in our queue:
- Do nothing
- Comment (ask the OP to fix the issue)
You have all except the last option, and if you're a 20K user, you even can vote to delete bad answers.
So I'll answer your question with a question: which of those did you do here, which did you not do, and why? If the answer is, "I don't have time", then remember: This issue has been actively discussed by multiple parties for the better part of two hours. I don't think "I don't have time" is a good reason in this case.
In the time that it took me to answer this question and then edit it, I've deleted one of the questions (it was just a poor question, the answer wasn't really the issue there), and I've edited the other answer into shape. It took me from the time I answered this question until the time I made this edit.