Let's say there is a question:
What can a rainbow unicorn do?
And there's an answer:
It can live in the 5th dimension
Is it a problem if I post an answer starting with "I don't know the answer to the question; however, I'd like to respond to the answer about living in the 5th dimension."?
I see some benefits for this rather than making it as a chain of comments:
- Better formatting and unlimited length
- More attention and discussion
I've seen many upvoted answers that state explicitly that they are just long comments to the questions. I also think sometimes the responding idea is important to be considered, and thus should be given an equal opportunity to be considered as the responded idea. I think this opportunity can only be equal when it has the same position, i.e. be an answer. I think while in general it is not recommended to put comments into answers, there are cases where the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
However, this raises two questions:
Who gets to decide that the benefit outweighs the disadvantage? Different people have different views. The person about to answer may find it necessary if they think the existing answer has a bad analysis yet receives a good amount of upvotes because it sounds good. But even when we assume good faith, that is just only one point of view. What if the person who actually has a bad analysis is themselves?* It would be chaos if everyone started posting answers to comments.
(*My own response to this is that if their analysis is bad, then it would be downvoted.)
What about a response to a response? I think one way to solve this is only permit one level of response as answer. Response of response should only be in comment or chat.
It would be easy to say that we just should leave comments in the comment section, because that's what it's for. But as I mentioned earlier, there seems to be cases where the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Any thoughts?