In a previous post on Meta "Vague Questions part one" I raised some issues that I believe have become even clearer for me now, a few months later.
I've recently spent several hours trying, through comments (not answers), to get certain questioners to answer specific questions that, from my point of view, are "essential" to being able to even start to answer the question as asked.
In most of these cases the question posters were people with low "reputation" scores on Stack Overflow: but I don't conclude from that observation that they are necessarily inexperienced, or lack technically advanced skills.
In one case, only after repeated comment-questions, did the question-poster finally disclose an aspect of the architecture they were using that really, from my point of view, made the original question a "whole other question": then, later, with the same OP, after more comment-questions, yet another "dimension" was revealed :)
In thinking about what kind of mechanism could help to encourage people who post questions to answer, responding promptly, to comments on their OP which are trying to help them clarify the OP, I kind of draw a blank.
My guess is that allowing Stack Overflow users of a certain reputation level (very high), to suspend answers being posted on questions where the OP has not answered a comment-question would be viewed as punitive, would be a "negative" for the whole community.
And it doesn't seem fair, or appropriate, to 'flag the post, and pass-off to the moderators' such an issue, either: after all, what could they do?
When the comment-question asked of the OP is very direct, and has a simple, or even binary, answer, like: "is this WinForms or WPF?" then I can see a certain validity in the idea of suspending answers until the OP responds to such a comment.
But, obviously, someone has to be the judge of what's a "very direct" question: and that gets subjective, doesn't it?
If I were really concerned about the "rep game," perhaps I'd focus my attention more on posters who were at a certain reputation level, or who had a certain high-percentage of questions with accepted answers, but I think I can be of more use actually, on Stack Overflow, to beginners. Possibly because I've spent thirteen of the adult years of my life living in countries where my own native language (English) was not the "mother tongue," I think I can also be helpful with people whose first-langauge is not English.
Appreciate your thoughts on this topic.
By the way, I am still trying to "get over" seeing code that I know will not compile in "accepted answers" :)