Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?
Are answers that consist solely or almost solely of a link poor practice? I mean, assuming that the question isn't "where do I download X" in which case just a link really is a complete answer to the question.
This is just an example, and the answerer in that case was quite gracious about my copying an example from the linked article into the answer. But I've actually had people argue with me when I've suggested that link-only answers were not best practice.
To me, link-only answers are not a good idea, because:
- It requires that anyone reading the answer follow the link to get the information and/or determine whether to vote up the answer.
- The linked resource may disappear, be moved, etc. — e.g., link rot.
- Having the question and the answer not on the same page may reduce the odds of someone finding the answer if they have a similar question.
Instead, by all means link to a resource (or several!), but at least briefly answer the question within the text of your answer.
Or am I off-base?