I understand that there is an upper limit. But why do you have to type at least 15 characters to post a comment?
It is easy to work around it anyway (like adding dots or other useless things).
I'd say no, it discourages comments like "lol" which don't really add anything of value.
Like you say, it's possible to work around the limit, but you have to go out your way to do so (I think it encourages good commenting in the way the badges encourages good questioning/answering)
I find it .... errr ... well ... amusing, ridiculous, surprising, interesting and all kinds of other things, that a large percentage of the honorable meta crowd really thinks that a minimum character limit encourages "thoughtful comments". Since when are people that talk more more thoughtful? Since when are long texts more thoughtful? Since when haven't you been talking to your marketing department? Since when is more code better code?
And, best of all, IMHO: Since when is saying "Thank you!" considered a thoughtless venture into AOL land?
You can put spaces between the last characters.
This will work and looks like this
Due to how HTML truncates regular spaces. (see my comment on the question)
But I like that there is a minimum. Kinda forces us to talk more about the item in question.
The types of questions asked on SO tend not to be yes/no types of questions and generally require a bit of explanation. Answers are, on average, a few sentences at least, and responders seem to enjoy posting thorough and detailed answers.
That said, I suppose there's no reason to impose a minimum on trusted users with high enough rep.
I'm for lowering this limit too. It's silly to put in "Comment ." just to get it posted. Didn't it used to be 10? Can't we get 10 at least?
Preventing mistakes is a non-argument. It only stops accidental posting if you post 14 characters or less and if you've done that well it's easy enough to copy and paste into a new comment and delete the old one.
Sometimes the best answers can be nothing more than a word or two - by referring the reader to a concept they were unaware of which will completely solve their problem.
I am slightly annoyed at the hackiness of adding whitespace to the response to get around the limitation.
One of the most nonsense things that come with the limit is when you reply to someone.
If someone points out a problem in my answer, if they have a long name a comment like:
@IHaveAReallyLongName fixed Is a legitimate comment, but on the other end:
@short fixed is not legitimate. It makes no sense that who i'm replying to should require shorter or longer comments.
The limit encourages thoughtful comments, and I like it that way. The last thing we need is a bunch of "Me too!" comments! So I think we should keep the limit.
While 15 chars is easy to work around, it also prevents bonehead mistakes like clicking Add before you actually wrote anything, etc.
I got sick of the umpteen bajillion "bugs" opened on this, so we "fixed the bug".
This is now less easy to bypass; perhaps one should consider populating their comment with something meaningful of 15 characters or more? Perhaps if one has less to say than that, one should keep one's thoughts to him or herself?
A modest proposal.
Maybe you could allow the original question owner to circumvent the minimum length.
Mostly I just want to say "Thank you"
"Thank you ............" just isn't quite the same.