349

Abandoned, unanswered questions can be a nuisance for readers when they appear in search results. While every question deserves a chance to be answered, at some point the annoyance to those searching for a solution outweighs the increasingly small chance that an answer will be provided. For this reason, the Community user will automatically delete old ...


33

Updated to include the last two quarters of 2012. I think what's most interesting about the update is how the numbers have changed over time. For instance, when I originally answered this question quarter 1, 2012, was complete. There were 409,490 undeleted, open, questions that quarter of which 85.61% were answered and 70.71% answered "well". Those numbers ...


23

Maybe just put a temporary message below the question body, right where the "closed" message currently goes. Bumped by Community user 30 minutes ago Please help make the site better by reviewing existing answers and voting accordingly. That message should probably disappear after an hour or so, however long it takes for the "bump" to wear off and ...


20

Because they look like small projects. Also, they have specialized aspects that only a very small amount of people have used or know well enough to provide a fast answer. Your question is basically one that falls into the category of "debug my code for me", and that's difficult to do without the ability to run it in a debugger. :) If you really cannot ...


20

I'm against completely disabling the deletion ability for unanswered questions. This is a clean-up task that would either fall to moderators or wouldn't be done at all if higher-reputation users couldn't do it. If the current rules are a problem they can be altered, not removed. I think you'd need to show some data that supports the idea that it's a problem ...


19

There is absolutely no need for a feature that allows you to mark a comment as an answer. In fact, that goes against one of the primary tenants of the site: questions and answers are the primary focus, while comments are just "noise". The better solution is to simply leave an @username reply for that person, informing them that their comment actually ...


19

For answers in comments: You're welcome, if the commenter doesn't respond, to post the answer yourself. You can give credit to the commenter in the answer.


18

Flag the question that has the least amount of valuable information (between the question and answers combined) as a duplicate of the question with the most valuable information, regardless of when they were posted. If the two questions both have lots of (different) valuable information then flag the post and ask a mod to merge them; they'll decide on their ...


18

When answering any question, the question you should be asking yourself is this: Am I adding significant value to the question and answers that are already there? This answer seems to be a comment, not an answer. It has a "Not an Answer" flag on it. This answer also seems to be a comment. You seem to be asking the OP a question, rather than answering. ...


18

Definition: A question is abandoned, if it has no answer + somebody required additional information + the person who asked did not log in for a week after the additional information has been requested. If additional information is required then just close the question as "unclear". That is the appropriate close reason for a question that is lacking ...


17

You ask: Should we flag them with a note to "mark answered"? No; don't do that. Nobody except the OP can accept an answer by proxy. Not even ♦ moderators. All you will do is create noise for the moderators to ignore. If the answer is good, upvote the answer. That will make it clear that it has a sensible answer.


17

No, that would not be appropriate, and the flag is very likely to be declined. Moderators are elected/appointed to ... moderate ... the site, and putting bounties on questions isn't one of their tasks. They'd have to pay the bounty from their own reputation, and just like other users, they can only have three active bounties at a time. Just imagine what ...


16

Usually when I post an answer as a comment, it's due to one of these reasons: I'm not 100% sure if it's correct, but I want to throw it out there. I don't have the time to develop a complete answer but felt it could help someone else develop one or help the OP find the answer. I believe the question should be closed because it's off-topic, too localized, or ...


15

The fact that there is no solution is a perfectly valid answer to a question. If that's the conclusion you have reached after extensive research, you should post that as an answer and then accept it (when the system allows you to do so). Or don't: you have no obligation to accept an answer. But either way, there is nothing wrong with answering your own ...


15

No. There is no reason to add this feature, whatsoever. A comment on a post on SuperUser goes into the global inbox, and will be seen by the user when visiting any site in the Stack Exchange network where the user has a linked account. That is enough of a poke. You cannot force anyone to participate. Additional poking is not going to motivate people any ...


15

Ok, let's try another example of a rather small tag in a language. Let's look at the last 12 questions in the promise tag. Useful and generally applicable - 75 rep awarded. Useful and generally applicable - 15 rep awarded. Useful and marginally generally applicable - 10 rep awarded. Too localized, not generally applicable - no answers. Too localized, not ...


14

Accepting answers is an entirely optional activity. Nobody is required to accept answers. That's all.


14

I disagree with this idea. We can't force OP to accept our/anyone's answer. It totally depends on OP whether to accept the answer or not. And why to delete a question if it is a real or a constructive question?


14

'Questions' section, 'unanswered' tab: 8,074. This is the section for questions that have no answers with score > 0. So some of the questions do have answers, but they have a score of 0 or less. Also, it excludes closed questions. 'Unanswered' section, 'newest' tab: 7,868. This tab have the same content as the above one but excludes questions with score &...


13

Post the answer yourself, then accept it. Then other people can use your solution.


13

Yes, this is a radical suggestion. Don't panic. We're just brainstorming. A pressure relief valve for the backlog: One possible option would be to expire more questions automatically, such as: ignore the view count (as Pekka says, they don't get any better by just from being viewed) questions with score <= 1 and no answers questions with score < 1 ...


12

For those of you, who are also "moderators" of a small community around a less frequently used tag, you may want to check that the generally low view count in that community doesn't lead to the deletion of valid, yet unanswered questions. I've created a data explorer query that allows you to see the unanswered questions for your tag that might be auto-...


12

You can edit the question to bump it back to the front page. You can also put a bounty on it which puts it on display for 7 days. And you could provide a link to the question in your meta question, which also increases the traffic to the post.


12

If the answer is acceptable, then it's surely worthy of an upvote. A question with an upvoted answer doesn't count as unanswered anymore.


12

Thank you for trying. In this instance, though, it doesn't appear like you're going to succeed. Ask your question yourself. Include, if appropriate, the information requested by the previous commenter and try and come up with a better title (i.e. not just an error message). If you do get an answer your question will be more useful than the one that came ...


12

Advanced search query: intags:mine answers:0 Here you go. :)


12

If you have answered their question, compile your comments into a full-fledged answer (and delete the comments to reduce the noise). Comments are meant to improve the question; if you accidentally happen to answer the question, no problem at all, but turn those temporary notes into a permanent post. Remember that we're not only here to help the author of the ...


11

I see many reasons: Not enough knowledge to answer: People who know that do not come on Stack Overflow, and Stack Overflow users don't know it, or there are just a few experts. Too technical: People know it, but they are unwilling to provide answers as it takes too much time to test and formulate answers. Not enough reward: people answer other questions ...


11

Edit the post, cut the answer out of the question, move it into an actual answer I think this is the best option. You may also optionally make the answer community wiki to prevent accusations of rep-whoring, although I don't think it's necessary. If you spend some time cleaning it up, you probably deserve the rep from any upvotes it may receive.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible