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  Do we need a limit on the length of comments?

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

I just noticed that the lengths of comments is limited. I had written a longish comment and had to break it over three consecutive comments to deal with the length limit. Of course now that I know about the length limit, I will avoid writing long comments in the future. But is there a reason for the length limit? Is it desirable? Is it something that is within our control or is it a restriction that is hardcoded into StackExchange?

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
asked Sep 16, 2011 in SE.TP.discussion by Gustav Delius (540 points) [ no revision ]

2 Answers

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

This is certainly not something that any of us can change, and must be done by the SE people if it is to be done at all. That said, I suspect they wouldn't want to change it for various different reasons: uniformity across the network, philosophical beliefs about the role of comments, etc.

To be honest, I think I agree with their limit. It's enough to allow for substantial comments, but not too much. I occasionally go way past the limit too, and have to break comments up over a couple of posts, but my feeling is that they would rather this not happen too often, to discourage extended discussion.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Sep 16, 2011 by Joe Fitzsimons (3,575 points) [ no revision ]
+ 5 like - 1 dislike

To quote from the community faq:

Comments are intentionally short with a maximum of 600 characters [...]

When should comments be used?

Comments should be used for meta-discussion about a post which does not contribute to the content of the post directly. They are sometimes used to point out factual errors in a post, or to discuss subjective issues. Often, comments are used to address the user who created the post with a question or... well, comment.

Comments should not be used when creating an answer to a question. In that case it is best to submit an answer, or vote up the best answer if you already see it listed.

A comment of more than 600 characters length is most likely already half an answer and should be posted as such. If the comment limit really is too short to clarify details on the question/answer, the problem is possibly the post itself and not the limit. In that (hopefully rare) case it's probably better to invite the OP to a chat room. If you oppose to another answer, you can still post a new answer clarifying on that and leave a comment simply linking to your answer.

edit I see you're referring to comments on your own answer. For that case I suggest editing your answer, maybe quoting the objecting comment as well - the SE team is sometimes rather enthusiastic to delete longer comment discussions, although I think there is also a feature to automatically move longer discussion trails to chat.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Sep 16, 2011 by Tobias Kienzler (260 points) [ no revision ]

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