+ 11 like - 0 dislike
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I have noticed quite a few unanswered questions which were resolved satisfactorily by a comment, or series of comments. Typically these comments give a reference or clarify some confusion. Since we are still in beta and are judged, to a certain extent, by the percentage of questions answered, I’d like to point out that such questions are registered by the powers that be as still being unanswered questions. It would be really useful then if when a subject is resolved, an extremely short answer is then posted and accepted.

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This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
Not a bad idea, though ideally I would not like moderators to micromanage the site to that degree.

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The moderators don't have to be the ones who do it; anybody who's read this discussion could post such a comment. But if nobody posts these comments, the questions are going to remain unanswered.

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Sure, they don’t even have to type much, they can just link to the discussion here.

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This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

For some reason people tend to use comments for short answers (I did as well). However, I think it is counterproductive:

• First, sometimes a short answer is actually solving the problem.
• Second, it is easier to address an answer (vote it up/down, comment it, edit, ...) than a comment.
This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Dec 18, 2011 by (1,260 points)
+ 4 like - 0 dislike

This has also been discussed at math.SE, I'll quote a part of Willie Wong's answer there:

Another possibility [...] is that the user is only leaving a short sketch of the complete answer in the comments. For those with sufficient mathematical maturity, those short sketches may appear to be a complete answer. But for a self-conscious educator, those sketches may not be sufficiently pedagogical as an answer. [...]

On the flip side, because of the Q&A (emphasis on the A part) nature of this site, we desire answers. So if a user decides to post an answer as a comment, I think he or she should not complain when somebody else decides to incorporate the content of said comment into a "more complete" answer.

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