There are questions around that

  • cannot get marked answered ...
  • ... because there is no 'answer' ...
  • ... because the answer is given in the comments !

I find this annoying, since I occasionally browse questions waiting for an answer.

My feature request: The opportunity to mark the question answered based on the comments.

It should be available to the OP, to the moderators and maybe as a flag.


1 Answer 1


This question bothers me a lot. And as far as I understand, there is another option:

  • Post an answer as a community wiki.

Certainly, if the comment that successfully answered the question has been posted several hours ago (or even several days), it would be nice to ask them to post their solution as an answer - and be able to get the reputation, etc. But for old enough questions hanging in the "unanswered category" for years - a community wiki option might be very good.

With that, the answer will be formally given, and the one posting the community wiki answer does not steal reputation.

This seems to be the policy on SO according to a similar Meta Question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's not about "stealing" reputation -- or about reputation at all -- but about the level of detail. A full answer should be somewhat in depth and explain the issue in enough detail so that others coming later can learn from it (the true audience of answers, by the way, according to SE). A comment can be used to either a) just point someone in the right direction if I don't have time for a full answer or b) gauge whether my understanding of the issue and the possible solution is correct before spending the time to write one. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ (Also, there's a difference between "this answered the question" and "this helped me", and OPs often do not make this distinction when commenting on helpful comments.) $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 11:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, while your efforts in cleaning up the site are commendable, the main issue holding back the growth of this site is the rigid off-topic policy -- something I've been meaning to bring up in a post, but real life kept intervening. (Note that badly formulated questions can an should be put on hold even if they are on-topic -- just because questions on a specific topic are frequently bad, this doesn't mean we should ban the topic.) $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristianClason, I actually agree with you on both points. However, I personally feel not too comfortable claiming the reputation for an answer to the question that I compiled 90% using the comments. For example, see this question about eigenvalues, where I employed the community wiki $\endgroup$
    – Anton Menshov Mod
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristianClason btw, I think you totally should bring up the question of off-topic policy as I also feel it quite tight. For example, I like answering questions like this, though they would be considered off-topic and closed. I doubt it would be answered on any other website - or target the right audience. $\endgroup$
    – Anton Menshov Mod
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Re community wiki: I didn't comment on that facet because I agree -- if you convert an old(!) comment to an answer manually (rather than flag for a moderator to do it), community wiki is the right thing to do. (If it's not older than a month, say, it's better to bug the commenter about expanding the comment.) $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristianClason, I think that we can start a discussion on the off-topic issue you are mentioning. Finally, the community is who decide what is appropriate for the site. $\endgroup$
    – nicoguaro Mod
    May 28, 2018 at 16:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @nicoguaro Done: scicomp.meta.stackexchange.com/q/493/1804 $\endgroup$ Jun 3, 2018 at 12:55

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