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36

A compendium of comments I've found useful. Feel free to add more. Questions Self-study Is this a question from a course or textbook? If so, please add the self-study tag & read its wiki. Is this a question from a course or textbook? If so, please add the [tag:self-study] tag & read its [wiki](https://stats.stackexchange.com/tags/self-study/info). ...


24

Welcome messages are not noise. Early on in the life of this site, the SE Team actively encouraged posting comments to help people feel welcome. I therefore always decline flags that suggest those comments are "too chatty" and I usually keep the welcoming comment intact. I personally make an effort to identify newcomers who are likely to contribute beyond ...


18

The basic policy is clear enough -- don't answer in comments, answer in answers. Some SE sites are very strict and simply remove anything in comments that looks like an answer. Others run a bit looser. If someone does answer in comments and you expand it into an answer, then as long as you give credit where you rely substantially on someone else's text, ...


18

CV's a democracy of a kind, so many standard political points arise. The first lessons in politics include learning that many other people are very confident in telling you should be voting this way or you shouldn't be voting that way. Excuse me: they're my votes, or not. Within the rules, I vote as I like. (I don't impute or infer attempts to offend, ...


17

Like Richard Hardy (above), I think that attempts to answer the question should be done as "answers", not comments. This lets people up- (or down-)vote the proposed solution, provides a place for comments on the proposed solution (vs. the question), and makes the "Unanswered" tab work correctly. Putting answers, even short ones, as comments breaks all of the ...


16

See Etiquette for answering old questions addressed in comments?. I don't think anything changes just because a bounty's at stake. (If someone's really keen to win that bounty they needn't give anything away in comments before they're ready to write an answer.)


16

I agree -- where feasible we should try to help the poster understand how to fix their post, including trying to explain what's unclear whenever we're able to do so. However, if someone else's comment covers the main issues, I think it's fine not to add anything when voting to close, though as amoeba points out it would be good to upvote the comment that ...


15

@whuber's stamina is admirable, but I have to endorse @NickCox's suggestion: You just have to hang in there, contribute answers to questions that don't need clarification (etc.) until you get to 50. The other option is to build the lack of clarity into your answer. Recognize that many askers here don't know enough to use the right terms or include the ...


15

I sometimes answer questions and vote to close them at the same time. I don't see any problem with that. What I would do is leave a comment to the OP explaining that the question is off topic and why. I may point them towards another resource (stack overflow, the r-help listserv, our meta thread with software links, etc.) as well. I don't necessarily ...


14

Added in Edit: Now that two of us are accused of abusing our position as moderators, I'm not sure I can contribute anything further. You have said of each of us that you think we're abusing our positions; you have the right to email the people that oversee us (yes, even us completely unpaid volunteers). See this meta post which explains how to do that. In ...


13

Cromwell's rule : "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken." This wise rule (modernized perhaps by substituting "probable" for "possible", and maybe changing the gory religious reference), should have been all along supplementing the SE-wide catch-phrase and policy "Be Nice". Now, "Be Nice" is more wide-reaching ...


12

Some personal thoughts/methods about this important issue: voting. 1- Voting on answers: In this thread, Peter Flom gives an answer about the low answer ratio that was found/audited in CV (at that time): "...I think that is partially a function of the nature of statistics and the questions we get..." Many users agreed with him and I believe this ...


12

Nali, I do owe you an apology. The proper way to proceed when I encountered a flag on your first post was to (1) recognize that you are a relative newcomer and welcome you to our site and (2) add a comment explaining why your post had to be deleted. I could plead extenuating circumstances, but that would just be an excuse. I am sorry about the ...


11

It seems to me that we have to balance two imperatives on CV: We need to preserve information that is germane to on-topic threads and provide information about statistics, machine learning, data mining and data visualization. Material that offends someone or makes some class of people feel unwelcome should be deleted. How should these two be balanced? ...


11

I agree with most of what has been said so far. Disclaimers: I didn't see the original comment or add +1 to it. My comments can easily be sharper than average here, so I am not posing as a nice guy, but I would never dispute a moderator's judgement on my comments. Comments can be sharper than answers, but they must not be offensive. But give and take is ...


11

This rendering occurred because: In one of your MathJax statements, a $ was left out at the beginning, so there was an odd number of $ meaning that most of your comment was interpreted as MathJax and rendered as such. Your use of markdown for the link was also incorrect. The correct syntax is [text description](http://yourlink.com). I have edited the ...


11

"See so-and-so's comment" doesn't meet the standard for an answer on our site. Answers should be complete in themselves; for example, if BruceET was to delete his comment, your answer would be useless. It is usually seen as acceptable to invite the author of the comment to post as an answer, if you feel it is a complete answer to the question, or to ...


10

First of all--and most importantly--I am sorry you feel bad about that comment. In coming to a decision about the flag, I considered several aspects of the situation. Relevance. Despite your claim that the comment is off-topic, a huge underlying issue in that thread is whether banning the use of a standard tool for pursuing scientific investigations is an ...


10

From the help page on comments: When shouldn't I comment? Comments are not recommended for any of the following: ... Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward; ... Your comment did not say "he was correct." The record shows it said (in full) @LazyCat right. That is ...


10

In an ideal world, yes, we would patiently sit down with each poster, discuss what in particular is unclear about their question and guide them to a clear question, which we would then proceed to answer. Unfortunately, it appears to me like the supply of unclarity is unlimited. To be honest, we get questions that are so confused that I wouldn't even know ...


9

As long as the question is on-topic, not duplicate and well posed, answering with comments is a bad practice, because it can leave the post officially unanswered, which is bad for our site statistics. Also, the comment can't be voted down (likewise, if it is a correct answer the author will not receive credits for it; which is also bad). Moreover, regarding ...


9

We're fairly easy-going around here, but I can only speak for my own moderation habits on this one because nominally it's breaking the rules: when I run across an answer that has been flagged as really being a comment in disguise, and it begins something like "I'm new here and don't have enough rep to comment but I really would like to help somebody by ...


9

You appear to be using Internet Explorer in "compatibility mode". This breaks the site in numerous ways - you will need to turn it off. Please follow the instructions here to do so. Related: https://scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3122/why-cant-i-post-a-comment-anymore


9

Just so that this question has an answer: One method is to post your own answer to the question. In passing, it can demonstrate that an alternative strategy is not correct. If the answer to the question is not known, then asking and answering a question can be one method to provide a demonstration. As always is the case with interacting with other users, ...


8

It's a feature, present throughout SE, to defend against the hordes of off-topic misguided comments that would appear without such a restriction. (The community closes tens of answers-cum-comments each day as it is.) As a moderator I would just love to be able to grant people like you higher privileges instantly, on the evidence of goodwill and ...


8

Nope! The people who comment to a post are not made aware by default that a post has been edited. The post owner, however, is given a little blue notification in their global inbox. If you'd like to let commentors know that a post has been edited, you would need to @-alert them in comments manually. Sorry!


8

This user posted his/her comment as an answer (this happens oftentimes, because of reputation issue or a misunderstanding of how the site works), and it was flagged by some vigilant users. A moderator converted it as a proper comment beneath your reply.


8

[Edit: It looks like the queues seem to have improved a little in recent times -- I find it easier to figure out why something closed for example -- so to an extent some of the gripes here may be a little out of date.] I definitely agree that the interface in the various review queues is not as helpful as it should be -- it hides essential information that ...


8

You ask about earning reputation for posting comments. Because comments are "second-class citizens" on SE, they do not accrue reputation and you are not notified of votes on them. The only thing they can actually do for you is earn you the Commentator Badge and Pundit Badge. By virtue of their absence, they can indirectly help others earn the Tumbleweed ...


8

Flag the post for Moderator attention, with a request to move the comments to chat.


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