I bumped into this situation a lot:

There is a question, an easy one usually. Some very advanced members of the site give the anwser but in the comment section. The OP say thank you and never come back.

The consequence is that the question will remain "unanswered" forever and I would feel extremely incomfortabel answering it by copy/pasting someone else's comment.

Is there any reason to not answering them ? and if I find one should I answer ?

latest example: Calculating NDVI using GDAL

1 Answer 1


I am copying most of my answer to a Meta SE question about Can we allow moderators to upgrade a comment to an answer?

I would encourage all users who see "comments that answer questions" not finding their way into an answer to write an answer that:

  • starts by saying "As commented by @...:"
  • quotes the relevant comment(s)
  • adds any extra value that they can to the answer

I normally only do this after a few days but I would have no issue with it being done sooner than that because we want to encourage "answers in answers" not "answers in comments".

If a user is worried about getting reputation points for what is effectively someone else's incomplete work to answer then they can make such answers Community Wiki.

However, I know that if I were putting my heart into writing comments, and then later noticing that someone else was getting points for taking the time to complete my answers, then I would be much more likely to write an answer rather than just leaving a comment next time.

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