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I am finding the amount of questions left in "unanswered" state increase because the original poster had found the answer in the comments portion of their question and abandoned the question.

What can we do about these orphan questions that in fact have been answered/solved?

Apparently noticed almost a year ago by Mark Ireland here: Answering questions with a comment?

I particularly like @Casey's answer inside that Q&A.

And an example question that was solved and abandoned: Using local mbtiles in openlayers?

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    You can always ping the original commenter with @username and encourage them to post an answer. Even one popular answer on the stats meta site about the same topic said it would be ok to effectively take the comment and place it into an answer yourself. – Andy W Jul 27 '12 at 14:55
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    Everyone, please don't give any proper answers! We have a case of superb irony here. :) – lynxlynxlynx Jul 28 '12 at 20:31
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If the comment is a couple of days old, you should just put in an answer, expanding on the comment

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A lot of users probably put up their one question, test out a comment and when it works they either never come back to the site or don't want to spend time writing the comment up as an answer.

Could a new flag be created to "Flag comment as answer" that only the question asker or a moderator can use? It requires very little effort on the askers' part to flag the comment, the answer-er gets the credit for their correct response and the question gets taken off the unanswered list.

  • I'm worried that this would reduce the overall quality of answers - many of the comments do add up to an answer, but there is often not one single comment that could stand for the answer by itself. The style of comments is a long way from the style of good answers we seem to be promoting here. However, I do like the idea of flagging an 'answer comment' – just not taking using it to take the question off the 'unanswered' list or crediting the commenter for it. – Simbamangu Aug 23 '12 at 10:16
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The question author or anyone can edit and post a cohesive answer compiled from the comments with an optional addition of his/her personal research.

Answering you own question is encouraged. Consistently Answering your Own Questions

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    +1 though I would rephrase this to "anyone can compile an answer from the comments"*, plus: It is good form to wait until the question goes to sleep (no activity for some appreciable period of time) and to credit the sources. Additional personal research is nice but optional - the very work of compiling from various sources into a cohesive (and please do make effort for cohesiveness) answer is adding value and thus worth gathering reputation from. ((feel free to fold this into your own answer, assuming agreement)) – matt wilkie Aug 30 '12 at 19:05

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