According to the comment box:
Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid answering questions in comments.
Comments are for:
- Asking for more information about a question's topic
- Helping to narrow the scope of a question or otherwise make it better for the site
- Suggesting improvements to a post that cannot be submitted as an edit / suggested edit, whether because they are:
- Too significant a change, or may otherwise conflict with the author's intent
- Don't change enough characters to be allowed in a suggested edit
- About something that the commenter does not have enough expertise to suggest an edit
- Asking related clarifying questions on an answer
- These replies should ideally be edited into the answer, to prevent future readers from being confused (do as I say, not as I do!)
- "Clarifying" questions that deviate significantly from the original question should be posted as separate questions.
Comments are not for:
- Answering questions
Please, write an answer if you have one. At the very least, check whether somebody else has said that before you. Comments can't be downvoted if they're wrong; the only way to say that they're wrong is to post another comment and then the whole thing gets derailed.
- Extended discussion
We have a chatroom for this purpose! Comments aren't the place for tangential discussions.
- Heated arguments
I'd be lying if I said that this wasn't part of the reason that extended discussion wasn't allowed, but it's mostly answers in comments that lead to name-calling and RAA flags.
- Asking questions
Thankfully, we haven't had much of this on this site, but for the sake of completeness: we're not a message-board-style forum; questions should be asked as questions.
This is a lot to remember, so I'll just boil it down to something simple. When posting a comment, think: does this comment directly pertain to the post that I am posting it on? If it directly pertains to this comment that directly pertains to that comment that directly pertains to the post then you should not post that comment.
If you're still not getting it, here's an example. (I like examples.)
This question is off-topic because it's about bog standard x86 programming. – wizzwizz4 ♦ 19 hours ago
@wizzwizz4 The question is about programming for the IBM PC. Those
INTcalls are to the BIOS. The question could do with some editing, but is fundamentally on-topic. – PC Expert 4 hours ago
@wizzwizz4 I'm stunned you don't consider the x86 architecture on-topic. After all, wasn't the 80186 used in the Tandy 2000? Isn't Tandy retro? – TandyFan2041 2 hours ago
@TandyFan2041 No, the Tandy 2000 actually used the 80286; it was a PC-compatible. – Know It All Mike 2 hours ago
@KnowItAllMike Actually, it was the 80186; the Tandy 2000 predated the IBM PC. You're thinking of the Tandy 1000 series, some of which used the 80286. – TandyFan2041 1 hour ago
or flag the comment as No Longer Needed, given that it's completely irrelevant. (Though you started it in the first place, TandyFan2041! You should be ashamed of yourself!)
Yes, it's harder to post good comments. But... that's kind of the point. Comments should ideally be completely disposable, since they're acted on and eventually are no longer needed. (That No Longer Needed flag should be the only comment flag that moderators are seeing; that's currently not the case.)
Is there anything I've missed?