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I enjoy helping out on this forum. Recently I have become more active in that.

  1. Can someone tell me when I should comment and when I should answer? How do you know which one to use? In the answer field you can add lots more details with code and links and outlining etc.

  2. Can I answer and then convert it to a comment later if irrelevant?

  3. How do you mark a thread as "solved"?

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    This is not a forum and there are no "threads" here. This question should be moved to meta, necause it is off-topic here. See askubuntu.com/tour – Pilot6 May 13 at 22:46
  • I understand. Please just help me to know how to help others. When do I comment as you have done. And when do I post an answer? – walttheboss May 13 at 22:48
  • Read the tour and you'll see. – Pilot6 May 13 at 22:49
  • Great. Thanks a ton. – walttheboss May 13 at 22:52
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  1. If what you have to say seems like a good and complete answer to the original question, then it is an answer (others will up- or down-vote it depending upon whether they agree with this assessment).

    If what you have to say is about the question, or is a relevant detail that could be part of an answer, then it is a comment (e.g. the observation that *.SE is not a "forum" is true, but irrelevant to your question. Directing you to the "help" or "tour" page is relevant, but by itself isn't an answer.). You should assume that eventually all comments will be deleted from the item.

  2. If you think your response might be irrelevant, than you already know that it isn't an answer.

  3. The original poster of the question can select the check-mark to indicate that one specific answer completely answers the question, and is actually useful. This selection is normally not done within 24 hours of asking, to give everyone in every time zone a chance to respond.

Note that these answers apply to all *.SE sites, not only askUbuntu.

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  • Thanks a mint. That is exactly what I needed to hear. – walttheboss May 14 at 1:02
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    Note that most *.SE sites have a steep learning curve initially, and that the documentation for what is considered "on-topic" for each site is remarkably sparse. Overall I've got 21K reputation, 34 gold badges, and still (i.e. this week) I tend to get my first few postings to a new site rejected for being off-topic. – Ray Butterworth May 14 at 1:08
  • A partial answer to the question should not be a comment! Everyone should please read this post, especially @walttheboss since you asked the question – Zanna May 14 at 7:40
  • @Zanna, but some information can be helpful without being an answer. I might point out that the "break" key was used to send a hardware signal that bypassed the normal character stream, which could be deadlocked. Most people no longer know that history, and that detail could clarify some confusion in the question, and it might inspire someone to write the correct answer. But by itself it would make a very poor answer, and would almost certainly be flagged as "not an answer". – Ray Butterworth May 14 at 13:08
  • @Zanna, I have changed the "partial answer" in my answer to make it more obvious what I meant. If you think it is still wrong, please feel free to correct it. – Ray Butterworth May 14 at 13:09
  • Admittedly I sometimes post such answer-y comments myself, but I still feel they are somewhat an improper use of comments. The SE consensus is that a partial answer is an answer. Meta posts like the one I linked to can be found on many other child metas. Recently I have seen very many answers flagged as not-an-answer with comments saying "should be a comment", that most definitely should not be comments. Poor answers should be fixed or downvoted, not flagged or shifted to comments where they cannot be moderated. Useful half-answers are fine. – Zanna May 15 at 4:35
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    I certainly do not want to edit your post just because I disagree with it - doing so would not be a "correction" but a terrible breach of ethics :) – Zanna May 15 at 4:36
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Read the tour as you were linked. It answers all these questions you've stated.

As for converting answer to comment, that's a task that only moderators have teh button for so you can custom-flag your own post asking it to be converted to a comment and a moderator will eventually get to it.

You will be able to post comments once you get 50 reputation, so just contribute good questions and answers and you'll get that reputation fast.

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  • Thanks. Great to understand better. – walttheboss May 13 at 22:53

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