Comment Guidelines & Cleanup
Upd. 2015-03-25: the new comment system is in place.
Upd. 2015-02-02: over 100 comments were deleted today, bringing comment count down from 672 to 551.
Over the past few months we've had many users participate in comment threads across many problems. While we encourage a lively community, we'd also like to keep discussions focused and on-topic, which in the last few weeks has not always been the case.
A number of people have noticed the lack of an Edit option for comments. This is not a bug or oversight; it's by design. We encourage you to think about what you want to write before writing it, knowing that your comment is immutable and there to stay. In this sense, we're promoting well thought-out comments. The lack of an Edit option is not so that you can reply to your own comment with revisions or addendums! Having massive Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: chains was certainly not a design goal, and we'll be taking steps to prevent these in the future.
But we can't do so without everyone's cooperation. In the future, we ask that everyone attempt to follow a set of simple guidelines when posting.
Before posting, ask yourself:
- Will someone reading my comment a year from now find it useful? If not, then you probably shouldn't post it.
- Will I regret posting this comment in five minutes? If so, you shouldn't post it. Listen to yourself.
- Is my comment meaningful? Comments like "uw0tm8" are unwelcome.
- Is the thread I'm commenting on longer than the problem itself? If it is, do you really have something of value to add?
This is not to say that jokes or witty comments are unwelcome. They're fine. If you think your comment relates to the problem and is funny for the majority of people who will read it (i.e. not an inside joke only you and your friend will understand — we're not Facebook), then by all means post ahead! If you can brighten someone's day while remaining even remotely on topic, that's great.
And these are just guidelines. If you feel really justified in posting something, use your judgement.
At this time, many problem threads are cluttered with off-topic chatter of little value.
To resolve the issue of noise comments, we'll be retroactively applying the guidelines above to threads that we feel need it. This means that we'll be both editing and deleting comments that need attention. Over the next few days, you might have some of your comments deleted. If you feel strongly about a comment that we might delete, please do not hesitate to contact us: we store comment records, and they won't disappear if your comment does.
We'll also be rolling out revision-based comment edit system sometime relatively soon. Being able to edit your comments does not mean you should not follow the simple guidelines listed above. We're adding it for the incidental case of typos and such, and your comment's edit history will be public.
Thanks, your admins: Xyene, FatalEagle and quantum.