I have seen again and again cases in which a comment consists of a perfectly valid answer, something that has already been discussed here. In my opinion, no matter how simple an answer is, the person who asked the question should have the opportunity of declaring an answer as the accepted one, so that someone else with the same doubt may know right way that the answer as been accepted. Yes, the person who asked the question can post a comment declaring that the other comment contains the answer, but it is not the same thing IMHO.

I don't think that my question is the same as the one to which I posted a link, because what I ask here is if the users of Math.SE should be encouraged to always post their answers, even when they are very simple, in order to give to the person who asked the question the opportunity of marking the question as the accepted one. It is a matter of etiquette. The other post is about the possibility that a question without accepted answers will continue to be bumped by the robot.

  • $\begingroup$ I have heard that some users object to the "reputation" system, and thus post comments (and not answers) since reputation is not awarded for comments. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Aug 21 '17 at 12:10
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    $\begingroup$ @GEdgar This exists but is rather rare. Yet if the goal is just to avoid points, they should post CW answers instead of comments. (There is a user on MO that once informed about it, in fact altered their habits.) $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Aug 21 '17 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ Somewhat related older discussion: Accepting comments as answers. Maybe it is also worth mentioning that this chat room has as one of its goals converting answers from comments to real answers. (Admittedly, the room has been rather inactive in the past few months.) $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '17 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ And these two posts are also relevant: Dealing with answers in comments and What should one do when one's question has been answered in the comments? $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '17 at 15:30

A standard process is this.

  • The questioner (or some other user) comments something to the extent: "Your comment answers the/my question. Consider posting it as an answer." Or even "If you post this as answer, I would accept it."

    • If this happens, problem solved.

    • If the comment is not re-posted as an answer by its author, somebody else (for example the questioner) can re-post (basically copy-paste) the comment as answer with attribution. Usually such direct re-posts are done in Community Wiki mode. And, this answer can then be accepted.

Over time there were proposals to introduce some feature that allows for comments to be converted to answers and I think also to allows to accept comments. However, this got/get declined on the grounds that it could further blur the distinction between answer and comment. Plus, the above process seems to work well enough.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. I have never seen a “Consider posting it as an answer” here before. But it's a good idea. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '17 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ @José It happens often (I have been asked a few times, for example), but usually these comments are later deleted once an answer is posted. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '17 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrésE.Caicedo Well, that sure explains why I never saw them. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '17 at 14:49

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