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I have got a short answer to my question in a comment, which was correct as here. Later, another user provided an answer, which was the same as the comment but with some additional details which were not necessary for me to understand the answer.

Ideally, I would like to accept the comment as the answer, which however is not possible. So I accepted the posted answer instead. So I have been wondering whether it is ok to accept a posted answer (which may just be elaborated on an earlier comment).

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  • $\begingroup$ @achillehui It is very difficult to parse what you just said. Are you asking "Assuming the answer is sufficiently self-contained, is the answer alone something you would have accepted anyway?" $\endgroup$ – Namaste Jul 24 '18 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for asking here, @Green.H! $\endgroup$ – Namaste Jul 24 '18 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ It is ok. If you knew how to answer the question after reading the comment other options would have been to ask the commenter to expand it to an answer, and if they "no, thank you" to post an answer yourself. When I give a comment with "an extended hint", it is my goal to make the asker see the light themself. So when they do, I often encourage the asker to also post an answer. Many others do the same. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Jul 25 '18 at 4:08
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It's fine to accept the solution. The commenter couldn't have had an expectation of getting anything by putting a solution in the comments, so nobody should feel like anything is lost.

Accepting the solution also helps resolve the status of the post.

Of course, kindly thanking the commenter wouldn't be a bad thing either :)

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree, and as an addendum to this post, please do not post answers in the comments (no matter how trivial you believe the answer to be) as doing so pollutes the “unanswered questions” queue. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jul 25 '18 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @user7530: not every question should be answered; one reason sometimes to put an answer in comments is to discourage anyone leaving the same as an actual answer, once they now they won’t have priority for it. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jul 31 '18 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlMummert If that’s true, I strongly believe that the strategy does not work, and that it does more harm than good. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Jul 31 '18 at 2:58

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