This is a common trend that I saw while trying to find questions suitable for me to answer. The filter and sorting problem of the questions was more or less solved for me by my previous question. But then again arises a new problem(minor as it seems to me). That is most of the questions with no answers has been solved in the comments and no one bothered to write an answer. I get it that it was pragmatic in those circumstances nevertheless it makes the searching for suitable questions tiresome. So I would like to hear the thoughts that how should I go about that.

Is there any way that they don't feature in the unanswered tab? Can adding a tag or filter be an answer?

Some examples may be:

  1. Gateaux and Frechet derivatives and boundedness
  2. How to understand the similarities and differences between subset and subspace? Examples?

Edit: Like every one of you suggested a major chunk of the question is answered here and by the linked meta post, courtesy of Asaf Karagila, hardmath, Eevee Trainer and Andrew T. Still as amWhy suggested a minor portion of the problem remains unsolved, namely cleaning up the unanswered tab. Even if someone is just answering it with help from the comments still it remains in the unanswered tab(which seems unlikely but is happening somehow) till it's upvoted.

What I am asking is a way to separate these questions from the questions that have not received help or are not fully solved.

Ce sera sera!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1559/… and generally, math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/linked/1559 $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 17:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I suspect that if you read through the previous discussions of what to do with Questions that are (only) answered in Comments, you will see a consensus that it is permitted to post an Answer yourself. The Answer box often allows a more detailed solution than a Comment does Here is an example where I recently did this. Note that I marked the answer as Community Wiki (so I do not profit from upvotes) and that I gave credit to the user who provided the key information in a Comment. YMMV $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ I should have read the previous answers. Thanks. I am deleting the question. $\endgroup$
    – mmcrjx
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think the question you asked is a bad question at all, so don't worry so much about deleting it. In the circumstances you describe, it is perfectly okay to answer the question with an answer that appears in comments, and marking the answer "community wiki". Occasionally, it is okay to answer a question with an answer hinted at in a comment, on which you then elaborate. In such cases, no need to designate as "community wiki", but rather, credit the user who provided the hint in a comment, and then elaborate for a more complete answer. ... $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ e.g., If the question asked boils down to the asker being stuck on an integral, after posting their attempt in the question, and there is a suggestion in a comment to make a substitution, say "put $x= \tan \theta$", then I see no problem in your providing the answer starting with "as @so-and-so, suggested, let's work with the substitution $x= \tan \theta$. Then $dx = \sec^2 \theta, d\theta$ so our integral becomes -------------," and proceeding to complete the integration. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ Even more, @mm-crj Thanks for your concern about sifting through unanswered questions, and your honest question about how to handle situations in which you believe an answer has been more or less provided in comments, but still appears incessantly in the "unanswered question" search. I hope my suggestions above are helpful to you, in such circumstances, when you encounter them. The linked meta post is also helpful, but votes to delete this question as a dupe is premature, because your good question was far more specific than the general question: "How to deal with answers in comments?" $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrew, you duplicated Asaf's initial comment with links to the question you felt you needed to link, again. Please read earlier comments in a thread, and check links, to avoid posting duplicate links. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy honestly, I feel this question is basically a dupe of that question. The only way to get it off from unanswered questions tab... is to get answered, and the dupe link addresses how to do that. I don't even think to delete this question (good signpost is a good duplicate), but I don't feel it needs a different answer than the dupe. Asaf only posted it as a normal link, not a close vote (since it would close it unilaterally), but I believe it should be closed as a dupe. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 0:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Re: "unanswered" tab, it doesn't need any acceptance from the OP (everyone even mods can't force an acceptance either). However, the answer only needs to have a positive score (an upvote from anyone, not only OP) to get it off the "unanswered" tab. Also, by posting an answer, the question will be bumped to "active" tab, which might invite other users to check and probably upvote the answer if it's useful. Otherwise, there is a Community bot that will bump the "unanswered" question in hourly interval. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Andrew T for pointing that out(which questions are on the unanswered tab). This seems a reasonable solution, there shouldn't be many questions like this it seems. $\endgroup$
    – mmcrjx
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ Folks, I just found out that this is old problem and has a chatroom chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/9141/the-crusade-of-answers . $\endgroup$
    – mmcrjx
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 2:13

1 Answer 1


How to deal with question answered only in comments, when wanting to help clean up “unanswered questions”?

Typically, what I've heard and occasionally done would be thus:

  • Write the essential details from the comments into an answer post.
  • Do give credit where credit is due, naming those who provided the relevant details in your post.
  • Add any useful details and such you yourself might perhaps know, outside sources, etc.
  • Mark the answer as a community wiki answer, perhaps adding a small tidbit at the top of the post to clarify why you're making this post. (It's unanswered but has answers in the comments.)
  • Post it.

Of course, this does bear some further notes with respect to when this should be done:

  • Try to do this only to answers you yourself know about, or at least have the skill to verify. This is in case the question/comments are a bit above your head; maybe the answer in the comments is wrong, or incomplete. Just make sure you can verify the validity of what's being said.

  • If you can offer an extensive amount of extra details - perhaps an alternate approach or such, or fleshing out nudges towards a complete answer - it might be better to make a separate answer altogether, one altogether your own. You could mention/summarize the solution in the comments in the leading bit of your post before going into your own solution. (Of course, you could also offer up your own solution in the community wiki bit, that's entirely up to you. I just think that, if the majority of the post is genuinely content you made, it's better for you to make it a post by you as opposed to by the community.)

  • If the solution was made by or mostly by one individual but done in the comments, perhaps trying @ing them and seeing if they're willing to present their own write-up as an answer post instead. This would probably be best so they can get the rep their answer deserves, but depending on the question and users involved, it's all too possible this might not be viable. Perhaps the user(s) went inactive, or something of the sort, or perhaps they're unwilling, in which case the community-wiki answer approach is probably best.


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