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My question specifically concerns this question, which was closed as "Not suitable for this site." I suspect that what made this question unsuitable is that there was no context or work shown.

When I saw the problem (before it had been closed), I tried to get a bit of context. The OP said they knew a related example, so I commented asking for the specifics. The OP then gave the example in another comment (and even linked to a relevant question), and I figured that was good enough for context/work. But the question was closed after that, so maybe I'm wrong.

My first (non-titular) question: is the amount of context/work the OP gave with that related example actually good enough? I thought it showed they had tried a little and done some research, but what do yinz think?

As for the titular question, I believe that it's better if context is added straight into the question rather than in comments, because then people don't have to scroll through a bunch of stuff to get the whole question. Do other people agree? If so, is it necessary? Should I refrain from answering questions where the context can only be found in comments?

If I'm wrong about why the question was closed, I'm still curious about the general questions in the above paragraph. I'd also be curious as to the real reason, in that case.

One final thing: I should delete my answer, right? If the question is unsuitable for the site, then as per the Enforcement of Quality Standards, I never should have answered in the first place and thus I should delete it?

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    $\begingroup$ Absolutely!: "As for the titular question, I believe that it's better if context is added straight into the question rather than in comments, because then people don't have to scroll through a bunch of stuff to get the whole question." For the very reason you state. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jun 15 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ Also, had the OP added the context provided in two comments as an edit to the question, I think the question would be okay; I give you a lot of credit for encouraging the OP to add more details. I'd suggest temporarily deleting your answer (if the question improves, then you just need to click on "undelete" to reinstate it!) But a comment added to encourage the asker to include the information provided in comments would help them most if they edit the question to include them, in an edit to their question. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jun 15 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy Thanks for the help. I am having trouble parsing that last sentence, though. Is it saying something about how I should comment asking them to put the context in the question or I should edit their question directly to put the context in? $\endgroup$ Jun 15 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ Preferably, it is best for the asker to edit the post to merely copy and paste there comments into the question, e.g., at the end of it. That's the ideal scenario. However, at times a user will edit them into the post for the asker, saying something like: "Posting added information provided by the asker in comments:" ......., ......, $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jun 15 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ I left an encouraging comment to the asker to include their comments in the post. If they do, or if you do, @Michael, please let us know: you can always ping me in CURED, or here in a comment. Unfortunately, Illy, a user, edited the question superficially, otherwise the OP's edit would automatically send it to the reopen queue. So, if you see a change, or introduce a change, vote to reopen the question. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jun 15 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ Oops, I'm wrong wrt the edit from Illy, the question was closed 13 hours ago, which was after Illy's edit. So upon the next edit, the question will go to the reopen review queue, at which point users will see the edits made, and vote to reopen, or not. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jun 15 at 19:14
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    $\begingroup$ This question has been reopened due to some added context. Whether that added context is enough or not can be debated here . In my opinion, some minor redressal is still on the cards, but the question is improved. $\endgroup$ Jun 16 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ Just a simple, straightforward answer: Yes. $\endgroup$
    – MrSir100
    Jun 26 at 15:14
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Yes, absolutely! All relevant information must be included in the question.

Comments are temporary, and are intended to help improve the question or to leave minor or transient information. Relevant content or context should not be left in the comments. Instead, the information should be added to the question. Then, flag the comments as 'no longer needed' once they have been addressed.

We don't want people to have to scroll through the comments to understand what is being asked. Instead, they should only need to read the question.

Remember, we are trying to build an archive of high-quality questions and answers. The question exists not just for one person, but for everyone else who might encounter it in the future. So, we want the question to be self-contained and read well for someone who encounters it for the first time.

I recommend that you vote based on the state of the question (rather than what is in the comments). If it's necessary to put the question on hold until it is improved, then that is a good incentive to make sure the question is updated and make sure people don't answer until it is clear exactly what is being asked.

Let me also address a suggestion I saw in the comments, to edit the question to append "Posting additional information left in the comments". Don't do that. Don't write a question like "Stuff. Additional info left in the comments: more stuff". Instead, revise the question so it reads well for someone who encounters it for the first time, with a good structure and organization. This may require a thoughtful revision, rather than just appending more stuff. Don't use "EDIT:" or "Added:" etc. We have revision control, so there is no need to mark what has changed; and questions are intended for the long term, so those markers are inappropriate. See also https://cs.meta.stackexchange.com/q/657/755.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 I strongly agree with your final paragraph - questions should read as complete questions, and I dislike it when people "add" stuff at the end. It's lazy, can be confusing, and often obliges you to read the whole question again. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Jun 17 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ In addition to having to scroll through comments, comments become hidden when too many comments are posted. If one does not open the entire comment thread, then some important information may be missed. Furthermore, comments may be moved to chat and that further removes the comments from easy viewing. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Jun 26 at 21:57
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One note I'll add to the discussion in comments(!): StackExchange explicitly intends that comments are temporary. By this metric, any information that's in a comment should not be considered part of the question and shouldn't be factored in to evaluating the quality of a question, because it could evaporate at any time. If it's good information then it would (IMHO) be much better in the question proper, where more permanence is intended.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments don't "evaporate". They stay until someone, generally a moderator, explicitly and deliberately takes steps to remove them. While I agree it's better if a question is edited to be self-contained, maybe moderators shouldn't delete comments that contribute to clarifying or giving context to a question. $\endgroup$ Jun 16 at 23:25
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    $\begingroup$ I agree on this specific question, but please don't take the SE "comments are fleeting" policy as gospel! Maths isn't programming isn't travel isn't Judaism. We need comments to discuss and shine light on questions and answers. Not all of that information fits into the posts themselves (particularly as the authors of the posts might not agree with it or not consider it relevant). In the case of questions missing context, yes, that's probably not the comments' job, but this answer shouldn't be generalized past that. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson: If a comment actually adds to the question, I know that I won't delete it, and I believe the other moderators follow suit. Furthermore, it is not only moderators who can delete comments. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Jun 26 at 18:01

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