I would like to reiterate a point I brought up to a semi-related question here:

…I have seen many cases of users (often in chat, occasionally in comments) giving fully detailed — and valid — answers to extant questions, but refraining from actually writing a proper answer just because they don't have the references available.

This is not necessarily limited to answers that lack references; I have seen similar behaviour for answers that answer most (but not all) of the question itself.

The problem is, neither chat nor comments are designed for answers — that's what the answer field is for — and answers placed therein are unnecessarily crippled. They are harder to search, nigh-impossible to edit, cannot be properly voted on, and even if they could be they are not sorted. And, right or wrong, they have zero effect on the posters reputation. They are, quite frankly, horrible places to put answers.

How, then, should we be dealing with these "half-answers"; those answers which may still be useful — not to mention correct — but lack enough "meat" (either in the opinion of the site's community, or the poster himself) to stand alone as a proper answer?

2 Answers 2


I believe they still have a place on this site. For if it is the first answer to the question, and still answers it but not fully they should be commented on. I don't believe they should be eligible for down-voting because they still answer the question, as well it is useful. If it is upvoted then most likely it is upvoted for it's usefulness and quality. If a question has a number of answers, and someone comes a long and sees that all the answers didn't explain an answer to part of the question correctly or not as good and believes he/she can explain it better for that part of the question, then I believe that this should be allowed.

If a half an answer if given because that is what the user has knowledge in, or doesn't have sufficient knowledge or references to answer the other part, I believe should still be welcome. For it is still answering the question, only just a part of it. And the user is putting time into it and that should be appreciated. Also half answers may (this may not be the case the majority of the time) indicate that the questioner is asking a question that may need to be split into two, but again this may most likely be a rare case.

Again, to repeat what I said in the beginning, the answer should be commented on, and if a new user then warmly welcome them first. This is my opinion, May Allah forgive my short comings, and guide us all.


Copying the text into a community wiki answer may not be a bad idea, as you did. Any user can do this.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .