My first question on EL&U has generated a surprising amount of answers, discussion and difference in opinion. As the person who asked it, and accepted a controversial answer, I would like to present my thoughts on the answers. Is it therefore acceptable to edit the original question with a summary of responses with some discussion?

I have seen this type of thing on the more code-based StackExchanges, where a poster has added the most suitable code snippet at the end of the question and maybe the reason why it works. Of course, this forum is less technical, so people aren't searching it for a quick and objective answer.

If not, what are the alternatives? Should I respond to each post with its merits individually and then reference others in the response? This would be more difficult, given the brevity and lack of formatting options.

  • 2
    Please note that downvotes on Meta are the lazy person's way of responding: a downvote means "I disagree with what you are proposing", and is not a reflection whatsoever on the validity of the question, or meant to be insensitive. I'm lazy, and you're new, so I thought I'd explain why you got my DV on your first meta question. :( I think that's a bad idea. This is a Q&A site, not a Q&A&Discussion site. It has a high potential for misuse (e.g. soapboxing.) That's all. I like everything else about your well-presented question. (Whaddagrumpamiright?) Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:34
  • @medica Added an "if not, then what?" clause. Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:37
  • If not, then comments... (Whaddagrumpamiright?) Please note, though, that comments are not for the ages; they are disposable. Questions and answers are much less so. Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:38
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    Don't sweat it. Don't. It will make the question look ugly and unclear. Future visitors won't care that much what you thought of each answer in any case. The edits you did on the question, and the comments you left are more than OK. It's not that big a deal, you accepted the answer that helped you, ignore the upvotes on the other answers — easier said than done— I realise :))))
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:46
  • @Mari-LouA Oh, I'm not sweating it. I was just enjoying reading the debate while my code runs. But as I say, I realise this forum is more subjective than "get the most efficient answer ASAP" as e.g. the original StackExchange. Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:51
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    @ValentinAslanyan what I've done (maybe once or twice) is make an answer yourself (to your own question. I know! It's allowed!) and give your commentary there. It's more permanent than a set of comments, and allows you to include all that you want. Oh, and I don't think it violates any norms here. So what if it gets no votes or is downvoted.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 18:57
  • @Mitch yes, that's also a possibility. I've done that once myself, and the answer got deleted because it didn't answer the question, and I had to fight tooth and nail to get it undeleted. The OP will probably be luckier than me. Mitch answered a question of his extolling the virtues and drawbacks of several answers that had been posted, but he was cleverer than me, he actually included a few novel solutions in his answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:57
  • A link to the question you're referring to would have been nice. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


A moderator has already answered this for you:

putting the discussion in the question would be a distraction from the question. It could be helpful to future people with the same question if you want to leave a comment under the answers.

The goal of the site is to have well-formed questions with good answers. It's not meant for an extended discussion in the form of edits. If you want to explain your reason for voting an answer up or for accepting it, you can do so in comments.

In some cases it is also worthwhile to answer your own question if your final answer differs from the other answers posted.

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