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Why You Can't Reply to a Sticky Comment or Best Answer

lemonie sent me the following question asking why he couldn't reply my answer, which had been selected as best answer by the question-author.

Here's his question:

Hello Eric,

Sorry to take up your time with something minor, but why could I not post a REPLY to your comment on this Answer, yet I DID have the option to flag it?
https://www.instructables.com/answers/Is-there-any-way-to-get-a-list-of-all-the-instruct/

L

(My reply to the question is there, is this not what they wanted?)



When an author selects the best answer, we make that comment thread "sticky" and move it permanently to the top of the heap of other potential answers. You can only select a top-level comment as best answer, but the entire thread travels with that top-level comment. The thinking here is that an entire thread might be the best answer.

Once the answer is marked best and "sticky", we remove the ability to reply to it. This is intended to prevent later comments from being tacked onto the best answer thread, just so they appear at the top of the list. If the author un-marks the thread as best answer, further replies can be added.

The same is true of "sticky" comments throughout the site. When we make something sticky, we feel it's important enough to always be the first comment. However, we want to prevent others from hijacking this position with unrelated replies.

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Chicken22098 years ago
"However, we want to prevent others from hijacking this position with unrelated replies. "

I feel that something along these lines might happen in forums but I dont think that answers is popular enough for mindless spam yet
I also feel that sometimes the best answers are not the best or maybe there is a very confusing spelling error so a reply feature could be useful

What I think might be the best system is if only the author and the person who wrote the stickied comment could reply to the stickied comment because they would be the least likely people spam the topic. This might take a bit more programing but it could be useful to look into
You write, "I feel that something along these lines might happen in forums but I dont think that answers is popular enough for mindless spam yet."

The thing is, the Questions aren't implemented as a separate special case. They are basic nothing but forum topics, in a special (pseudo-hidden) forum category called "Answers."

Reusing the pre-existing technology, whith just some custom graphics for the user interface, is more effective, and easier to maintain and support, than coming up with multiple almost-but-not-quite-the-same implementations for each situation.

Your last comment, "What I think might be the best system is if only the author and the person who wrote the stickied comment could reply..." is actually the case. Although the "Reply" link doesn't show up, the original Author actually has the stickied comment in their own "Comments" archive. That entry has a Reply link which is still functional.

You can see an example of this discussed in my own feedback topic on this issue. I was able to reply to a stickied comment from Rachel because she commented on one of my topics.
"The thing is, the Questions aren't implemented as a..."

I was thinking of changing the universal code so it could work on forums as well. But I'm guessing that this wouldn't be an easy task so it could stay on the back burner

"That entry has a Reply link which is still functional."

Its great to see that we can always trust someone to to find bugs/loopholes in the system : ]

Having the reply link in the recipients profile isn't a bug. It's how they implement what Eric described, that the original question author can always reply to the stickied "Best Answer."
lemonie8 years ago
Ah, thankyou. Leaving the option to flag it makes sense in this context. L (I had been ignoring the as new to me favorites option and looking at stuff on "me" that was years old)