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Feature Question: How do you create an unreplyable comment? Answered

So, how does one create a comment which cannot be replied? I've seen one example, posted this morning, and it rather surprised me. I know that there is a work around if the comment itself is in reply to something I've written, but I'm still curious if it is a "user-accessible feature." UPDATE: I have learned from Staff that this is a feature of all "sticky comments." Announcements of bug fixes are often flagged as sticky, so they stay at the top of the original bug report. Also, the new "Best Answer" flag will make the associated comment sticky, for the same reason.


For the Answers with longer comment trees, it might be useful to pop the Best Answer to the top and separate it from the rest, removing the reply feature. But at the same time, leave that answer in the tree where it was with the reply function available. This way you can see what the best answer is at first glance, but then also add to it in the general comments area.

You are proposing duplicating the record in the database? Then if the author of the Best Answer decides (as comment authors are free to do) to delete it, which one should (s)he delete? Or do they have to delete both, since there are now two separate records? Making the Best Answer (or any stickied comment) no longer replyable by anyone but the Question's own author is, I think, a reasonable response to the known problem of "hijacking."

You could think of it like this: All comments, including the Best Answer stay in the comment tree where they were submitted and all have the ability to be replied to. At the top of the comments section, there is a "viewport" showing the Best Answer alone. No duplication really, just two different views of the same content.

That would be a substantial new feature, with significant man-hours required for implementation. If you have expertise with CGI programming (and are near S.F.) perhaps you'd consider volunteering your time with the I'bles Development team to put something like this together? As it stands, the ability to flag Best Answer and have it show up at the top of the ccomments tree required very minimal development work. They are reusing an already existing (and tested and debugged :-) feature of the server software ("sticky comments"). The only new thing is that they've provided a public interface where the Question author can apply that sticky flag.

BLAST! Why do time and money always get in the way of good ideas. Well. If Stanford or Berkeley end up being my graduate school next fall, maybe I will do just that.

Heh. You're at UCLA right now? That was my undergrad, back in the day. Good luck!

Oh no!!! I'm working. haha. I recieved my BS in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly, SLO in '07. I just felt like I was making too much money, so I figured I'd go pay tuition for a bit longer.

Argh. I should have prefaced my comment below. This sounds like a great idea. The sort of "highlighting" you propose could be very helpful to the less experienced (and more likely to ask Questions) users. However, the implementation cost is an issue.

Another Idea!! aaaaah.

Ok. So the idea behind a site like this is that we all have the best answer to questions collectively. Therefore, how can a single person come up with the BEST answer. That seems counterintuitive to me. Why not just allow the author of the Answer to rank the responses in a visually descending order of preference. I guess you'd have to rank an entire answer/reply chain as a whole.

Install Zachninme's Greasemonkey scripts and you can do exactly that.

When a comment is made sticky, we remove the reply function so people can't hijack the top-most comment. Same deal with a Best Answer. My assumption is that if someone has a better answer, they should suggest it as a top-level comment rather than replying to the author-chosen Best Answer. It's a work in progress, so we'll see how it goes.

. My knee-jerk reaction was that there is no reason to lockout a sticky, but your explanation makes a lot of sense. Makes even more sense for a Best Answer.

Yup, that's what Rachel explained to me (PM; see also my updated topic text above). It seems to me a very sensible policy, both for generic stickies, as well as for the new Best Answer case. I just hadn't run into it before, and got (in my best Lewis Black voice) confuuuzed.

U can haz PM me the link too?

Wait a sec; I think Gjdj3 has figured it out, but I don't want to steal his thunder. (deleted and reposted to fix spelling error)

Come on! The tension is driving me crazy.

You didn't see Gjdj3's comment from "Jan 28, 2009, 9:10 PM" (will be 1:10 PM)?
He discovered that "all of the Best Answer" comments on the new Answers pages are also unreplyable.

I have just a few minutes ago gotten a PM from Rachel, explaining that all sticky comments are made unreplyable automatically. The new "Best Answer" flag is also a sticky flag.

For the record, the comment I saw which triggered this thread was Rachel's announcement that the "group-topic" bug had been fixed. She made it sticky.

Ah, No, I didn't see that. That's interesting.


9 years ago

I've just found a few more. It looks like on answers pages, all of the ones selected as "Best Answer" are unreplyable.


9 years ago

I've never seen that before. Where exactly did you see one?

I will PM you. Please don't spread the link around (see my reply to W'burg below).

I will PM you. Please don't spread the link around. It may be a non-public and rarely used feature, or a bug. I don't want to broadcast specifics until I know more.