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There is a size limitation for comments. If I have a long comment, I sometimes enter it as an answer. Some people object this, I don't know why. I hope they state their objections in the answers to this post.

Specifically this is my second answer to this question: What motivated Cantor to invent set theory?

I entered two answers: one was a real answer and another a comment. Then followed a discussion in comments to my answer-comment whether this was a proper thing to do. We decided to bring this issue to the Meta.

EDIT. I do not understand why this entry of mine raises such long and irrelevant discussions. As it was voted down twice without any hint of the reason, I deleted it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps some Etiquette about posting comment answers can be established. Such as making them community wiki etc? $\endgroup$ – Ali Caglayan Nov 9 '14 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ People voting down without leaving comments, flags or close votes are a plague on SE. $\endgroup$ – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 10 '14 at 18:46
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I thought that talk of your was interesting. Personally, I would have added that as appendage to my original answer. There is nothing wrong with extended talk in one answer, and nothing wrong with posting multiple well crafted statements or answers in one answer instead of writing two or more separate answers. In fact, when well written, I think this depth and multi-directional approach from one poster in one answer is impressive and more worthwhile as an post than several blunt "here's one way", then "here's another"... in separate answers.

Sometimes more than one answer makes sense, and I think that time is when each answer is so involved and long, and the approaches are so different, that it would make it difficult to read as one post.

Actually writing multiple answers to one question has been a point of discussion on other sites. When possible, at least on some other sites, it appears a la mode to just create one extended answer with greater depth and direction instead of two or more separate answers. I emphasize when possible, because sometimes it is not reasonable. Others may digress, and this is our site, not a clone of some other site, so that's ok if we want to take another direction.

Should you choose to post something like that in the future, I would remove the phrase "This is just an extended comment...", and instead shape the answer by acknowledging that it is not so much a complete answer, but an address to a comment in the original post from a professional that is designed to enhance, give perspective, and further our understanding of the intricacies in the question at hand.

You set yourself up for criticism when you introduced your content that way, and it was not necessary to do so. I found your sentiments to be interesting, and while far from a complete answer, it was much appreciated anecdotal perspective on the topic at hand from a professional.

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The size limit for comments has some pros and cons. It means people can't post long rants, but on the other hand, people can simply rant in multiple comments. That, anyway, has been the only reason I've understood for the limit.

I don't disagree with you on the matter, so I'm actually not posting the kind of answer you would expect. I've seen a lot of beautifully written comments that I've suggested should be answers. The commenter sometimes tries to be modest and shrugs it off, but there are a lot which have grown into really good answers.

At the same time, there are many examples of answers which should be comments. These are generally by low-rep users who can't post comments (a policy I disagree with). I generally flag these or vote for deletion (if I have high enough rep on the site). I find these rather annoying, because they can be distracting from the really good answers out there.

In my opinion, none of your answers are objectionable - that is, I don't think you should be forced to post them as comments. My advice would be to simply post them as you see fit. Take them on a case-by-case basis. Some questions (well, at least on certain other SE sites) need only short answers, while others (on HSM, for example) need moderate to long answers. Just judge each situation individually. Don't let other people tell you what you should or shouldn't post, as long as it's on-topic and is relevant to the question.

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Comments are intended for temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer’. A comment should have a way to be resolved: for example, a comment requesting a clarification of a post can be removed when the post is edited. A comment responding to a request for clarification can be removed once the clarification (if needed) has been edited into the post and the recipient has had reasonable time to read the notification.

If something is an answer to the question, post it as an answer, not as a comment. An answer doesn't have to be the final word on the topic: it's acceptable to post partial answers (it's better to make it clear which points you're addressing).

If something neither fits as an answer nor as a comment, it doesn't belong on this site. Stack Exchange is a question and answers site, not a discussion forum; it doesn't try to cater for every shape of interaction. There is an associated chat room where you can post pretty much whatever you like as long as the bulk of the conversation is related to the topic of the site.

In this case, simply post your side remark in your answer. You can use section titles (## Section 1, ## Section 2) or a horizontal line (----) to separate the two parts of your post.

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