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Discussion about Answers & Votes

Asked by Eric Sampson on 18 Jan 2013

Hi all, a couple questions/thoughts for the community:

1) Would you like to be able to Accept multiple answers? I think this makes some sense - sometimes people come up with multiple equally-good ways to answer your question, and yet accepting one and voting for each of them under-compensates the second answer.

2) Should Accepting an answer automatically upvote it by default?

3) Have you ever wished that you could upvote a comment, and not just answers? Sometimes people post great things in comments, but there's no way to 'reward' them.

4) Question - is there any way to change which answer you've accepted?

Cheers

0 Comments

Eric Sampson

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5 Answers

Answer by Daniel on 18 Jan 2013

1) The number of accepted answers doesn't matter to me. I like when answers are accepted so I know the question is solved, most people don't care much about the rep.

2) Probably, but again it is only rep

3) Nobody votes so it doesn't really matter.

4) No, but there should be. I think this has been talked about on the wish-list.

9 Comments

Jan Simon on 19 Jan 2013

@Daniel: I agree with your argument of the reputation points for all users above 2000 points. These are 13 active users and they contribute such frequently, that they have "enough" points. The additional power to delete messages should and must used with great care, because it is much better to keep a bad posting than to delete something too fast, because one did only miss the point.

But perhaps for the dozens of users between 100 and 1500 points, this value matters.

Walter Roberson on 19 Jan 2013

From time to time I wonder if the large reputations some of us have, acts as a bit of a deterrent to some of the new-comers who might be thinking of contributing. Something like, "There's no F-ing way I could ever reach 5000... I won't even bother to try."

Image Analyst on 19 Jan 2013

Maybe the reputation formula should look only back over the past 2 years or so. Otherwise your fear will grow and you reach a gazillion points in a few years, and even someone two or three times as prolific as you would have no chance to ever approach your score.

Daniel
Answer by Matt J on 18 Jan 2013
Edited by Matt J on 18 Jan 2013

Would you like to be able to Accept multiple answers? I think this makes some sense - sometimes people come up with multiple equally-good ways to answer your question, and yet accepting one and voting for each of them under-compensates the second answer.

If you wanted to spread credit evenly, you could abstain from Accept-clicking any of the Answers, but simply vote for the ones you like.

Personally, I think that giving the questioners any voting power at all, be it by Accept-clicking or upvoting, is a bad feature, and should be eliminated. It gives them improper leverage. For example, questioners looking to have homework done for them tend to reward the people who give the most explicit answers as opposed to the ones who just give fair and reasonable hints...

Voting power should be given to 3rd party participants only.

0 Comments

Matt J
Answer by Walter Roberson on 18 Jan 2013

I have seen some comments that I thought were really key information and worth emphasizing (and reputation.)

But to be honest, more of the time with regards to comments, I look for a "Like"-ish button -- not for reputation but because I find the comment amusing or worthwhile in some non-reputation way. For example when Sean mentioned that he finished his degree, I would have "Like'd" that. There is a social and interpersonal aspect to this system, which helps keep us sane and interested.

3 Comments

Eric Sampson on 18 Jan 2013

Good thought Walter. Maybe there is a place for comments to have both 'vote ' and 'like' buttons.

On another note, when the question poser Accepts an answer, does it then freeze everything?

Walter Roberson on 18 Jan 2013

Voting can continue after Accept, but at present (except for bugs) only one Answer can be Accepted and only the MATLAB Central team can change or revoke what was Accepted.

Image Analyst on 19 Jan 2013

And posting new comments and answers, editing, and nearly everything else (except changing an Acceptance) also works after an answer is accepted.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Cedric Wannaz on 18 Jan 2013
Edited by Cedric Wannaz on 25 Jan 2013

I am fairly new to this forum as an active poster, but I've seen (without posting myself) quite impressive answers/comments/contributions on Mathworks community/files-exchange/etc pages over the years.

I like the idea of being able to chose multiple answers and maybe even more the idea of being able to vote for comments (that are often as worthwhile as the answers themselves), in the sense that I am infinitely thankful for all the people who contribute in a valuable way to a thread that I initiated, or to threads that are relevant to me.

But I think that there is an issue with how the information that is contained in this forum is valued, in the sense that ..

  • I am pretty sure that a lot of very relevant threads will never be found again based on the keywords that were chosen when they were started.
  • Some lengthy and complicated threads allowed OPs, after an important work of synthesis, to have a clear understanding of a topic, which is lost because OPs generally don't add information once they have their answer.

I've seen quite a few proposals for improving the search engine and the keywords mechanism, so I would just add a 5th item to Eric's list regarding my second point above: the possibility for the OP and high rep. members to add a top entry in the thread (like an answer but with a different design, e.g. greenish background or some frame) called "Synthesis" or "Conclusion", that would contain a synthesis/conclusion of the thread. This should be optional and worth no reward, so we have only valuable information, but highly prioritized by the search engine. The name of contributors should also be recorded in the sense that, at least to me, they are often a search criterion as important as keywords.

EDIT: I would also add [X] email me when activity on thread (and not only "answer").

0 Comments

Cedric Wannaz
Answer by Jan Simon on 19 Jan 2013

1) Would you like to be able to Accept multiple answers?

No. It happens too rarely that two answers solve the problem with an equivalent quality. And then the OP can vote and write a comment to mention this. The under-compensation of the not-accepted answer could be compensated by a much more frequent voting of answers.

2) Should Accepting an answer automatically upvote it by default?

No, the acceptance is a enough.

3) Have you ever wished that you could upvote a comment, and not just answers?

Yes, then I ask the author to post this as an answer, such that I can vote for it. This is successful usually.

4) Question - is there any way to change which answer you've accepted?

Yes, this would be an important improvement. In some cases I have "un-accepted" my answer by deleting and re-posting it, but this works only if there are no comments, which would be deleted also. I think the OP and the editors/admin should get the same power for un-accpeting as for accepting.

0 Comments

Jan Simon

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