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Just a few minutes ago, I used that tool for the first time, and it worked as desired - and made me add a title for the newly converted question. Looked OK.

alt text

Of course the new question had no answers yet. So I converted an existing comment (with dependent nested comments) into an answer. As usual.

But unfortunately the newly converted answer made it not to the question, and it was also lost as comment. - Oops, lost data, and unfortunately work of others...

A closer look showed a different outcome: The answer is there, but as answer to the original question (so out of context). Here's what the "recent activity" log tells:

alt text

Dear administrators, I have two questions:

  • Can you fix that answer? It should belong to the new question "Remote function with DECIMAL return type crashes the server".
  • Should I not use that "convert to question" tool because it may create such kind of mess?

asked 21 Jan '15, 09:18

Volker%20Barth's gravatar image

Volker Barth
accept rate: 32%

Hm, a current attempt to do so with a nested comment on that question failed to convert fully, again - just the comment was converted into that new FAQ but all nested sub-comments are missing, and they are not left on the old FAQ, either. - And frankly, it was these sub-comments that had deserved to be turned into real answers, not my simple question.

And the action is not listed in my "recent activities", either (or just as an entry named "None" without a timespan...


(24 Nov '15, 08:03) Volker Barth

FWIW, this tool has failed again currently, when I tried to convert that question from its original FAQ - all the nested comments are lost now (at least in the UI)...

Please, administrators, could you have a look and fix those...?

(30 Jan, 05:33) Volker Barth
Replies hidden

Yes, but first... :)

(30 Jan, 07:22) Breck Carter

Generally a good advice, however, I was not aware (or had forgotten) that this simple tool could hit that hard:)

(30 Jan, 08:34) Volker Barth

Preamble: Anyone with a minimum of 2000 rep point can convert an answer to a question.

"With great power comes great responsibility"

As far as I am concerned it is fine to convert a comment to a question... but you need to think about what you are doing before you do it. I would not go overboard and use it often. A better solution is to suggest to the author that he/she create a new question to raise the profile of the issue.

If you really must convert a comment/answer to a question then it can be done and everything can get carried with it. For example, in the situation that you described you could have first make the comment an answer (if it is not already an answer), then convert the comment (which you wanted as the ultimate answer) to be a comment on the answer (this may be done using two steps: convert comment to answer and then convert that answer to a comment). Be careful when doing these steps because sub-comments (to the comments that you are changing) will be carried along with the comment! Once all of the text that you want to keep together is in one 'bundle' (i.e. under one answer) then you can convert the answer to a question and all of the comments attached to it will be carried along with it. Once the question has been created you can restructure the comments as desired - e.g. convert the comment to an answer.

Re. making the fixes afterwards - yes, anything can be done, but I'm not sure the effort is worth it. I suggest that you write an answer quoting and linking back to the comment.


permanent link

answered 21 Jan '15, 09:34

Mark%20Culp's gravatar image

Mark Culp
accept rate: 40%

edited 21 Jan '15, 09:43


I agree with Mark's answer but wanted to add that there does seem to be a bug in the "convert to question" code, which caused the comment that was converted to an answer to be moved to the old question. I will fix that, and I've fixed the one that Volker asked about.

Update: The "convert to question" bug has been fixed.

(21 Jan '15, 09:48) Graeme Perrow
Replies hidden

Mark, though I may have not "thought enough" I surely have made sure that the whole "comment with its sub-comments including obvious answers" was one nested entity, and was then turned into its own question. (There was no need to do those several steps as the comments were all under the answer already.)

So the nested comments were in the same "bundle", as desired.

Only when I converted the nested comment (now under the new question), it was silently moved from the new question to an answer to the old question - that looks like a bug, as Graeme has mentioned, too.

And if it would have been just one answer, I might have copied it omitting the need for administrative intervention (thanks to Graeme!), but I would not have been able to re-build a nested comment structure...

A better solution is to suggest to the author that he/she create a new question to raise the profile of the issue.

Yes, that's would I've usually done before - but that does not work if there are already several comments/answers that will have to be copied or moved, and often the OP will not have enough points to use the convert tools.

I would not go overboard and use it often.

Yes, agreed. Another lesson learnt:)

(21 Jan '15, 10:17) Volker Barth

Thanks Graeme!

Note, the mis-directed answer had several nested comments by Breck, ncisternino and me, and they seem to be missing now... (and they do not even appear below the old question).

No idea if their URL will have to be fixed, as well...

(21 Jan '15, 10:26) Volker Barth

I've fixed the comments as well.

(21 Jan '15, 13:14) Graeme Perrow

Possible interesting side effect: After modifying a comment in one of the two conversations (to add a cartoon), BOTH questions show up at the top of the list as having been edited by me. Not a big deal... unless it is a sign of a deeper problem.

(21 Jan '15, 14:39) Breck Carter
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question asked: 21 Jan '15, 09:18

question was seen: 670 times

last updated: 30 Jan, 08:34