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I have participated in a long comment chain under a specific answer to the HNQ question Why is my bare-metal 16x 2.93GHz cores computer performing poorer than a VPS with 4x 2.5GHz cores?.

This answer was locked by @womble♦ with the message "This post has been locked due to the high amount of off-topic comments generated. For extended discussions, please use chat.".

As a result, the owner of that answer is no longer able to collect upvotes that are rightfully his. But he is in my opinion not guilty at all of the traffic under his question; I and others are. It seems unfair that due to (amongst others) my commenting activity, someone else loses out on upvotes.

On other sites where I've contributed, when this situation occurs, someone steps in and:

  1. Moves the messages to a fresh chatroom in chat.relevant_stackexchange_site.com.
  2. Snips the messages out from under the question.
  3. Leaves a link to the new chat room home along with a stern warning.

I propose that the post be unlocked and that the common solution on other sites be adopted instead.

I'd also love if mortal users could trigger this migration to chat without waiting for the system to offer the prompt that paraphrases as "Comments are for clarifications and not for extended discussion. Move this conversation to chat?".

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    ewwwwhite currently has the most rep on SF and that's not going to change because of this answer lock. There is a non-SE chat room where many SF posters - including both womble and ewwhite - are active and although Ed didn't specifically ask for the post to be locked, he did comment on getting tons of notifications because of the comments. I'm sure the lock will be released any time he asks womble or another mod to do so. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Nov 30 '15 at 2:33
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As Ward mentioned in his comment, Ed mentioned the volume of comments on the post in a chat room I'm also present in. Independently of that, a mod flag was created by the system indicating that the comments on that answer had gone crazy bananas. I felt that the comments on the answer were not about the answer, and locked the post for 24 hours to give the dust a chance to settle. I let Ed know that I'd locked his post, out of courtesy, in the common chat room. I also asked Ed if he'd like me to prune some of the more off-topic comments, but got an ambiguous answer from him and I didn't follow it up further.

I didn't move the discussion to chat, because in the (admittedly limited) experience I've had with moving discussions from comments to chat on ServerFault, it hasn't really had the desired effect, of allowing discussion to continue, and tends to just kill the conversation in the same way that simply locking the post does. If there's feedback from others that my experiences have been anomalous, I'll certainly bear that in mind when dealing with similar situations in the future.

  • In my experience, on SO when a chat room gets opened it acts as an outlet valve and rarely are further comments added to the post itself. The chat activity does die out rather quickly though, just as it would have if it were left to peter out below the post. Whence my feature request above for normal users to be able to trigger migration to chatroom by themselves and contain the conversation. In this case, the comments were, imho, at least semi-topical, at least insofar as we were trying to tease out the responsibility of the hypervisor for OP's awful performance. – Iwillnotexist Idonotexist Nov 30 '15 at 4:35
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    Comments on an answer should, IMO, relate to that answer, not any details which may happen to be mentioned elsewhere on the page. That's why I characterise the comments stemming from (and including) the comment "It's a VPS" as off-topic. – womble Nov 30 '15 at 4:54
  • In addition, the OP never reported back information about the processor scaling/power management settings on the server. So I don't think they were committed to a solution. But yes, the comments went off-topic. – ewwhite Nov 30 '15 at 13:02

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