I was working on this answer. The only sin I can imagine that I was committing was saving too frequently the work in progress in case I am dragged away from my desk by a more serious fire that needs putting out, unable to return until who knows when. I was literally in between updates when it was deleted out from under me.

Michael Hampton please advise. You left no comment and there is no commenting on deleted posts.

Also somebody please undelete this answer if you want the results of my investigation.

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    There's an easy solution, something that I do very frequently: use a text editor to compose your answer (I do this so I can use vim key bindings), and then copy/paste into SF.
    – EEAA
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 17:52
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    I agree that a draft answers feature would be nice, and would have prevented this altogether. You may consider advocating for such a thing over on meta.stackexchange.
    – EEAA
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


As has been stated, when you post your answer it's an answer. You may have been posting bits and pieces, intending each piece to be but one part of the whole, but we have no idea of your intentions. We're not mind readers after all. When we see an answer we think "Here's an answer." We don't think "I wonder if this is an answer or only a part of some larger tome that the author of this answer is intending to post. Maybe we should wait awhile and see if he/she posts anything more."

Perhaps we should have two buttons for the Answer box; one that reads Post Your Answer... Maybe... Sort Of and another that reads Post Your Answer For Real, No Take Backs. - If you think I'm being a bit facetious and sarcastic then you're right, because your entire premise is ridiculous.

Update based on your subsequent comments:

Looking at my history would tell you that I'm not somebody that submits crap content and that even if I'm technically violating the rules my intentions are good

But then you're asking a lot of this community and the moderators, aren't you? You're asking us to "consider" your past contributions and answer quality every time you (or anyone else) posts an answer before we decide to up vote, down vote, ignore, vote to close or delete it?

I was also trying to telegraph my intent with this statement in my answer

So you're suggesting that we hold off on taking action on an answer for some undetermined period of time to determine if you're really done answering the question when you post an answer or if your answer is being "actively edited"... as if we would have some way of deducing that.

Again, this entire premise is ridiculous.

You may very well be someone who has made positive contributions to this community and that's great, but you're asking this community to make special considerations for you when the simple solution is to simply not post your answer until it's complete. I'm failing to understand why that's so apparently difficult to grasp.

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    I'm not sure I Care about intentions. I can't see the future and predict that eventually he'll come to an answer. Partial steps of a troubleshooting process are by definition not an answer.
    – Reaces
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 21:52
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    But you are asking for special consideration. You've stated unequivocally (and I'm paraphrasing here) "If you would only consider my past contributions and my intent then maybe some modicum of leeway could have been granted to my answer." - I'm not unsympathetic to your point, but it simply can't work in the way you suggest.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 20:10
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    @MarkJohnson I'm not going to go through every posters history and judge his current answer by that. I'm going to judge his answer by the merits of the answer itself.
    – Reaces
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 10:44

I deleted the "answer" because it was not an answer, but simply a "me too" restatement of the question.

You should not post answers which don't actually answer the question, as these will be flagged by the community and then deleted by a moderator.

I don't know what you mean by "saving too frequently". The system auto-saves your draft post for you. If you are in the middle of writing an answer, you shouldn't hit the button until it's finished.

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    That's not what answers are for. The answer should be complete before you hit the Post Answer button. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 20:46
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    For the third time, answers are for answering the question. What you posted does not. If you want to actually answer the question, we'd be happy to see it. But what you posted isn't an answer and doesn't help anyone. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 20:51
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    @MarkJohnson then retype it, and hit post when its actually wrote as an answer please. how we know you work on improving it ? telepathy does not work yet.
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 5:50
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    @MarkJohnson I'm sorry you seem to think we're being hostile. In reality I'm simply frustrated that it doesn't appear that you've understood what we have been trying to tell you. YOU DO NOT NEED TO POST ANSWER UNTIL IT IS COMPLETE. THE SYSTEM WILL AUTOMATICALLY SAVE YOUR POST IN PROGRESS AS A DRAFT. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:08

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