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Mark as answer/Propose as answer RRS feed

  • Question

  • My understanding of this issue is that only the OP can mark a reply as an answer, but anybody can propose a reply as an answer (and that these options are mutually exclusive). Yet sometimes the OP seems to be able to propose a reply as an answer. See for example:

    http://forums.msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/vclanguage/thread/0b6c108e-d03a-4de1-a495-3b1987666f0d

    How can this happen? Is it a bug?

    I'm not sure I'm so crazy about this "propose as answer" feature, because I don't think most users (including me) really understand it. Rather than encouraging the OP to mark a reply as an answer, it seems to discourage it, because OP's think that it has already been marked. Also, it is possible to propose your own reply as an answer; is this good etiquette?



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, June 6, 2008 2:46 PM

Answers

  • davewilk said:

    Delimarschi:

    Thanks for the input. Actually I am very confused about how these two features are supposed to work. The availability of each one does not seem consistent to me.

    Could someone from the forum management describe how these features are supposed to work? Which of these features should be available to which posters?



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP



    Everyone logged in should be able to see "Propose as answer". This is used to suggest that the post looks like it's the answer.

    The original poster (that started the thread) and forum moderators should be able to see "Mark as answer". This is used to definitively say "Yes, this is the answer to the question"

    HTH
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 5:09 PM
  • davewilk said:

    Delimarschi:

    Thanks for the input. Actually I am very confused about how these two features are supposed to work. The availability of each one does not seem consistent to me.

    Could someone from the forum management describe how these features are supposed to work? Which of these features should be available to which posters?



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP



    Everyone logged in should be able to see "Propose as answer". This is used to suggest that the post looks like it's the answer.

    The original poster (that started the thread) and forum moderators should be able to see "Mark as answer". This is used to definitively say "Yes, this is the answer to the question"

    HTH
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer

    The one addition to this reply is that anyone can click "Propose As Answer".

    Ed Price a.k.a User Ed, Microsoft Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:56 AM
    Owner

All replies

  • Delimarschi:

    Thanks for the input. Actually I am very confused about how these two features are supposed to work. The availability of each one does not seem consistent to me.

    Could someone from the forum management describe how these features are supposed to work? Which of these features should be available to which posters?



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:15 AM
  • davewilk said:

    Delimarschi:

    Thanks for the input. Actually I am very confused about how these two features are supposed to work. The availability of each one does not seem consistent to me.

    Could someone from the forum management describe how these features are supposed to work? Which of these features should be available to which posters?



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP



    Everyone logged in should be able to see "Propose as answer". This is used to suggest that the post looks like it's the answer.

    The original poster (that started the thread) and forum moderators should be able to see "Mark as answer". This is used to definitively say "Yes, this is the answer to the question"

    HTH
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 5:09 PM
  • Matt:

    Thanks for the reply. I thought I had seen cases that did not fit your description, but I do not find one right now. But knowing how it is supposed to be, I will be on the lookout from now on.

    I have to repeat, though, that I do not like the "Propose as answer" feature at all, because I think it is both unnecessary and confusing. Even as a native English speaker, I do not find the difference between "mark" and "propose" as totally definitive in this context.

    And I particularly do not like the fact that the OP can propose an answer. The OP should know if his/her question has been answered.

    I also do not think that a responder should be able to propose his/her own reply as answer.

    All in all I think "Propose as answer" has a negative effect on getting posts marked as answers (which is its stated purpose). In fact having your reply proposed as an answer is pretty much the kiss of death as far as getting any recognition points (at least in my limited experience).



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 6:55 PM
  • Hi Matt:

    OK, I think I see the problem. It has to do with not being logged in to the forums.

    [This business of getting logged out of the forums is extremely annoying, but that is another issue...]

    In the forum FAQ it says "You can propose a reply to a post as an answer even if you are not signed in to the Forums." This is different from what you said above.

    As far as I can tell, your description is correct if you are logged into the forums.

    But if you are not logged in, this seems to be the situation:

    1. The "Edit", "Mark as Answer" and "Remove Propose as Answer" options are never shown.

    2. The "Reply" option is shown and clickable (clicking it causes a login request).

    3. The "Quote", "Vote" and "Propose as Answer" options are shown, but are dimmed (inactive).

    The rationale for this particular set of rules escapes me. It also seems in contradiction with the FAQ on "Propose as Answer".

    If it were up to me I would:

    1. Have the display when you are not logged on exactly the same as when you are logged on, except that all options (including "Reply")would be disabled. This would provide an unambiguous indication that you are not logged on, rather than that for some mysterious reason some actions are not available.

    2. Change the FAQ on "Propose as Answer".

    [3. I would actually get rid of "Propose as Answer" altogether, because I think it is a useless and confusing feature.]



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:05 PM
  • davewilk said:

    If it were up to me I would:

    1. Have the display when you are not logged on exactly the same as when you are logged on, except that all options (including "Reply")would be disabled. This would provide an unambiguous indication that you are not logged on, rather than that for some mysterious reason some actions are not available.

    2. Change the FAQ on "Propose as Answer".

    [3. I would actually get rid of "Propose as Answer" altogether, because I think it is a useless and confusing feature.]


    1. That's how it was originally. My understanding is that some people expected to still be able to click on things and be taken to login. If not, they were having troubles finding the login. So, we tried to remove that barrier on the most common things that people do. Because of the way our site works (the AJAX, the pop-up editor) enabling evrything this way became quite confusing in the UI and tricky to implement, so we did it on only the things we felt were most important.
    2. Agreed, this need to be changed.
    3. would it be less confusing if we used something other than the full blue checkmark as the icon? What about the icon that we are currently using for "All Threads" in the filter bar in the thread list (combining a question mark and checkmark in a single icon). So you think something like that be less confusing and would get more use?

    Thanks
    Matt


    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:33 PM
  • Matt:

    Thanks for the detailed response.

    If the only avenue for change is to use a different icon for "Propose as Answer", I think your suggestion of a combined "question-answer" icon would be a significant improvement.

    Actually, following your explanations, I realize that you do not regard the current behavior of "Propose as Answer" as a bug, so I have opened a separate Suggestion thread on the whole issue of the existence and behavior of this feature.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:50 PM
  • davewilk said:

    Delimarschi:

    Thanks for the input. Actually I am very confused about how these two features are supposed to work. The availability of each one does not seem consistent to me.

    Could someone from the forum management describe how these features are supposed to work? Which of these features should be available to which posters?



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP



    Everyone logged in should be able to see "Propose as answer". This is used to suggest that the post looks like it's the answer.

    The original poster (that started the thread) and forum moderators should be able to see "Mark as answer". This is used to definitively say "Yes, this is the answer to the question"

    HTH
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer

    The one addition to this reply is that anyone can click "Propose As Answer".

    Ed Price a.k.a User Ed, Microsoft Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:56 AM
    Owner