I've been mulling over this for a while myself, ever since I saw this comment, on a question asking for recommendations for poetry like "The Raven":
This comment was posted after the question was closed. It's basically a full answer, since the point of recommendation questions is just to get links and pointers to other works.
Looking for previous posts on answers-as-comments here, this one was the closest I could find:
I suggest that we discourage but not delete answer-like comments.
- Deleting them would be removing potentially useful content from the site at very little gain. Surely removing helpful content goes against what SE is supposed to be all about.
- Not deleting them enables us to ping the commenters suggesting they leave an answer instead, and enables them to come back and find the info later to jump-start their answer. So by not deleting such comments, we actually increase the chance of them turning into answers.
- Often what would be a bad answer is still a useful comment: e.g. an unelaborated link to a source of further reading, or an unsupported possible explanation of the issue being asked about.
At least the first two definitely don't apply here. Recommendation requests aren't useful content that we want to encourage here; we have a custom close reason for a reason. The question will likely be auto-deleted anyways, if it follows the normal pattern for recommendation questions (closure + downvotes + no answers). The commenter won't leave an answer later since the question will probably not be reopened. Unless it gets edited into a non-recommendation question, in which case the comment-answer is probably no longer applicable.
For the third bullet point: yeah, it would be a bad answer. It's still not a useful comment to anyone but the asker. As I said - the point of closing is to prevent answers. These questions shouldn't be answered.
We do not want to be a place where you can get an answer to your recommendation question.
"Anybody got any good books?"
Almost everything by Wolfe is great. For speculative fiction I highly recommend the Wizard Knight, Pirate Freedom, Homefires and and the Soldier series. You might also be interested in Stephenson's Anathem and SevenEves, Gibson's The Peripheral, Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 and the Quantum Thief trilogy. If you like Dumas, Perez-Reverte's Alatriste novels are excellent, and Queen of the South is absolutely top-notch. You might also like Kafka and Gogol. link to comment
"Translation Request: Good translations of Dante's Divine Comedy"
Dorothy Sayers', personally. link to comment
I quote these for more examples of how answers-as-comments for recommendation questions tend to work. "Here's what I think is a good recommendation", sometimes with a link, never any justification.
So... what do we think about this?
- Are these comments discouraged? Fine? Welcoming?
- Should anything (commenting, flagging, etc.) be done when someone answers a recommendation question in the comments?
- Does it change anything if the question was closed before or after the comment?