3

I flagged an answer to a question that was requesting a "program or browser extension".

Instead of providing a recommendation for a program or browser extension, the answer consists of just a single sentence that points to a website.

I flagged the question as "not an answer" because that flag should be used when:

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

The flag was declined and the inappropriate answer remains. (Note that I just flagged the answer as "Low Quality", but I think "Not an Answer" fits even better.)

Since the question specifically asks for a "program or browser extension" (and thus not a website or even a web-app), the answer provided does not answer the question asked. Thus, it's more or less okay as a comment, but not as an answer.

I guess we can debate whether or not a website is really a program, but that opens Pandora's box. We could further expand the definition of a web-app to almost any website (although we've already concluded we don't want websites as answers), but the question author did not ask for a web-app.

Are we now allowing links to websites as answers, even when the question specifically asks for a "program or browser extension"?

1
3

I do not think we should allow websites to act as "software" or "browser extensions". In this case, I agree with you completely, this is not an answer and as the OP said,

I am looking for a program or browser extension ...

Having said this, if the OP did not say "program" or "browser extension" and based possibly on how the question was worded, a website (web app) may possibly be considered software in that case, but here it's clearly not that.

9
  • RockpaperLizard flagged it NAA initially but the flag was declined (as stated above). So he could not flag it again for the same reason, which is why it <s>is</s> was flagged LQ currently.
    – Izzy Mod
    Jun 9 '16 at 21:14
  • @Izzy My bad (made an edit), do you think that this is NAA?
    – Tom
    Jun 9 '16 at 21:16
  • 1
    Your answer here? No, that's fine. The post in question? See my Meta answer here ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Jun 9 '16 at 21:19
  • 1
    @Izzy Just FYI, your link will not work because StackExchange still does not allow HTTPS for meta sites. I reported this issue recently in a meta, so you may be able to find the QA discussing it. Jun 9 '16 at 23:18
  • @RockPaperLizard Strange, as it works for me. Yes, there's some trouble with that certificate, as *.stackexchange.com doesn't match *.*.stackexchange.com (long standing issue) – but once you've told the browser to ignore that, no more warnings :)
    – Izzy Mod
    Jun 10 '16 at 6:16
  • @Izzy LOL. "Once you've told the browser to ignore that..." My friend, you've just earned yourself your very first facepalm! Well, by me, at least! LOL :-) :-) :-) I'm still smiling! :-) Jun 10 '16 at 6:23
  • @RockPaperLizard Are you saying you didn't know you can add exceptions for this? :) Now it's me who's LOLing :)
    – Izzy Mod
    Jun 10 '16 at 6:25
  • @Izzy No, I'm saying that while my eyes were shut due to the impact of my palm smacking my forehead, I started to imagine some of the possible exploit vectors. :-) Jun 10 '16 at 6:32
  • OK, getting OT now. But while agreeing the solution isn't that nice, I don't think it's that dangerous either – and be it just for the fact that otherwise SE wouldn't have https available for Meta sites ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Jun 10 '16 at 6:34
1

While it may be arguable if the post can be counted as an answer, I see it as something between NAA and LQ: It definitely doesn't match the requirement listed. Usually in such cases, one would post a comment on the question asking if it is acceptable though; but you cannot do this with 1 rep.

Solution: I've converted the post into a comment (it makes a very good comment), leaving it to Franck to decide – and leaving a message to the answerer he's welcome to post a new answer meeting our quality guidelines if Franck indicates such.

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I think the NAA flag should only be used for posts that don’t try to answer the question. For example:

  • I need this, too. Anyone knows a solution?
  • The program recommended by Bob does not work.
  • What do you mean with "should allow collaboration"?

If the post is some kind of answer, even if it’s a bad one (e.g., ignoring OP’s requirements), that flag should not be used. Deciding if a NAA flag is valid should not require the mod to check OP’s requirements and evaluate if the answer meets them; it should be decidable without even reading OP’s question.

If the answer does not meet OP’s requirements, we should comment and downvote.

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