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Is it OK to answer a question, where someone had commented on the question with information that can really be used as an answer?

I thought of this when I came across this link where Menachem commented on the question but didn't actually submit it as an answer to the question. My consideration for answering the question was that his comment was over 4 years old, and it still didn't move to an answer.

Of course, I credited Menachem in my answer, but I was wondering if it's appropriate to do when coming across an old question which no one answered yet, and the comments hint (or even explicitly state) an answer.

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Yes. This is a great thing to do. Please do this whenever you see a chance to do so.

If you see a comment that's pointing towards​ an answer, and you are able to flesh it out into a helpful answer post, please do so. Providing inspiration and assistance to you writing such an answer is why such comments exist. If you've used all of the relevant information from the comment, flag it as "no longer needed".

Giving credit to the commentor for the information is a very good thing to do. DoubleAA adds: And not doing so can sometimes make the commentor really upset (we've had complaints about this a few times). So please please do so.

Here is a query that tries to help find opportunities for such conversions.

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    I just came across this. What do you think of it (esp. the first answer)? – Ploni Aug 29 '17 at 2:52
  • @Ploni Good find. I think that making your answer Community Wiki is a midat chassidut for someone who doesn't want to "profit" from someone else's information but not at all necessary. In fact, if the answerer takes the time to add value by writing up a proper, readable answer based on a terse comment, I think the answerer really deserves credit, and I'd be in favor of taking it. I don't think there's any need to wait and give the commenter a chance to answer first. If they had the inclination to write a real answer, they could have already. (1/2) – Isaac Moses Aug 29 '17 at 3:29
  • Finally, note that SO is a little different in emphasis from MY. We don't place the same value on [the equivalent of] solving the asker's problem to the point that they can get their code working and then moving on. For various reasons, MY tends to assign more value to the the generation of a repository of quality Q&A and less on helping askers solve problems in their lives. So, a comment that answers the question is even less sufficient to the mission here than it is there. (2/2) – Isaac Moses Aug 29 '17 at 3:35

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