In general, we remove "chatty" phrases like "Thanks in advance" in questions as unnecessary for the site. Should we apply the same standard to answers and remove things like "Hope this was helpful!" from those? I was going to edit it out today but decided that it wasn't a clear violation. Is there a consensus on editing chatty phrases from answers? What's too chatty? Do we have some kind of standard?

Example answer, although I'm more concerned with the general principle.

For those who are not understanding why I considered deleting it, the natural presumption is that people who answer hope that it will be helpful. It should not need to be said.

The counter argument is that such phrases can soften the review. So perhaps we should leave it to the poster to determine if it is necessary or not.

Another example would be people who say that they are interested in any and all advice. Again, that's true of every question. We explicitly say that any aspect of the code is up for review when posted. But I would normally leave that kind of statement in a question. So is "Hope this was helpful!" more like "Thanks in advance" (should be deleted) or "any advice welcome" (I'd leave it)?

If we don't have a standard yet, any thoughts on what the standard should be? (Another example of something that should perhaps go without saying, but where there is value in asking it explicitly.)


2 Answers 2



If we think back to when the rule was made. It's '09 and Stack Overflow is pretty much the only site. (or the only site) Answers are typically (compared to Code Review) very short and can be as short as a sentence or two. If people were to put "Hope this was helpful!" at the bottom of every answer then our Expected Behavior page would probably call out 'helpful' just like it does 'thanks' (which is a form of chit chat).

I think "Hope this was helpful!" would be, and is, undeniably classed as chit chat.

However Code Review isn't like Stack Overflow. Answers on Code Review can feel like personal criticisms, unlike SO. And so a little bit of chit chat to lessen the blow I think is fine. Additionally in many answers on Code Review the amount of noise "Hope this was helpful!" adds is largely insignificant. And being a single line after the end of the answer end of the rewrite is very easy to just gloss over.

I think we should class "Hope this was helpful!" as "chit chat". However I think you should make the choice whether it's "too chatty" and requires you to edit.
If you don't want to determine if the text is "too chatty" then deleting is always an acceptable option.


If you want to remove something that is too chatty like this I think you should just edit and delete the problem sentence rather than posting a comment. If you've identified the issue then all you need to do is select some text and press delete. Commenting however will inevitably cause a back and forth, which will normally require flagging to clean up.

Whilst I am normally fond of posting comments, I don't think three people need to get involved to delete a line of text.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It is fluff, noise, and can safely be removed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Sep 5, 2021 at 9:43
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW if the OP then rolled that edit back, I wouldn't want to get into an edit war over it. To some extent chit-chat is a personal note and the more "long-form" content that code review facilitates really can and should be a medium to express at least a bit of personality :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Vogel612
    Sep 6, 2021 at 9:27

Yes.(no asterisk)

Code reviews is unlike other technology/programming communities where the sought resolution is a block of code garnished with one or two sentences of explanation. Code Review insists on more substance -- the how is only the beginning; it is the why, when, and where that makes the real difference.

Where Code Review is NOT different is in the fact that the content is intended to serve countless researchers. For this reason, the top priority is to strive for the optimal "researcher experience" (the OP being the first researcher, of course).

For this reason, we should purge ANY and ALL content that is not relevant (in questions, answers, and comments). This will reduce unnecessary researcher eye-strain and unnecessary scrolling. I have voiced my opinion on removing fluff in the Moderators Q&A too (if you have access, it is question 3381).

I've seen loads of useless text in my year with SE that serve no benefit to researchers resembling:

  • If anyone wants more explanation, leave me a comment under my answer.
  • If anyone needs more debugging details, leave me a comment under my question.
  • Good morning, long-time lurker, first-time poster.

If it doesn't benefit researchers, trash it. Don't worry about being hard/soft; just make great, lean content.

Also, there is the "butterfly effect". When we groom people to be better contributors in our own community, then when they flutter off to join another community, their contribution-style will already be substantially honed. (I assume this is part of the reason that we have "association bonuses".)

Finally (and a divergence from the original scope here), I don't think I like the idea of later reviews reiterating the same insights as an earlier review. If you agree with one or more bullet points of an earlier answer, you should state this in the most minimal fashion and not bore researchers with reading the same content a second time.


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