This started as a comment to rolfl's answer in response to jt0dd's comment:
Your question from 'over a week ago' (June 30'th) was answered. Why you say it was not, is a mystery. That answer begins with: This answer is not a full review, but just a minor tweak.
But the comment was quickly growing way too long, so I'm going to post a full answer instead. (And this is kind of a strong reiteration of Simon's comment.
You cannot simply recommend that the site would benefit from shorter answers and simultaneously complain that a question you asked and received an answer to went unanswered because the short answer was also incomplete.
On StackOverflow, in the regard to answer length, there are a handful of scenarios that most questions fall into.
- The question is a small contained problem with a short easy answer.
- The question is a huge code dump, but by review of someone who isn't an idiot, the problem is tiny, so again, a short easy answer.
Those two scenarios are sort of the same. The only difference is in the asker's ability to narrow down a short, self-contained example.
The third scenario is when the asker has no clue how to do something and is asking how to do it. Any good answer would be unnecessarily long... and the question gets closed as too broad!
Sometimes questions might have available quick answers, and maybe we can do a better job of offering the quick answer in some cases here on CodeReview.
But a quick answer on CodeReview is still going to be as long or longer than an average length StackOverflow answer.
You are right. If the user has a problem with, for example, the way they name variables, then we can simply point that out, give an example or two, and move on. We don't need to run through every spot in their code where an they've got this same problem. But a good answer (whether here, StackOverflow, or anywhere else) ought to come with a WHY to defend the answer.
Realistically, the argument you actually seem to be making is that we should probably be more aggressively closing questions as being Too Broad. We should probably be encouraging askers to narrow the scope of their questions down to a single class as a starting point. Realistically, we probably shouldn't be handling entire projects, because that's a question about the architecture of an entire project, and perhaps is better suited for Programmers, where they'll ignore any of the specifics we'd get into here, but focus instead on the big picture and how the project works as a whole.
BUT EVEN AT THAT, even if we force askers to narrow their question down to a single class and close anything else as being too broad, it still doesn't guarantee that all questions can be answered in 2-3 paragraphs and be a complete review.
For starters, sometimes the problem is simply that the class is too broad and tries to do too much, and that's a fine review, but if you don't address any of the specific problems within the individual methods, or method naming, etc., then your review remains incomplete. Perhaps leave it at that "This class is to broad and tries to do too much. I'd recommend splitting it into Class A, Class B, and Class C." and hope the user returns with three new questions, one for each of the new classes he split the original class into.
But even still, we'll still be stuck with situations where there's just way too much to comment on to provide both a quick and complete answer to every question.
Consider this question.
My first answer, which takes up almost my entire screen top-to-bottom and it only addresses 4 lines from the asker's question. Now, assuming those 4 lines were the only 4 lines he'd posted, my answer would be a complete answer. Or if the 4 lines were the only problem in his code, my answer would be a complete answer. But neither is the case.
As such... I posted a second answer. This answer is about three times as long as my first answer. It does address significantly more lines of code, but it's still contained to a single method within the code posted in the answer.
In this case however... I don't even feel like my answer even completely address the method in question. There are readability issues to address and variable naming issues, etc. There are other things just within this method I could've commented on.
And even with these two, quite large answers, I still feel like I only addressed a small portion of the problems with the code in the question. Neither of my answers is complete.
I feel like we probably could do better to be slightly stricter on the scope of the questions posted. For example, this question is definitely way too broad and its scope should've definitely been narrowed. It really doesn't serve much purpose.
But here is an example of a question that started out with a very broad scope but got narrowed down to just a single class. My answer was posted within 6 hours of the question being re-opened (it had been closed as too broad), but still, it's a very large answer.
Although in this case, I feel my answer is a pretty complete to the question.
This isn't StackOverflow. Good answers are generally going to be quite large. And the worse the original code is, the larger a good/complete answer will be. Although I think it's probably best if the question instead has several good answers that each address a specific topic. The result will be that no single answer is complete, but every problem is addressed between all the answers.
But the other problem is, if you ask a question on StackOverflow, it's either answerable or off-topic. The same can't definitely be said about CodeReview. I can post code that I feel may have room for improvement, but "room for improvement" is kind of subjective.