Today, I was browsing CR and saw a comment on this answer suggesting that "" in C# is always better than string.Empty. I responded that the latter is in fact less ambiguous, with reasons. The person I had responded to lashed out at my examples, and the thread was moved to chat. This part is fine, and understandable. It had gone on too long and formed an argument. Really, they all might have been better deleted.

But I didn't want my main point to be lost. Ambiguity, when programming, is generally something to be avoided when possible. A simplified version of my original comment, now with no link to the person I had originally replied to, and far simpler.

A mod informed me that my comment would soon be deleted for commenting on the quality of an answer, which should, he said, be done by voting. While I agree with the sentiment expressed, my comment did none of that. It simply provided extra information. When I mentioned this, however, that comment was deleted and the comments locked.

Honestly, I have no idea what has gone wrong here. Suggesting a possible improvement or a small amount of additional information is, as far as I know, exactly why we have comments.

Was I wrong in making a comment that "" is potentially more ambiguous than string.Empty on an answer?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This has been explained in the chat where the comments were moved by said moderator. Unfortunately I don't see your question relate to the information (including network policies) given to you by the moderator. Please clarify what your actual "problem" is, else you will just recieve a reiteration of already given information as answer \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Dec 4 '14 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ That reply in chat happened after I posted this question. The policies the moderator is mentioning, however, eliminate the validity of every other comment on this question and answer. I only want to suggest a very small amount of additional information, and that does not appear to be against any policies I have seen. \$\endgroup\$ – Magus Dec 4 '14 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ these numbers don't add up. I see the reply chain starting at 19.49 and now(20.20) - 20 minutes is definitely not before that. Additionally all but the first comment have been deleted from the answer \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Dec 4 '14 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612: Then I had not seen the response when I posted this. In any case, if my post was deleted, that first comment should also have been. \$\endgroup\$ – Magus Dec 4 '14 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Quoting what was stated in the chatroom: "Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ('-1, see previous comments you scallywag!'); instead, down-vote (and provide or up-vote a better answer if appropriate);", in all brevity: The first comment does provide criticism in a constructive way: "true, but x because y" \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Dec 4 '14 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612: Correct, however the same set of rules also suggests that something so minor ought to be an edit rather than a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Magus Dec 4 '14 at 19:35

Was I wrong in making a comment that "" is potentially more ambiguous than string.Empty on an answer?

No, not necessarily.

What's wrong is when comments degenerate in to a discussion that's not relevant to the post. Comments are not important, have very little value, and are not a permanent record of anything.

When comments become a distraction to the post, I delete them. That's what chat is for.

Your comment was part of a distraction, and thus was 'culled' (along with all the other distracting comments). Reinstating your comment would just invite the discussion to continue in comments, because, if I reinstate your comment, then I also have to reinstate others, and we end up in the same predicament.

If you are convinced that the content of your comment is important, then you should choose to express that content in a way that is permanent.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright, that makes sense. I only took issue because the reasons you expressed elsewhere were not in any way applicable to the comments in question. This, however, is a very good reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Magus Dec 4 '14 at 19:30

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