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I'm fairly new to Stack Exchange, so I'm not clear what the etiquette would be in this situation. I've been trying to help on a question which felt like it was starting to degenerate into an edit/compile loop.

Errors trying to send email via Apex class

this is the kind of thing that works well on the developerforce boards, but it doesn't seem very useful in the stack exchange format, as a lot of information is buried in the comments.

In this particular case, the question was tidied up and @metadaddy advised me to create an answer, but I'm curious as to what I should do going forward. It didn't feel like I was answering the question, more providing a series of reactive tips.

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Ideally, the text of the answer should stand alone on its own merits and should not "devolve" into on-going debate and discussion in comments. Comments are not supposed to serve as a mini discussion forum or chat room.

Still, when an answer raises more questions and trouble-shooting, it feels natural (at first) to use comments for this style of collaboration. But soon you'll realize (as you may already have) that comments are not well suited to this type of back and forth discussion.

This is by design.

That is why I suggest, once you find yourself replying to a reply to a comment, it's time to take the discussion to chat. Work out the issues through the collaborative discussion you seek. But don't forget to bring those efforts back to the main site by editing what has been learned into the original question/answer.

Remember that comments are designed solely to request clarification and offer guidance about how to improve that post. Comments are ephemeral by nature. The information discussed should be rolled into the post. Once they serve that purpose, they can (and should) be removed. That's the nature of how this site works.

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