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12:54 PM
I feel like there is something strange happening with respect to this answer. I've backed up my answer with a fair number of links to other questions, and have done my best to report site's policy and consensus.
It would be nice if the downvoters would explain where I have gone wrong... :\
 
 
7 hours later…
7:30 PM
@XanderHenderson Dear Xander, I think what's going on here can be explained by two things: many readers disagree with the conclusion that the answer should have been deleted, and a presentation/phrasing issue. While you have supported your perspective with a good number of links and I generally agree that long comments in the answer box are usually not appropriate, this might be a time where such a comment is useful (due to the difficulty of the problem and the utility of sharing some basic evidence).
If your intent was to leave some space in here for this answer to be converted to community-wiki with a note "not an answer" at the top, I don't think this came across very well. Further, the final line "[a]s such, the deletion of your answer was entirely appropriate" comes off as a bit harsh to me. If you were a little more sympathetic in delivering this message, I think you may not have received so many downvotes.
Anyways, you seem real bent out of shape about this. I don't think this is so necessary: from what I've observed, you do some good work around here and it would be a shame if you let one meta disagreement get in the way of all of that.
 
7:55 PM
@KReiser Thanks for the feedback. It might also be worth mentioning that, at the time I wrote that answer, the post being discussed consisted of a table of data, and not much more. I'll make some edits.
@KReiser Is the current version any better?
 
8:15 PM
@XanderHenderson I think that edit did make it better, yes.
 
@KReiser Again, thank you for the feedback.
 
The edits made to the originally-deleted answer were also something I failed to consider - I did not see that the answer had changed significantly, though I probably should have clicked through and looked at the timeline. That's maybe another pain point here, depending on when the votes came in on your post.
 
@KReiser Yeah, I figured that might be part of the issue.
Personally, I don't think that the current version is all that great, either---it is long and rambling, and doesn't really make a point or tell a story. It reads more like a blog post than an answer, but my primary concern with that question was the question itself, and the asker has as much as said that they see no problem and will do nothing to improve it.
 
 
3 hours later…
11:25 PM
also note, @KReiser, that the rant on meta by the commenter, was long prior to the commenter's attempt to improve the question. So the commenter should have improved the question, and only then, depending on the outcome of the improvement, posted to meta to rant. It cuts both ways. Xander responded to a mere list of data. And I think that answer was rightly deleted. The answerer should not have stormed into meta to bit*h about the deletion, but instead, spent their energy improving it.
I was not so much upset with the comment as answer, as I was by the commenter's indignation for an appropriately closed "answer" which was not, at the time of deletion, an answer. So, @KReiser, I think your comments here only make sense after the fact of the answers' edit, which I don't think was all that great, but the edit pushed the comment closer to an answer. The answerer blew it, in my mind, by behaving so badly on meta before biting the bit to improve their answer.
 
11:49 PM
@amWhy Sure, the fact that the comment-as-answer changed significantly over time and not everything that referenced it did is important here for everyone - it would be easy to not notice this (I didn't, for a bit!) and therefore develop a misinformed opinion. It does appear that some of that may be happening - if you look at the votes summary, the day with the highest number of downvotes is today.
I am not interested in turning this whole thing in to a trial or a big to-do. I sympathize with both parties involved here - the abstract idea of adding a helpful not-quite-answer is something I would like to be acceptable here in some circumstances, but I believe that there are standards for this sort of thing that need to be upheld. I think both of these perspectives are reasonable, and it's unfortunate that there ended up being a whole hullabaloo about it.
 

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