I reviewed ADI_iCoupler answer on Digital Isolation comparison. I consider this answer to be helpful, but it doesn't answer the question. I marked it as not an answer, but don't know whether that was the right thing to do. Apart from this example, what should you do as a reviewer with helpful answers that aren't really answers?

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We each have different opinions and thresholds for what we think is appropriate or not. That's in part why there is a voting system for the more drastic actions. In that sense, as long as you do what you believe to be correct, judgement calls can't technically be "wrong".

That said, I disagree with your judgement in this particular case. While the answer doesn't strictly speaking answer the question, and therefore you can make a argument for it being "not an answer", I wouldn't have flagged it as such. I personally don't have a problem with answers that don't directly address the question as long as they provide some relevant information. OPs often don't ask what they really want to know, and often don't know that they don't know something important. I personally consider answers that provide such information as being relevant, useful to the OP and the site, and not deserving of being removed.

There is more discussion of this issue here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Although your first paragraph made me thing you were not going to, you did explain how you felt this should be looked at. The point of meta is discussing how we should impose such rules and come to a consensus as a community. Thanks for taking the time to look at this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 7, 2013 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: While I disagree with Camil in this case, I thought it important to point out that he made a honest judgement call, which can never be considered "wrong". \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2013 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should ask a meta question about if opinions can be wrong. If we agree as a community that something like that is okay then he is not "wrong" but that on our site deleting it would be incorrect. My issue here is that if it does not answer the question and just adds useful other information it is almost going to be a case by case basis as that is a very broad categorization. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 7, 2013 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ In this case one user is asking about what it is for, and this guy is mentioning for another kV rating he would need a different product, seems like a useful comment, but nothing to do with the post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 7, 2013 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: Maybe I looked at it too quickly, but if I remember right (not going back and checking), then the question was about a specific device which is good for some minimum isolation. Just because the product is speced for that much isolation doesn't necessarily mean the OP needs that much as there could be other reasons for that choice. The answer says if you need less isolation voltage, then here is another choice. If this is what is going on, then I think the answer is possibly useful and should stay. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2013 at 18:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I posted it above as a picture to make checking a bit easier, the user is asking about comparing if he can use a cheaper chip for USB isolation and the answer explains you can not, and why. Then another answer says, "This chip is rated to a lower isolation." Maybe instead he should be adding, you can also save cost by going to a lower isolation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 7, 2013 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Looks to me like an AD employee trying to be helpful by offering extra knowledge of a product line that might be of service, in response to a pretty clear interpretation to the question "can I do this for less cost?" \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2013 at 4:09

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