Would a moderator on programmers.stackexchange (specifically, Anna Lear) kindly explain why this response was deleted?

Where are octals useful?

I fail to see why it would be deleted after reviewing the FAQ, especially when there are other, almost identical responses that were not deleted, and my response also had three upvotes. I admit that it doesn't directly answer the question asked (I was going back to add more info...), but the deletion seems arbitrary to me.

2 Answers 2


Mark Trapp's answer covered it my reasoning. For what it's worth, your answer was not deleted outright but converted to a comment on the question.

I apologize for misreading your post and not realizing that you meant that conversion from binary to decimal was a use for octals. I'd undelete the answer now, but it looks like Mark beat me to it. :)

  • Ahh, I apologize then; I didn't notice that it had been converted into a comment. That seems far more reasonable to me. Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 16:16

The question was, "Where are octals useful?" and your answer was "It's easy to convert between octals and binary."

So, your answer was deleted because it didn't answer the question.

I don't see any other answers there that are identical to yours, deleted or otherwise.

If you have some thoughts about a related issue with a question, but don't have a direct answer to it, it's best to just leave a comment on the answer, as we want to keep the answers section reserved for direct answers.

Basically, hold off on leaving an answer until you can directly answer the question: if you have a full answer now, it'd definitely be welcomed.

Edit: As you've noted here that you want to improve your answer, I've gone ahead and undeleted it in anticipation of those improvements.

  • This one, before the edit, but at least they were given time to make an edit. How about letting the community vote answers up or down instead of deleting them? Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 22:55
  • And how about looking at the original question? It doesn't say "I know they can be easily converted from Binary, but where are they used in practice?". It says "why would anyone use octal?". Well I think that the conversion answer is perfectly relevant as to why one would use octal. Just seems like an overly eager deletion to me. I am a moderator on multiple forums and deletion is always a last resort as it is generally good to maintain an honest history. Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 22:57
  • 1
    And just to drive it home... you said: "The question was, "Where are octals useful?" and your answer was "It's easy to convert between octals and binary." How is that not an applicable answer? Why do you think we use hex? It's because it is easy to map to byte sequences, not because it is the only possible solution to a given problem. Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 22:59
  • @EdS generally we give the benefit of the doubt when answers could stand to provide more information, but you left a comment in response to someone prompting you for more information that indicated you weren't planning on adding anything else. If you had planned to add more to the answer, it would've been best to wait until you had a full answer before leaving it or at least indicate you were going to improve it when prompted.
    – user8
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 23:02
  • @EdS With that said, I've undeleted your answer given you mentioned in your OP that you plan to improve it.
    – user8
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 23:03
  • Well there is a better answer now anyway =D. I was just curious as I though deletion was a bit extreme in this case. Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 23:04
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    Wouldn't it be better to let the community comment and vote on the answer versus outright deleting it? Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 18:28

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