Question asks how to make names of major modes shorter in mode line.

Answer shows absolutely useless from practical point of view method to remove names of major modes from mode line altogether. This doesn't answer the question.

I've flagged it as not an answer. The flag title says:

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

Indeed, this should have been posted as a comment like "You could also consider removing names of major modes from mode line completely."

Now tell me explicitly why this answer answers my question when it doesn't.

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  • Sounds like a case of the XY problem. – Jon Ericson Sep 15 '15 at 21:01
  • @JonEricson, can you elaborate? I know what XY problem is but I don't see how it's applicable here. – Mark Karpov Sep 16 '15 at 9:16
  • Sure. Your question (and self answer) focused on a particular solution: make the major mode string shorter in the mode line. But implicit in the question is a problem: your mode line is crammed with other text and major mode lighter interferes with the other information you want there. Both your answer and Drew's answer the underlying problem. This meta question demonstrates a focus on the solution rather than trying to address the underlying problem (whatever it may be). Hence, my comment about the XY problem. ;-) – Jon Ericson Sep 16 '15 at 16:06

I declined that flag. Here's why: the answer seems like a reasonable approach to address the problem stated in the question.

It may not be the perfect answer, it may not be what you had in mind, and it may not ultimately resolve the issue in the way you would like it resolved. The nice thing about this site is that you can get multiple answers, so you can ignore the one that doesn't help you.

People occasionally flag questions and are overruled by the moderators for one reason or another.

Additionally, please moderate your tone. "I think moderators don't understand something here" is unnecessarily combative and counterproductive to the site.

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  • First, sorry if "I think moderators don't understand something here" sounds rude, I've removed that sentence. Second, I thought Meta can be used this way. At least Meta Stack Overflow is constantly used to discuss this sort of thing. Is this site different? – Mark Karpov Sep 15 '15 at 18:57
  • Or may be it's OK to discuss these things but it's not normally done? – Mark Karpov Sep 15 '15 at 19:00
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    @Mark Discussing a moderator action on meta is perfectly fine, that's one of the things it's for. Your tone was out of line but asking for an explanation of the flag handling is fine (as long as you don't make a habit of complaining about every single moderator action). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Sep 15 '15 at 21:00

"Not an answer" is rather about answers which do not attempt to answer the question: for example "please give more details about your problem" or "I have this problem too, help!" are not answers. Answers which are blatantly off-topic are not answers either, but they will probably be deleted by their author without the need of a moderator.

In your case, you have an answer which is not helpful to you. As said by Dan, the point of SE's format is to have several answers and be able to pick the one you like. Within this format, you have several ways to point out that the answer is not helpful: you can leave a comment if you think that the answer can be modified to be more helpful, or even edit the answer yourself if you feel that it would improve it without defacing it; and if you feel that the answer takes a totally "wrong" direction, you are free to downvote it.

This applies both to a random user reading the question, and to the OP. The OP has one additional way of action, by not accepting the unhelpful solution.

Don't feel too bad about posting a critical comment (nicely), normally people who try to second-guess your XY-problem are aware that they are taking a risk.

Note that none of these actions actually remove the unhelpful answer, because the answer doesn't need to be removed. It may be unhelpful to you because of specifics of your situation, but it may still be helpful to someone having the same problem (without the specifics).

I am not a moderator and I do not know why this flag specifically was rejected. On the other hand, the other answer appears to address this point already. So... please don't flag?

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