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As a contributor to a number of projects on CodePlex I really like the fact that the discussions feature exists but also I need ways to help me sort the discussions threads so I can make sure no-one is getting forgotten about. Seems like a lot of you agreed as the feature request Provide feature to allow Coordinators to mark Discussions threads as 'Answered' is our number 2 voted feature right now with 178 votes. Today we rolled out the first iteration of “answer” support to discussions.
In this first iteration we wanted to keep it simple and lightweight. The original poster of the thread along with project owners, developers or editors can mark any post to the thread as an answer. You can have any number of answers marked in a thread and it’s very quick to mark or unmark a post as an answer. We deliberately keep the answers in the originally posted order so that you can see them in context with the discussion thread.
When viewing discussions the default view is still to see everything, but you can easily filter by “Unanswered”. You can even save that as a bookmark so as someone interested in the project can quickly jump to the unanswered discussion threads to go help out on.
As I mention, we kept this first pass of the answering feature as simple and as lightweight as possible so that we can get some feedback on it. Head on over to the issue tracking this feature if you have any thoughts once you have used it for a bit or feel free to respond in the comments. I already have a couple of things I think we want to do such as a refresh of the look and feel of discussions in general along, make it easier to navigate to posts that are marked an answered and surface posts that you do that were marked as answered in your profile page - but if you have ideas then please let us know.