The question "Create rule to Set Default Value" is obviously (IMO) a question about the Rules module. However, the (now accepted) answer to it starts like so:

You can implement hook_commerce_cart_product_add() ...

... and nowhere says anything about the Rules module.

Of course, if the customer (= user asking the question) is happy (the answer is accepted ...), then why bother, right? Well sorry, but that was not the question, I thought the question was about "(How to) Create rule to Set Default Value".

I flagged that answer like "not an answer" ... and I posted a comment below that answer like so:

The question is about using the Rules module to get this to work. How does this answer help to do so?

My flag got declined, and @Clive added this surprising comment below that answer:

"Don't use rules, do it this way because it's better, simpler and more performant" is a perfectly acceptable answer to "how do I do x with rules".

Wablieft? (oeps: I beg your pardon?) Really? So then this is my new meta question (part of my subsequent comment, which @Clive recommended to post on meta.drupal.SE):

Thanks for teaching me about this. Does that mean that the opposite is true also then. E.g. to answer questions (about Views) like "Don't use Views, here is how you can use module X as an alternative because it's better, simpler and more performant". BTW: you must know the value of "X" I have in mind ... (disclosure: I'm a co-maintainer of module X).

I leave it to @Clive to eventually repeat here on meta what he wrote in his other (interesting) comments. Here is 1 more comment I added to that answer:

... for any D8 question to get something to work in Rules, would you (yes or no) consider something like this "sensible" then: "You cannot do this with Rules in D8 yet, if you want it badly, then you can perfectly do this with D7, using a rule that looks like so and so.". Can't imagine you'd say "yes" (though I'd hope ...), so where to draw the line?

PS 1: If you want another example (more food for thoughts?), how about questions related to OG, where I'd answer with module Y (of which I'm NOT a (co-)maintainer, in case that would make a difference to answer this meta question here).

PS 2: I'm aware of the meta question about "The answer is not really an answer", however:

  • It's unclear to me what that question is actually about. Actually that is not a question (knowing that the title of a question is not to be considered as part of the question). IMO it's rather like a service request to do something about the answer to "Cannot install Open Atrium".
  • I don't think the answers to that question are of any help to answer my question here.
  • Actually, the rule about flagging is don't flag for moderation attention a wrong answer. There is also a reason for declining a flag that says flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 15:57
  • @kiamlaluno merci, but my question is not really about the flagging. To illustrated that, I've updated my question. Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 16:49
  • I didn't say your question was about flagging, but since you said your flag got declined, I commented saying I am not surprised it got declined, since wrong answers should not be flagged for moderator action.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 16:58
  • 2
    Added my views to this. The gist of it: The voting system is in place to show answers their quality. We have an issue with questions and answers in general not getting many votes, which makes it hard to see good/bad answers. I see alternate solutions as a strength. Diversity is a good thing since we aim to solve issues not only for OP but for all users seeing the question in the future.
    – googletorp
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


So we are talking about a few different things here.


You flag not an answer, when people write comments/questions as answers (it's literally not an answer). It's very common to see new people writing thank you or a follow up questions and post that as answer. You should flag these so mods can convert to comments, delete or whatever fits.

Bad Answers

Some people write a poor answer, that is wrong, doesn't help the OP etc. An example of a bad answer would be:

You should roast the apples first and then put them in the oven.

This example is maybe going to the extreme (you might even call it spam). My point with the above is that it's an Answer, but it's totally wrong. Flagging and mods should not be used for this. Voting and comments by peers is the way to go. So the correct thing to do would be to downvote the answer (and leave a comment explaining what's wrong, fx)

This is no help. Roasting apples wont help creating Rules in Drupal.

Bad Questions

Sometimes the question is wrong. Users will ask a question based on their understanding, which usually is limited since they come here to ask their peers for help. The user in question here explains his problem/requirement (which doesn't involve Rules). The title How to do X with Rules, is his understanding of how to solve the problem. This is not actually his problem, but his understanding of the problem. What we should do here is to edit the question.

If the user needed this to this in Rules for some reason. Fx he is not able to upload files to the webserver, the situation would be different. The answer in question is still perfectly valid, but less useful (votes should reflect this). But since other people with same problem might not have same limitation it's still perfectly valid to leave as an alternate solution.

Ultimately you can't be unhappy with how others vote on question. The idea with SO is that it's the community decides which answers are the most helpful. As an expert I might disagree with those votes, but this is how SO engine is designed to work.

  • Interesting answer/viewpoints, merci. Not to hijack this answer to ask a new question, but shouldn't "vote to close" also be part of what you wrote about Bad Questions? E.g to handle "off topic" questions, or is that not what you mean by "bad" questions? Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 10:43
  • 2
    @Pierre.Vriens What I mean with bad question, is not a question that should be closed, but a question infused with bad assumptions making it impossible to provide the best answer. Fx you ask how to do it with Rules module. If the Rules module is not actually a requirement, it's just an assumption that this is the best way to solve the issue. To me it looks like this is what happened with the question you linked to. OP thinks you should do it with rules, so he ask how to do X with rules, but really should be asking how to do X.
    – googletorp
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 17:27
  • 1
    aka the xy problem
    – Clive Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 19:50

This is an answer. Someone upvoted it, and the OP accepted it. So, it obviously helped.

The question isn't the best (my guess would be an ESL speaker), but it is tagged with both and . The answer shows how to use a Commerce hook to solve the problem without rules. So, it really is an acceptable answer to the OP's need, though it doesn't use Rules.

Is it a great answer? Again, hard to tell. Personally, I would have added something like "This can be accomplished with a simple hook instead of a Rule." (but personally, I avoid Rules like the plague).

What should be done about it? From a pure moderation perspective, nothing. From a site user perspective, lots of things can be done.

  • The question could use some TLC to rewrite it.
  • A user could vote on the question or the answer.
  • A user is free to write another answer, even though it has an accepted one. From our help center:

Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for him or her personally. Not every user comes back to accept an answer, and of those who do, they might not change the accepted answer even if a newer, better answer comes along later.

So, if you want, you can write an answer for how Rules can be used to solve the problem.

But the bottom line is that we are not lawyers here arguing over nuances, and the moderators should not be dragged into this. Someone asked a question, it received an appropriate answer, and there was indication that it helped. The world is now a slightly better place as a result.

  • 1
    interesting viewpoints ... Do you mind explaining what "ESL" and "TLC" stands for? Just for those who don't have English as their first language (like me). PS about what you consider "the plague": that's like the opposite of how consider that (which is fine for me), while I have other things in Drupal that I avoid like the plague. Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 19:29
  • 1
    @Pierre.Vriens ESL == 'English as a Second Language' TLC == 'Tender, Loving, Care' (something that needs attention). I don't like having functionality in the database, and I can write a hook in about 10% of the time it takes me to write the Rule.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 19:46
  • merci, and btw I do like as few as possible custom modules, and I can write a rule in about 10% of the time it takes me to write a hook. Oh well, everyone their own (Drupal) style ... OOP, aka the "Object" is to get the "Programming" done ... Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 20:06

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