Leon Mika

Leon Mika

Some of these collaborative editing tools, like Google Docs or Atlassian Confluence, have a feature to allow reviewers to add comments to a document, maybe to ask the author a question or to make some changes. There’s usually an action to mark a comment as resolved, which will archive it. But I’m never sure who should be the one to resolve it: the reviewer or the author.

What I tend to do, when a reviewer leaves a comment on something I’m working on, is to make the corrections and then reply to the comment without actually resolving it. My thinking here is that this gives the reviewer an opportunity to acknowledge that they’ve seen the updates, and they indicate this by resolving the comment. This is how I work, but I know of other people that make the changes to the document, then immediately resolve the comment, with or without replying to it first.

What these comment systems need is a separate resolve action for both the author and reviewer. That way, the author can mark the comment as resolved once they believe they have addressed the reviewer’s concerns. Then, once the reviewer has had a chance to look at the changes, they can mark the comment as resolved if no further work is required. At any time, either person can post a reply, thereby keeping the comment open. Only once both parties resolve the comment does the comment get archived.