It is an interesting opinion, that the two platforms are thought for different issues. I do cannot find an evidence for this. But of course there has been a specific intention for opening the Answers forum, which should make a difference to the existing CSSM:
- Spam and unrelated threads can be deleted - Code, links and text can be formatted and images can be embedded - The hierarchical structure of questions versus comments and answers improves the readability - Editing of the postings improves the quality
In consequence the signal to noise ratio is higher than in CSSM. Initially there was the hope, that Answers has such a high density of information, that it can be used as a kind of database of solutions. But the community did not support this aim completely and today you find many homework questions here. The intention, that repeated questions are avoided because the users search in the forum before they ask a question, was unrealistic also, unfortunately. We still have the same high frequency of questions, which are explained exhaustively in the FAQ already:
- Create variables A1, A2, ... in a loop
- 0.3-0.2-0.1 ~= 0
- save File versus save(File) versus save('File')
- Please solve my homework
The chance to add graphics is limited by the fact, that the files must be hosted externally, but many file hoster keep the data for some months only. When the pictures vanish, the corresponding threads are junk only.
The voting system has some benefits, which are not very important for the quality of the forum in my opinion, but interesting for some users. This has been discussed repeatedly, so I do not go into details here.
My impression is, that Answers is CSSM 2.0: A much better interface for the same problems. See also: Answers: Future of Answers and CSSM. Considering this, it is puzzleing, that bugfixes and improvements of the interface take about 6 to 12 month usually. I like the conservative maintenance of Matlab, but a forum should be managed much more dynamically. I see "Disabl" with a missing "e" for over a year now for toggeling the preview, which still is extremely slow under certain circumstances. Sigh.