I don't know the internals of StackExchange, but is there any way that we can emphasize to people 'click the code button'? Or maybe get people to actually look at the post they've just posted and then think 'Oh my that's a complete mess let me see what I can do about it'?
I mean, I know it's meant to be collaboratively edited and everything, but it just seems a bit boring for people (mostly Kev) to have to go into every question and format people's code...
Answer by Fatherjack ·
I agree too. I was looking yesterday and I think I get to edit posts in a little while (rep > 2000) so will try to help out where I can. From my experience, I cant see the question building under the text box as its off the bottom of the screen so maybe (new) users are unaware of fact that its not formatted clearly??
Also, there is a rep level that you have to achieve before you can edit your own questions so new users cant fix the problem once its posted, even if they do notice it. Can the rep levels be altered, is there a config/settings option for the site?
Answer by Blackhawk-17 ·
I haven't been keeping score or anything like that but I would imagine that it is generally a person's first post that would have the issue. PITA yeah, but also excusable somewhat. In many cases these individuals are in a hurry as there is an issue that needs to be resolved and, at the time, reaching out trumps prettiness.
As time goes on however the tolerance is reduced.
Perhaps if the system sent an email to the post orignator after every edit performed by others with a brief Editor FAQ and links it may subtely drive the point home without detracting from the on-line user experience.
It may also help if the preview area was labelled as such and had a note similar to:
"Please ensure that you have formatted your post for legibility"
Answer by Ian Roke ·
What I didn't realise until today is how easy it is to format code on here. I was pasting my code in and then going down each line and entering four spaces!
All you really have to do for starters is paste your code in and then highlight it and click the code button which is even easier! :-D
Answer by Grant Fritchey ·
I think it's just the nature of things. Over on the main SSC site people regularly post dumps of code that are unformatted and a mess. Frequently the people doing this are inexpereinced at SQL Server and at these news groups. Almost as frequently, it does seem like they're not the sort of people who read and follow directions well, or they wouldn't be posting questions that are easily answered in Books Online. This leads to the mess we get. It's just how it's going to be.
Answer by Brimstedt ·
It's a bit embarrasing, but the first answer I wrote here (unlike all things ive written on stackoverflow) i managed to forget this and didnt even look at my post afterwards.
I was surprised to find out that it was the formatting of the entry that had been edited, when i later checked the changes...
I think that people do not look at the preview simply because when you start typing its below the screen area. If editing and preview was side by side, i think it'd be better, but perhaps hard on non widescreens.
One solution could be to have a step between "Post your answer" and the actual posting, where you see only the preview - but personally I dont like such solutions as i find it ineffective.
Answer by Jeff Moden ·