Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

For many questions/answers where I wish to provide background, explanation, mildly extraneous detail, etc., I would really like to have that little arrow thingee that one sees in the FAQ:

arrow expand to show more

To partially mitigate all of the TL;DR comments (note there are quite a few -- even on meta), I feel that this could significantly improve the readability of the higher quality questions.

Use cases:

  1. Questions which include background/motivational information such as:

  2. Answers which have logical divisions between compartments of information:

  3. This could also be used to temporarily hide large screen shots or large blocks of code, but I'm hesitant to even suggest this because I really don't want any excuse for posting more than 25-30 lines of code.

share|improve this question
In some forums "spoiler"-tags are (ab-)used for this. – Joachim Sauer Aug 26 '11 at 7:56
Is there a case you can point to where a spoiler would be preferable over simple brevity? I could see a use for it here on MSO for the FAQ questions and answers, but I don't really see where it would be useful on SO. – Tim Post Aug 26 '11 at 8:07
I don't like the idea of hiding content, it makes peer review harder. – cularis Aug 26 '11 at 8:10
I agree that this could make peer review harder -- if you want to limit it to only higher rep users, I'd agree <- a simple way to accomplish this would be to only permit its use within the inline editor (available at 2K rep). But also, pragmatically, is it really a problem if poorly formatted code or badly worded extraneous detail is hidden from view? – M. Tibbits Aug 26 '11 at 8:24
@Arjan, I really know nothing about Javascript, AJAX, markdown, etc. It could be? How is it implemented for the faq pages? – M. Tibbits Aug 26 '11 at 8:34
(I've edited my answer: there's already something on the mobile site. I also cleaned up my comments.) – Arjan Aug 26 '11 at 12:47
No thanks. I don't understand why content in your answers should be hidden. – Cody Gray Aug 28 '11 at 0:54
Please note -- I really don't like the spoiler idea. I would much rather have the arrow. Here is a marginally good example of where I'd desire to hide some content -- initially -- so as to downplay the lack of clarity in my stream of consciousness – M. Tibbits Sep 1 '11 at 2:41

I'd love to see the existing spoiler be enhanced for that. The syntax is:

>! Spoiler text

Lacking a proper hover on some devices, the new mobile sites render this as:

Click to show spoiler on mobile site

On the regular websites, one still needs to hover the hidden text to reveal it. This includes tablets like the iPad, where not everyone knows that hovering is initiated by tapping first. And it shows many blank lines for long spoilers. Like:

Moon languages rock!

moon language (plural moon languages)

  1. (slang) Text written in an incomprehensible script, especially Japanese or Chinese.

(Multi-line spoilers need Markdown double-spaces to get a newline. Automatic lists, headings, et cetera are not supported.)

I'd like something similar to the mobile sites on the regular sites too, but:

  • Labeled "Click to show hidden text" (rather than "spoiler").
  • Maybe a single link to show all hidden text? (That might not be too nice for real spoilers.)

On the other hand: beware that the handling of Markdown within the spoilers is very limited. One cannot easily change an existing block into a spoiler.

(Click the "mobile" link at the bottom of this page to see the mobile rendering in a regular browser too. To switch back, click "full site", though that does not look like a link.)

share|improve this answer
So, yes, I'd like the mobile theme on regular sites too! – Arjan Jul 24 '12 at 10:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .