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I have to admit, I didn't even know spoilers were supported until today, but really bugs me that spoilers just look like empty block quotes before you mouse over them.

Is this a spoiler or just a long empty block quote? I can't tell right away, so it would be really nice if there was some indication of which one it was so I didn't have to push my mouse all the way over to it. What can I say, I'm incredibly lazy.

vs.

 

 

I suppose the author should include something that says 'Spoilers below:', but it would be nice if there was some other indication of what it was.

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I've thought this before too, +1 for bringing it up for me :P –  Matthew Read Aug 26 '11 at 19:03
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+1 these should stand out more readily than just have no text until mouse-over. –  Yuck Aug 26 '11 at 19:08
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Or, killing two birds with one stone: render it like the mobile sites. –  Arjan Aug 26 '11 at 19:10
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How do you make a long empty block quote? –  Bill the Lizard Aug 26 '11 at 19:11
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@Bill Very carefully. –  user149432 Aug 26 '11 at 19:18
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@Mark: Thanks for that. Now I wonder if you've just created the first one. I honestly can't see how this is a huge problem for anyone. –  Bill the Lizard Aug 26 '11 at 19:29
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@Bill, the user profiles show a grey block that most people know to simply ignore if empty. So, not knowing about spoilers, I guess one might ignore grey spoiler blocks too. (In fact, I think it's even less obvious if there's only one or two lines. Might just look like some fancy separator, to some.) –  Arjan Aug 26 '11 at 20:17
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Ah, perfect example of the differences for spoiler vs. quote on the mobile site. –  Arjan Aug 26 '11 at 20:43
    
Even the empty gray block on the user profile got an explanation! –  Arjan Nov 16 '11 at 21:50

2 Answers 2

Why would you ever have empty blockquotes?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Dale#.22Dr._Kronkheit_and_His_Only_Living_Patient.22

SMITH: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
DALE: Don't do that.
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True, but I feel the point was: somehow indicate they are spoilers. (Like also noted in comments underneath the first announcement.) –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 8:16
    
You might not have empty block quotes, but that doesn't mean everyone using the site knows that there is [generally] no such thing as empty block quotes. If I don't happen to move my mouse in the right spot (and I usually don't move it over stuff I'm trying to read...) then I'd never know that there's hidden text under there. I can't see what's wrong with providing some kind of visual indication, like "(Hover here to reveal text)". (Of course, that said, I've never used spoiler text and I've never actually seen a case where it is required.) –  Cody Gray Aug 28 '11 at 0:18
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Someone might call a spoiler a faceless, unforgiving blank grey box! ;-) –  Arjan Nov 16 '11 at 21:52

I wouldn't mind if spoilers were even harder to spot than it is now. I think

it would be great

if small innocent-looking piece of screen could suddenly "explode"

to show the reader

a terrific picture like
hand-drawn in mspaint image of a narwhal
that has been hidden before hovering

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