I noticed that a post had a formatting issue (code appeared to not be indented). I opened the editor, and curiously enough the code seemed fine in the preview without me having to make any changes, so I just hit "Save Edits". The new revision has the proper formatting, but according to the revision page, I didn't change anything in terms of the post source; the indents appear to have already been in the first revision.

I looked at Data Explorer's snapshot of the post from earlier this month and it seems to have this for the body:

<p>_targetForm.dw_retailer.SetColumn(6);
    _targetForm.dw_retailer.SetText(retailer.text);
    _targetForm.dw_retailer.SetColumn(9);
    _targetForm.dw_retailer.SetText(retailer.webname);</p>
...

Whereas if I view the page source, I see this:

<pre><code>_targetForm.dw_retailer.SetColumn(6);
_targetForm.dw_retailer.SetText(retailer.text);
_targetForm.dw_retailer.SetColumn(9);
_targetForm.dw_retailer.SetText(retailer.webname);
</code></pre>
...

What happened here? Did I trigger some sort of automated, silent, retroactive edit?

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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Note that this post is very old; it was posted in January of 2009. Since then, many bugs have been fixed in our Markdown implementation, but a post is only ever rendered when it's posted or edited; the rendered version is then stored (otherwise, we'd have to re-render every post on every pageview).

So when you made that null-edit, you just forced a re-rendering, and since the bug has since been fixed, it now looks correct. Because the revision list always renders posts with the current Markdown version (only the most current revision is stored as cooked HTML), it looks like nothing has changed, as the old revision is rendered with the current implementation.

Other examples of this phenomenon include Answer Layout Bug in IE9/Chrome - Footer Encapsulated In Code Block and Code is not formatted in this answer (the latter looks very similar to issue you encountered).

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