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

When a moderator intends to contact a user about questionable behavior on a site, the moderator can choose from a set of message templates for addressing common behavior patterns.

Some of these templates contain {todo:} template tags that are meant to be, well, filled in. Currently, submitting a message with any of these template tags still in the message causes it to be sent anyway, with that template tag plainly visible both in the on-site message and in the email message, which can be quite embarrassing (for lack of a better word).

It would be cool if moderator messages could be validated for the presence of template tags and summarily rejected if any of them were found, in case a moderator neglected to fill in important information such as the duration of an account suspension.

share|improve this question
I know this used to work (not submit the form if there was still {todo:} text in the body) in some of the messages. Do I have any volunteers for some science? – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 13:57
@BilltheLizard Feel free. – user142852 Apr 20 '12 at 13:58
@Bill the Lizard: I can, on meta :P – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 20 '12 at 13:58
Go for it (as long as you don't actually suspend me of course) – ChrisF Apr 20 '12 at 14:01
I just suspended @Ninefingers for sockpuppet upvoting (here on Meta) and the form automatically filled in the {todo:suspend} days with 7 days. – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 14:01
@Bill the Lizard: Very interesting. We could use some validation for the rest of the template tags, though. I don't think all of them are auto-filled. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 20 '12 at 14:03
I got the same result with the "consistently low quality" message. It auto-filled the {todo:suspend} days with 30 days. I'm looking for others that have text to replace. – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 14:04
Wow I've had a busy day. First sock puppeting, then consistently low quality questions and answers! – user142852 Apr 20 '12 at 14:06
@Bill the Lizard: Message/suspend me for "something else"? Almost the whole thing is template tags, and those aren't auto-filled (unless they wrote and hid an AI behind the scenes or something). – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 20 '12 at 14:06
The "something else..." message does prompt you to fill those {todo} items in if you try to submit without replacing them. – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 14:09
@Bill the Lizard: Oh, it does? Well, then. Post that as an answer? Or I'll delete this... – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 20 '12 at 14:10
@Ninefingers Thanks for volunteering to be the guinea pig. Now you seriously can't break any rules on Meta because the next suspension will be 365 days. ;) – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 14:10
@Bill ok. But can you make it something more interesting like rule violations or to calm down next time please? If I'm gonna be a test troll, I want to look and act the part! ;) – user142852 Apr 20 '12 at 14:13
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I tried all three of the messages that have {todo} items embedded in the body here on Meta. Two of them automatically insert the suspension length for you in place of the {todo:suspend} placeholder, and the last one prompts you if it finds any {todo} placeholders when you try and submit the form.

This may be browser-specific, so I'll add that I'm on Firefox on Windows XP Pro.

I re-ran these tests on Stack Overflow (using Tim Post as a guinea pig this time), and I got the same results. The {todo} text is either auto-replaced or a prompt tells me that I forgot to fill one in.

share|improve this answer
And here, Meta Police Force, is your daily dose of science. Have a great day. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 20 '12 at 14:29
Windows XP Pro??? – Won't Apr 20 '12 at 17:32
@Won't It's a work machine. I was wondering how long it would take anyone to react to that. :) – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 17:49
"Uh, boss, someone accidentally shot my machine with a destructive device. Can I have another?" – Won't Apr 20 '12 at 18:23
@Won't You should see the machines that are piling up to be thrown out. Nobody will even steal them. – Bill the Lizard Apr 20 '12 at 18:25
It's been this way for a long long time. Good idea but long implemented already – Jeff Atwood Apr 21 '12 at 21:17
@Jeff Atwood: The dev team thinks of everything. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 21 '12 at 21:28
@JeffAtwood Nice implementation on the first two that just fill in the known values for us instead of prompting for input. – Bill the Lizard Apr 22 '12 at 0:19

You must log in to answer this question.

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