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Any chance that the delay before the preview is syntax highlighted can be removed (or at least shortened to less than 1 second or so)? All it does is provide an unnecessary delay in seeing the preview.


I'm pretty sure the delay is exactly 5 seconds, hardcoded somewhere on a client script.

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It is an intentional five second delay, to defer styling until after you've (presumably) stopped editing. Five seconds may be a bit long, but I don't know why that specific value was chosen. – Tim Stone Nov 26 '12 at 0:58
@TimStone: Yup... any chance that it might be shortened to 1 second (or maybe 2 max, although IMO that's still too much)? I can understand the existence of a delay (I would probably put it in too, probably more like 300 ms, if for no reason other than to prevent unnecessary CPU usage), but 5 seconds crosses the line of usefulness into just getting plain counterproductive and annoying. :\ It also encourages me to post things without taking the time to make sure they look good... even on a cell phone 5 seconds wouldn't be worth the battery it would save. – Mehrdad Nov 26 '12 at 1:02
Or for that matter, on any device, any noticeable delay uses up more energy than it saves... it saves a few CPU cycles at the cost of powering the entire device (and the screen) that much longer... – Mehrdad Nov 26 '12 at 1:10
I can't speak to that, as it's not something I can change. I do know that it can be a bit annoying to wait for it to kick in, though. I think the concern isn't so much about performance as it is about user experience during editing, as in-progress code would be prone to flickering (this problem would be much more pronounced on sites that use MathJax, where the transformation that would be taking place each time the preview refreshed would be more pronounced). – Tim Stone Nov 26 '12 at 1:10
@TimStone: Yeah, I've considered that too -- MathJax really can take seconds to render sometimes, so it's a very reasonable delay on Math.SE and such. But on SO it just seems useless. (Or, another way to do it is: if there's math or images or something expensive on the page, then use a longer delay. But if it's just text/code then use a shorter delay.) – Mehrdad Nov 26 '12 at 1:12

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